HSB Living Lab – a unique research-project for future living

18 September 2012

During the fall, the research-project that Johanneberg Science Park, HSB and Chalmer’s “Homes of Tomorrow” have initiated, will take off. The plan is to build 20-40 student-apartments at Chalmers Campus Johanneberg. 

- It will be a win-win situation where students gain access to housing and we get the opportunity to do research on issues regarding future housing, says Roger Sundborn, regional business unit manager for real estate development at HSB, Gothenburg. 

Platforms for cooperation, so called ‘Open Arenas’, are currently being developed at Johanneberg Science Park, intended to inspire transboundary and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and knowledge between the profile areas Energy, Materials / Nanotechnology and Urban Development. Open Arena for Urban Development has already started several projects and HSB Living Lab is one of them. HSB is in addition to this one of Johanneberg Science Park’s owners. 

- HSB Living Lab is an excellent example of how we can create the best conditions possible for ideas to emerge and then be realized. This concerns all the meetings and collaborations that arise from the dynamic environment where academia, industry and society meet. The project contributes to promoting a knowledge-based, sustainable growth in the entire region, says Mats Bergh, CEO of Johanneberg Science Park. 

- Chalmers is now given the opportunity to do research on new innovations in the homes of people that could contribute to sustainable lifestyles. We have found that the sustainable home is a complex concept and requires both advanced measurement-techniques and research in industrial design and architecture.  We will also exchange findings and ideas with similar research being done in Holland, Great Britain and Germany, as well as with an adjunct professor who is responsible for Mars Habitat at NASA, says Greg Morrison, Professor at Chalmers University of Technology. 

The planning of the initial building-phase will take off during fall of 2012. And the intention is to turn the first sod for HSB Living Lab some time next fall. How the apartments will be designed, what will happen in them and who will inhabit them, are questions which will now be answered.  

- What is unique about HSB Living Lab is that we get an opportunity to try out different solutions for future housing in an environment where people actually live, says Roger Sundbom. 

Living in the lab

The idea is that the students who will inhabit the apartments will get to try, for example, having water-recycling, solar power, smart booking-systems for laundry-rooms and sustainable building materials. It all depends on what is being high-lighted at the moment. Facts and opinions are then gathered through online surveys, as well as through having sensors and gauges in the building. The purpose of the research-project is to promote development while opening up for a dialogue between HSB’s members, industry colleagues and other interested parties. 

- We are planning for a common exhibition-space where the results are displayed and where we can share the results with anyone who is interested. Previous experiences have shown that the more knowledge and experience we share, the more we get in return. Our wish is also that other companies come to us with housing-related innovations and products they want to try in a real environment. We believe that this field will develop faster the more we cooperate, says Roger Sundbom. 

The boards of the future

The focus will not only be on technology. Softer core values will also be scrutinized and explored. Amongst other things, it is of interest to see if HSB Living Lab can generate new ideas on how board-activities in condominiums should take form in the future. 

- The lab gives us the opportunity to try apps, virtual meetings and other types of services. We can see a present trend of difficulties in recruiting members to boards. We are here hoping to discover what will attract the new generation of condominium purchasers into becoming board members, says Roger Sundbom. 

Facts about HSB Living Lab 
What: 20-40 student apartments in temporary and portable modules
Where: At Johanneberg Science Park, at Chalmers Campus in Gothenburg
When: Construction starts fall of 2013
Who: Students with a home-savings account who study at Chalmers or the University of Gothenburg
How: The tenants get to participate in surveys, try new materials, solutions and evaluate ideas concerning future housing
Cooperation: HSB, Johanneberg Science Park and the research-project “Homes of Tomorrow” at Chalmers

If you have press related inquiries, please contact:

HSB
Roger Sundbom, Manager for real estate development, HSB Gothenburg
Phone: 031-85 93 72
E-mail: roger.sundbom@gbg.hsb.se

Johanneberg Science Park
Maria Ådahl, responsible for Open Arena Urban Development
Phone: 0721-810578
E-mail: maria.adahl@johannebergsciencepark.com

Chalmers University of Technology
Dept of  Civil and Environmental Engineering Homes of Tomorrow
Greg Morrison, professor
Phone: 031-7721937
E-mail: greg.morrison@chalmers.se

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Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg does research on and educates people in technology, science and architecture with a sustainable future as an all-embracing vision. Chalmers is known for its efficient innovation-environment and has eight areas of advance of international significance – Energy, Information and Communication technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Production, Built Environment and Transport. 

HSB’s mission is to create what we call Pleasant Living which is equivalent to excellent homes, well-managed buildings, a safe financing for housing and a pleasant community, in cooperation with the HSB-members. Since the members are the owners of HSB, they are also the ones who democratically determine what activities should be prioritized. This is what sets HSB apart from its competitors, and gives our members the chance to develop their housing into something unique and giving. 

Johanneberg Science Park is an environment for collaborations and exchange of ideas and knowledge between academia, industry and society in the Chalmers area in the center of Gothenburg. The activities focus on the areas of Built Environment, Energy and Materials/ Nano. Johanneberg Science Park is one of six science parks in Western Sweden who together strengthen the region’s attractiveness, competitiveness and capacity for growth.