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PROBONO Living Labs are large-scale, iterative, open-innovation ecosystems, operating in a territorial context, integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership.


The Dublin Living Lab will be a sustainable, cost-effective, and zero-carbon Green Building Neighbourhood, networking key municipal buildings and optimising prototypical housing retrofit for future wider replication. The Living Lab will engage local citizens in the design and development of a green town centre and living neighbourhood. The primary goal is to improve the energy performance by considering energy inefficiency in older municipal buildings. Each of the buildings in the cluster is interlinked by their proximity, work, administration and importance for community, business, and tourism in the area. At the centre of this cluster is County Hall, where all administrative work is carried out and the local council function.


Recent preliminary research on energy monitoring, using IoT sensors, has highlighted the inefficiencies in County Hall.  Challenges also arise around mixed-use buildings, such as the harbour ferry terminal, social housing, and the Lexicon library. On the other hand, there are also opportunities to optimise the performance of these buildings for enabling them as prosumers of energy and linking them in a wider Green Building Neighbourhood to sustainable transportation options, via microgrids and innovative local energy stores.

Read more about the Dublin Living Lab objectives and expected impact

The project will be structured in four different areas: Chamartin Station, Chamartin Business District, Malmea-San Roque- Tres Olivos, Las Tablas Oeste. These four areas have independence in their development and will be executed by independent Compensation Boards and the Madrid City Council with responsibility for carrying out the constructive design of the project and its execution. However, there are also common infrastructures that must be executed jointly, such as energy infrastructure, telecommunications, drinking water supply and irrigation, wastewater, and mobility infrastructure, leaving local networks as the sole competencies of each compensation board. Currently, the main landowners and interested public entities are formalizing an agreement for the development of common infrastructures.

Read more about the Madrid Living Lab objectives and expected impact

SONAE, a multinational corporation managing a wide portfolio of companies, aims to become a great example of sustainability, reduce emissions, develop innovative waste transformation solutions and unavoidable waste disposal, reinforce electric micro-mobility, boost biodiversity, and increase the use of clean energy. SONAE already produces more energy than it consumes; however, they still have three main goals ahead: (1) Minimising CO2 emissions, (2) Exploring in-campus biodiversity, and (3) Only using clean (renewable) energy as a fuel.


In PROBONO, SONAE will engage many partners in the research, environmental and technology fields who can work towards diagnosing problems and designing solutions. They will experiment with solutions that are not market-ready yet but have market potential, aiming for high impact and replicability. They will measure previously defined KPIs, study replicability to other contexts, analyse the social, economic, and environmental impact and bridge the tested solutions to market.

Read more about the Porto Living Lab objectives and expected impact

In addition to the renovation of 2000 m² out of a total of approximately 7000 m², including transverse technical elements, ACE has a key role within the Living Lab Cluster. This is for the business & socio-economic aspects and tasks of the Living Lab Cluster. Here, ACE will play an active role in showing the positive impact of data-driven knowledge on sustainability decision-making and how to maximise business & social innovation by influencing behaviour. This will be particularly so in the day to management and operation of the school, in such areas as facilities, sustainable procurement, mobility and circular economy approaches as they relate to the educational and business needs of the school. This will make it possible to strengthen links with other local neighbourhood actors in order to move from a simple building renovation to a project that catalyses the dynamics of the neighbourhood around such initiatives as green energy and circular economy clustering. The pedagogy practised in schools is a real opportunity to amplify social innovation.

Read more about the Brussels Living Lab objectives and expected impact

Independently of PROBONO, Aarhus University is undergoing a major university-wide renovation programme called Campus 2.0. Campus 2.0 goals include (formalised in DGNB gold standard rating) (1) minimising environmental impact (sustainably developed, renewable and sustainable energy generation, reduced CO2 footprint). (2) promoting social qualities (“vibrant” campus, flexible study environment, offer housing for students and researchers).


A key issue is that, in general, there is no roadmap or pathway in achieving these goals. Therefore, the overarching ambition and objective of the PROBONO Aarhus LL is to provide the roadmap (for meeting environmental and social targets) in specific cases.​ The Aarhus LL targets buildings in two sites: University City (six buildings), and Campus Viborg (one building called K45. The objectives will be achieved through three lines of activities:​ (1) Flow batteries (Campus Viborg): advanced sustainable energy storage devices that address life cycle environment (LCA) and life cycle cost (LCC) for the entire site (i.e. across all buildings that form the neighbourhood of Campus Viborg). (2) Upcycling design (Campus Viborg): upcycling design strategies that repurpose existing structures for new housing that address life cycle environmental (LCA) and social qualities (SLCA). (3) Human-centred analysis tools (buildings on both sites): used to make as-designed social values explicit and visible to a wide range of stakeholders, and therefore also ensuring that social values are present and traceable throughout the design phase and operational phase (SLCA). 

Read more about the Aarhus Living Lab objectives and expected impact

CTU Campus, Faculty of Civil Engineering, is using physical models of the campus that are used in their DT solutions with augmented reality. They have developed DTs for transportation to and from the faculty, monitoring energy efficiency. The Prague Living Lab will explore the solutions developed in Aarhus and will extend their DT models to cover the built infrastructure and energy flows.


CTU’s ambition realised through PROBONO is to obtain results such as the scalable design of green, positive energy neighbourhoods, energy and resource efficient, seamless industrial construction/renovation workflows, recycling/reuse of construction materials, etc.

Read more about the Prague Living Lab objectives and expected impact

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