Skype is apparently not the limit for the information development community in Estonia. Out of the same area where the Skype communications platform was conceived—characterized as “a sort of Silicon Valley on the Baltic Sea” by The New York Times—now comes word of a $240 million, 160-acre sustainable mixed-use community ready to break ground this summer and scheduled for completion in 10 years.
Italian architect Francesco De Luca describes his design for Oxford Park as “a beautiful vision of the future of working and living,” which he believes will be “undoubtedly the most innovative and sustainable development in Europe today.”
Developers of the site—which is located about 30 minutes inland from the seaport and capital city of Tallinn, in scenic Juuru municipality—have announced that they will use smart-grid technology to maximize the project's energy efficiency.
Specifically, smart meters will enable the 350 on-site households, as well as the businesses, at Oxford Park to closely monitor their energy consumption and save money by using appliances at off-peak times. In addition, they will be able to earn income from their own energy generation, and to more accurately predict their electricity usage and costs.
Power will be available, even if the grid falls out, via an on-site system. The Tallinn-based Oxford Sustainable Group said in an April 19 interview with ERR News that Oxford Park would be able to integrate electricity provided from various sources, including that generated by solar panels—thereby saving up to 50 percent in energy costs.
One of the more interesting features of the new development will be the Oxford Park FuelBar, described by the developers as a “total fueling” concept. As the name suggests, the FuelBar will provide fuel for almost any type of sustainable transport on the market today and includes expansion room for new fuel types, as they become available in the future. Prospective fueling options include: petrol, diesel, bio-diesel, slow electrical power, fast-charging electrical power, hydrogen/methane, LPG and gas, electrical battery swap, alternative biofuel (two types), and solid fuel.
The Oxford Sustainable Group is the market-leading developer of sustainable projects throughout the Central/Northern Europe region. It was the first certified CarbonNeutral company in Eastern Europe and a founding member of Central Eastern Europe (CEE)/World Green Building Council.
“Oxford Park is a carefully planned, sustainable community that will see quiet, organic and natural development in the next 10 years, along with its inhabitants and companies,” said Hadley Barrett, chairman of the Group’s management board.