Many of the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition are found in the built environment. A major part of the existing housing stock needs to be thoroughly renovated to become more energy efficient. The focus is now on improving the technical quality of the dwellings: better insulation, more efficient installations, smart meters. However, in addition to a technological challenge, energy-neutral or even energy-producing buildings also create a fundamental design challenge. This not only involves the building as such, but also its relationship with the environment, energy infrastructure, and public space.

Research by Design into New Building Typologies
In December 2017, the IABR issued an Open Call and subsequently selected the architecture office Civic to carry out research by design into new building typologies for the energy transition. Civic not only focuses on the building, but also on the collective energy infrastructure and the building’s energy facilities, their relationship to the public space, and their shared use. The research by design has to generate new typologies that can accelerate the energy transition as well as improve spatial, usable quality. Rotterdam is the first test area, but the research is based on universal typologies to ensure that solutions are scalable and applicable in other locations.