In the suburb of Waterschei, Genk, the oPEN Living Lab is making strides in its Positive Energy Neighbourhood project. The initiative, located in the historic miners’ district from the 1920s and the more recent “Nieuw Texas” social housing area, is set to transform the landscape with its innovative approach to technology, renovation processes, and social innovation.
A important moment occurred in November when the project team invited 27 tenants participating properties. In these homes, various energy technologies will be tested to pave the way for a positive energy neighbourhood. The collected ideas have now taken shape, with collaborative efforts involving contractors and architects. Residents were briefed on the installation of different techniques, the aesthetics of the new facade, and the overall planning. Emphasizing minimal inconvenience during renovations, the project team sought resident input to ensure a smooth process. The renovation of the pilot house is slated to commence in February 2024, marking a tangible step toward the project’s realization.
At the end of November industrial partners, Vito, and Wil, collaborated on a lean planning session for the pilot house, aligning activities on a timeline for seamless execution. The refined schedule, incorporating valuable insights from residents, will be communicated ahead of the works. An evaluation process post-pilot house renovation will further refine plans for subsequent houses.
The Positive Energy Neighbourhood initiative in Genk’s Waterschei district reflects a commitment to sustainable living and community engagement. As the project unfolds, it aims to set new benchmarks for energy efficiency and positive community impact, potentially serving as a model for future urban developments.