HSB Living Lab – Shaping the Housing of Tomorrow

How will we live in the future? HSB Living Lab is a research and demonstration arena, consisting of actual homes for students and guest researchers. This exciting project innovates on site, enhancing the sustainability and quality of present and future homes and buildings.

What will future, sustainable housing look like? At HSB Living Lab, private and public sector and academia work together to create an innovation arena that integrates solutions in the real estate sector. The arena promotes more efficient use of land and counteracts market failure.

HSB is a Swedish housing cooperative founded in 1923 that organizes 554 000 members. The building in the Chalmers Technical University campus at Johanneberg Science Park was completed in June 2016. The first students moved in in September the same year. Knowledge is now being created around their daily living and working, forming the basis for innovative solutions supporting a greener lifestyle.

HSB living lab is made up of 4-modules houses. The modules make it possible to rebuild and move the building, which makes the lab easy to access for researchers, developers and innovators. Inside the Living Lab you find 29 apartments, where almost 40 persons have their permanent homes, at the same time as the whole house is a laboratory. There are regular apartments as well as co-living apartments inside the lab, in order to do research on various types of housing. The labs have see-through walls and doors, which is a part of the concept of open innovation that the living lab strives to enforce.

The R&D concept behind the living lab is not new, but the HSB Living Lab is still cutting edge in many aspects. The size of the lab in terms of the number of residents and the high living standard makes the HSB living lab one of the most ambitious efforts. This type of large living lab is believed to fit well in Sweden, due to the high level of trust between the citizens in the Swedish society. The project has already gained interest from foreign researchers and actors. At HSB living lab, cleantech startups are given the possibility to develop and test smart solutions that prevent wear and tear and saves energy.

The purpose of the work at the lab is to offer an arena where all actors easily can try out new ideas in a real environment; an arena where it is possible to try, analyze and innovate new materials, technologies and to perform behavioral studies to find the solutions needed for transforming housing and real estate to be more sustainable.

A total of 2000 sensors have been installed in the labs and apartments. The sensors measure everything that happens in the house, such as energy flows, social behaviors and the function of the materials. In addition to the sensors, the residents answer various surveys.

All actors with an idea about future sustainable housing are welcome to apply to do research or development in THE HSB Living Lab. As of today, around 80 projects have started in the HSB living lab, including academic research, student projects, development projects and EU projects.

The main partners in the project are HSB, Johanneberg Science Park and Chalmers Technical university campus. Apart from the main partners, 9 partners from academia and the public and private sectorS have agreed to conduct research at the HSB living lab for 10 years. The partners are also contributing to financing a research fund of SEK 2 000 000 a year, where all projects in the house can apply for funding.

HSB Living Lab is a member of the organization European Network of Living Labs.
elektrovägen 4, 41258 campus johanneberg
Focus areas
Bio Energy
Urban Planning
Smart and Sustainable Buildings
Climate, Energy & Environment
Global goals

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