Horizon 2020 for the EU: Smart Cities & Communities2017.03.13

The European Union has created one of the world’s strongest financially backed programs for research and innovation entitled Horizon 2020. About €80 billion will be used to support sustainable development in Europe. Together with its partners, the Eco-City of Freiburg is paving the way, turning the city into a smart one. The Smart Green Tower by Frey Architekten is a flagship project in this effort.

March 13, 2017 – As our global world continues to grow smaller, science has started to build even stronger interdisciplinary synergies. In order to bring Europe closer together as a community, the European Union has put together an 80€ billion funding program called “Horizon”. The program intends to increase the EU’s competitive advantage in science and economic affairs while increasingly integrating businesses in helping solve pending societal issues. In this way the entire chain of innovation spanning from basic research to market launches will be covered and connections made to structural funds.

Under the direction of the city of Freiburg, over 60 partners from manufacturing, research, politics and the cities of Aalborg (Denmark), Bologna (Italy) and in a consortium including Kaunas (Lithuania), Maribor (Slovenia) and Almada (Portugal) are partaking in a project called “smartFAB”. With its flagship project Smart Green Tower, Frey Architekten is one of the selected partners.

smartFAB installs exemplary urban districts, unifying sustainable issues in various areas including energy, building technology, eMobility, IT and communications. Freiburg, Aalborg and Bologna are initiating pilot projects whose examples the cities of Kaunas, Maribor and Almada will then follow.

smartFAB is active in Freiburg in the new development Green Industry Park that houses the former freight yard as well as the Smart Green Tower. The unified concept of the Smart Green Tower fits beautifully into the goals of Horizon 2020. The high-performance photovoltaic façade is manufactured by SI Module, headquartered directly in Freiburg, the capital for solar energy. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems provides scientific support and analysis.

With Siemens’ power management system (efficiency analysis, building and space automation), all maintenance groups can be controlled, monitored and optimized in order to save energy sustainably while reducing costs.

Because the Smart Green Tower’s energy production temporarily exceeds its own energy needs, a flexible energy storage system in the form of a battery platform in the megawatt range will be included. Phase 1 will rely on a lithium ion battery manufactured by ads-tec. Phase 2 will be complemented with a redox flow battery. The high capacity storage has the ability to collect and administer renewable energy to a large urban district, thereby offsetting times of peak energy demand.

Based on the notion of a heterogeneous neighborhood and active community life, the so-called pro scholare principle provides solutions for societal and demographic changes. For decades, urban planner Wolfgang Frey Role has applied the pro scholare principle in already existing projects such as Heidelberg Village, which has been awarded by three federal agencies for its integrative and multi-generational model for living at a demography conference in Berlin.

Dieter Hackler, former Ministerial Director, remarked in his laudatory speech during the awards ceremony about Frey Architekten’s enormous engagement in creating social architecture with an emphasis on need and demographic development in today’s society: Wolfgang Frey and his team are wonderful visionaries and pioneers that focus on our society and societal connection in our country of longevity. They are realistic visionaries with both feet on the ground who create space with their approach to building in which people can live their lives with a sense of community and social context.