Karise Permatopia – EcoVillage

Embedded thumbnail for Karise Permatopia – EcoVillage

A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY

ECO-VILLAGE DEVELOPED SOUTH OF COPENHAGEN

Permatopia is a 30-hectare eco-village at Karise, south of Copenhagen, developed in accordance with renewable energy, recycling and self-sufficiency principles. It has 90 houses built using renewable materials to rigorous energy efficiency standards and a farm that supplies produce for residents.

The site is owned by 200 professional and amateur farmers, and eco-enthusiasts. Residents began moving in in late 2017. Permatopia’s cooperative community model, with good railway connections to Copenhagen, is proving attractive, with some 200 people on a waiting list for houses.

Geothermal energy

The village is heated using geothermal energy from a pump powered by a wind turbine and connected to a tank that stores heat for when there is no wind. Annually, the system produces 300 megawatt hours (MWh) of heat for residents, plus about 200 MWh for the farm and communal building, avoiding CO2 emissions of 100 tonnes a year. Preparations are now being made to adapt the turbine for charging electric vehicles.

All houses have urine-diverting toilets that provide sanitation with no flush water and allow urine to be used as fertiliser on the farm. A sewage network takes waste water to an on-site cleaning facility where it is filtered by willow trees, following which the nutrients are harvested, composted and also used for fertiliser. An additional system is in place for collection and re-use of rainwater.

Harmony with nature

Permatopia is based on an awareness that living in harmony with natural cycles is essential for sustainability. Its founders also take the view that this can only be achieved through a social structure centred on cohesive local communities.

The use of relatively simple technologies shows that the tools needed to make the energy transition already exist, while making the model easy to replicate across Europe, with slight adjustments to allow for climatic differences.