A new kind of community is being designed for a suburb outside of Amsterdam—ReGen Village will be fully self-sufficient, grow its own food, make its own energy, and handle its own waste. The 100-home community in will break ground this summer and be completed in 2017. It's the first village to be built, but ReGen Villages plans to build around the world.
Fast Company writer Adele Peters profiles the new community which will use a combination of aeroponics, aquaponics, permaculture, food forests, and high-yield organic farming to grow food, and will compost its waste by feeding it to livestock or soldier flies. The soldier flies will feed fish, and fish waste will fertilize an aquaculture system that produces fruit and vegetables for the homes. Seasonal gardens will be fertilized by waste from the livestock.
"We anticipate literally tons of abundant organic food every year—from vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs, chicken, small animal dairy and protein—that can continually grow and yield in the vertical garden systems all year long as supplement to the seasonal gardens and farming adjacent," says James Ehrlich, CEO of ReGen Villages, the California-based developer, which will also manage the neighborhood-slash-farm. The company partnered with Effekt, a Danish architecture firm, on the design.
The community will produce its own energy from a mix of geothermal, solar, solar thermal, wind, and biomass, and the energy will distributed through a smart gird. A biogas plant will turn leftover non-compostable waste into power and water.
"We're really looking at starting off as the Tesla of eco-villages," Ehrlich says. "That's the idea. So we're coming out as a little bit higher-end for Northern Europe." Next, the company wants to adapt the system for arid climates such as the Middle East.