Innovative Ideas on the Home of the Future Populate the Web in Brazil

Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A new coception of home should be and a new way to use energy. This is the main idea behind the Brazilian project NO.V.A.Nós Vivemos or Amanhã (“We Are Living for Tomorrow”), which has reached impressive online numbers in just a few months.

The initiative was launched in August by Ampla, an Enel Group company with more than 2.8 million customers in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Since then, the project has engaged over 198 thousand people on the project Facebook page – which has received over 38,600 likes – generating about 158 thousand interactions online, with over 100,000 page views (out of which 42 percent come from mobile devices).

In November, NO.V.A.  launched a digital crowdsourcing platform, where users can submit their ideas for the construction of a sustainable and environmentally friendly environment.

In just over three months, the platform has received nearly 1,500 ideas, of which 615 related to innovative technologies, 270 to intelligent systems and 240 related to comfort and convenience. The proposals are related to different fields, ranging from water reuse to the creation of information tables with the nutritional value of each meal, but the most popular are the most efficient ways to use solar power, adopting best practices that participants have found anywhere in the world, from Finland to Australia.

The data collected so far reveals that 40 percent of the participants are aged between 18 and 34, and 54 percent are female. The platform members live in different Brazilian states, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Ceará and Minas Gerais.

The crowdsourcing initiative will be active until next June, followed by a phase in which ideas will be selected by the Arthur Casas architectural firm.

During the second phase of the project in 2016, the “ideal” house will be built, in the municipality of Niterói: once completed, it will be used to test new technologies for energy efficiency. It will act as an actual laboratory, inhabited by volunteers, to assess the impact on the daily life of technological innovations and consumption patterns.

The NO.V.A. project is supported by an investment of R$5 million (about $2 million US), funded by the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency's research and development programme, and sees the collaboration, of Ampla, the municipality of Niterói, the Foundation Getulio Vargas (FGV) and the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC-Rio). The second phase of the initiative will see the participation of Prátil, a Brazilian Enel Group company, specialised in "smart" energy solutions.