From the Olympics to sustainable homes

Published on Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The XXXI Olympics are about to take off in Rio de Janeiro, marking the first time a South American country hosts the Olympic games. From August 5th to 21st sports fans will have their eyes set on the Brazilian metropolis, which will host over 10 thousand athletes from 206 countries, competing in 42 disciplines.

Since its inception in ancient Greece, the event has been a symbol of peace, fair play between different cultures, and the ability to take up  a challenge and innovate. It is with this spirit that from August 9th to 11th the other Brazilian metropolis, São Paulo, will host the seventh edition of the Greenbuilding Brasil international conference: the largest event dedicated to sustainable and innovative construction and architecture in the Mercosur region (the South American Common Market). The conference is expected to host more than 8,000 visitors, 140 speakers, 1,500 congresses and over 100 exhibitors.

As in other South American countries, Brazil’s construction industry is booming and constantly searching for new green solutions. In the first trimester of 2016, the country recorded the second best term since 2007, in terms of new LEED® certified projects. LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -  is a green building certification system used in 140 countries to define sustainability standards, from design to construction materials and energy efficiency.

O Poder da Transformação em suas Mãos (The Power of Transformation in your Hands) is the slogan chosen for Greenbuilding Brasil 2016, once again highlighting the importance of sustainability and the protection of the environment as the foundation for innovation in all aspects of the building industry. Among these, a key role is played by the reduction of resources and energy consumption. The event will therefore also include the NO.V.A. project sponsored by the Enel Group, through the Brazilian subsidiaries Ampla and Pratìl.

NO.V.A  short for Nós Vivemos or Amanhã  (We are Living Tomorrow) is a crowdsourcing project launched in December 2014 through a digital platform, where people of all ages and nationalities contributed with their ideas to create an innovative project for the Home of the Future: a 100 percent sustainable home equipped with smart technologies.

The international competition gathered ideas from all corners of the world, thanks to an open web platform and viral Facebook and Twitter pages, collecting 4,000 ideas from 110 countries in just over six months. The proposals were discussed and voted on by the online community, and then analysed by the Research and Development team of Enel Brazil in order to define a technical project for the Home of the Future. In September 2015, the final architectural project, which was developed in collaboration with the Arthur Casas architectural firm, was officially presented both at Expo Milano 2015 (an event that held a smart grid created by our group for a city of 20 thousand inhabitants) and at Design Week in Rio de Janeiro.

The sustainable home will have a “green roof” with trees and plants to help lower indoor temperatures. Rainwater will be used to water the roof and vegetable gardens. The home will be self-sufficient in terms of energy, thanks to its photovoltaic panels and wind turbines, and gas for cooking purposes through the gas produced by organic waste. The house will also be equipped with intelligent remoted-controlled appliances that can be managed via smartphones and tablets. The project is being evaluated for an energy efficiency and environmental quality certification, issued by Green Building Council Brasil and the Living Building Challenge (LBC) of the International Living Future Institute.

A concrete example of Open Innovation, or better yet, Innovability: a concept that combines innovation and sustainability and that our Group has placed among the pillars of our new Open Power Strategy.