Research at the ZEN Research Centre

The research at ZEN Research Centre is divided into 6 work packages, WP1 – WP6.

Work package 6 “Pilot projects and living labs” will function as an innovation hub by bringing together the Centre’s research in several Norwegian pilot projects.



WP1: Analytical framework for the design and planning of zero emission neighbourhoods (ZEN)


Helge Brattebø


The goals of WP1 are to develop:

  • Definitions, targets and benchmarking for zero emission neighbourhoods based on customised indicators and quantitative and qualitative data;
  • A life cycle analysis methodology for the use of energy and emissions at a neighbourhood scale;
  • A citizen-centred architectural and urban toolbox for the design and planning of zero emission neighbourhoods, incl. visualisation and decision support.




WP2: Policy measures, innovation and business models


Asgeir Tomasgard


The research in WP2 evaluates possible transition pathways towards zero emission neighbourhoods consisting of integrated studies of policy measures, different forms of public-private collaboration, different financial and business models and instruments as well as improved innovation processes.



WP3: Responsive and energy efficient buildings


Judith Thomsen


WP3 aims to create cost effective, responsive, resource and energy efficient buildings by developing low carbon technologies and construction systems based on lifecycle design strategies.




WP4: Energy flexible neighbourhoods


Igor Sartori


WP4 develops knowledge, technologies and solutions for the design and operation of energy flexible neighbourhoods.



WP5: Local energy system optimization within a larger system


Ove Wolfgang


The researchers in WP5 develop and apply methodologies that identify the socio-economic optimal operation and expansion of energy systems within demarked areas.




WP 6: Pilot projects and living labs


Inger Andresen


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.



Find snapshots of our research in our annual report 2017:

Work Packages


"Sustainable neighbourhoods with zero greenhouse gas emissions"



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