• Sustainable neighbourhoods with zero greenhouse gas emissions


The ZEN Research Centre conducts research on zero emission neighbourhoods (ZEN) in smart cities

We develop solutions for future buildings and neighbourhoods with no greenhouse gas emissions and thereby contribute to a low carbon society.


Read more about us

What is a zero emission neighbourhood?

The ZEN Research Centre, together with its partners, has set out to create zero emission neighbourhoods (ZEN).

A zero emission neighbourhood aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions towards zero within its life cycle.




The ZEN Research Centre has currently 7 pilot projects in Norway which function as innovation hubs

The ZEN pilot projects serve as innovation hubs for the Centre’s research. They are geographically limited – primarily urban – areas in Norway in which the Centre’s researchers, together with building professionals, property developers, municipalities, energy companies, building owners and users, test new solutions for the construction, operation and use of neighbourhoods in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions on a neighbourhood scale to zero.


Our Research

The ZEN Research Centre’s research is highly multi-disciplinary.
We have organized our research activities in 6 work packages:

  • Work package 1: Analytical framework for the design and planning of zero emission neighbourhoods (ZEN)
  • Work package 2: Policy measures, innovation and business models
  • Work package 3: Responsive and energy efficient buildings
  • Work package 4: Energy flexible neighbourhoods
  • Work package 5: Local energy system optimization within a larger system
  • Work package 6: Pilot projects and living labs
Learn more about the Centre’s research


The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the host and leads the Centre together with SINTEF Building and Infrastructure and SINTEF Energy.

Personnel at the ZEN Research Centre

Postal address:

The Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings in Smart Cities (FME ZEN)

NTNU, Faculty of Architecture and Design
NO-7491 Trondheim

The ZEN Research Centre on social media

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About the Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research

The Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) scheme develops expertise and promotes innovation by supporting long-term research on environment-friendly energy and carbon capture and storage in collaborations between leading research groups and users. The centres are selected via a detailed process administered by the Research Council of Norway.