SMA-ECO Town Hidamari-no-Oka (Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture)A large-scale smart town where profits from selling electricity generated by the solar power generation facility of the town are used for the maintenance of single-family houses and other purposes, the first of its kind in Japan

SMA-ECO Town Hidamari-no-Oka (Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture)

Our company was selected through an invitational proposal process as the contractor for the Hidamari-no-Oka Advanced Urban Smart House Supply Project of Kuwana City. SMA-ECO Town Hidamari-no-Oka, the fifth smart town under this project, has been completed and opened. This town is designed to achieve net-zero energy consumption (net zero energy town*1), where the profits from selling electricity generated by its solar power generation facility are used for town management and the maintenance of its single-family houses, which is the first of its kind in Japan.
The project includes the verification of the feasibility of an ultra-small mobility vehicle by town residents and the use of two model houses as a place for environmental education for residents in adjacent areas and school students. Our efforts are not limited to creating an eco-friendly town but also sharing its advantages with residents in the form of services to support their daily life.
Some of the houses in the SMA-ECO Town Hidamari-no-Oka have been designated as energy-saving and low-impact houses. More efforts will be focused on town planning in harmony with nature.

*1 A town where the annual net primary energy consumption is zero or almost zero as a result of the improvement of the energy saving performance of the skeletal structures and facilities of houses and the effective use of renewable energies.

SMA-ECO station

Development scale: 16,648.44 m2; Lots for single-family houses: 66 lots (181.72 m2 on average); As communal facilities for residents, we installed the solar power generation facility of the town on the southern slope and the SMA-ECO station as a garage for ultra-small mobility vehicles.
(Drawing of the completed town as of February 2014)

Town Opening Ceremony held in July 2015

Town Opening Ceremony held in July 2015 (from right, Keiko Hirota, director general of the Mie Prefecture Department of Employment and Economic Affairs; Narutaka Ito, Mayor of Kuwana City; Managing Executive Officer Otomo (Daiwa); and Toshihiro Ito, Director of Kuwana City Complex Facility Poka-Poka)

Use of profits from selling electricity generated by the solar power generation facility of the town (about 100 kW) for the maintenance of single-family houses and other purposes, the first of its kind in Japan

A solar power generation system of about 100 kW is installed as a communal facility of the town. The town adopts the first system in Japan that is designed in such a way that the homeowners association consisting of the residents of Hidamari-no-Oka rents the solar power generation system to Daiwa Energy, a Daiwa House Group company, and uses the rental income to improve services to support residents’ daily life, instead of collecting association fees from the residents.
Services to support residents’ daily life are divided into two kinds: the management of the entire town and services for individual houses. The town management services include the visualization of energy consumption, the management and operation of ultra-small mobility vehicles, the maintenance of LED security lighting and security cameras. Services for individual houses include the maintenance of houses to make them last longer and to operate their facilities effectively, and the management of reserve funds for their future repair.

Solar power generation facilities of a total of some 100 kW

Solar power generation facilities of a total of some 100 kW (including those of about 10 kW installed on the roof of the SMA-ECO station, etc.) are installed on the southern slope of the town. The facilities not only contribute to achieving net-zero energy consumption in the town and improving services to support residents’ daily life but also supply electricity to nearby areas during power outage in case of an emergency under an agreement with Kuwana City.

Establishment of a system to maintain and improve the town into the future

The profits from selling electricity generated by the solar power generation facilities of the town are allocated to the homeowners association as rental income from the facilities. The amount of the income is converted into points*2, which are allocated to individual houses for a certain period of time. Residents can use these points for services, such as house cleaning. This is the first system of its kind in Japan.*3

*2 After the certain period of time, points are saved as cash for the future repair of each house.

*3 The first of its kind in Japan” according to a survey conducted by our company on February 27, 2014.

Scheme of the concept of sharing of an energy system

Security cameras

防犯カメラ

Security cameras are installed at important places in the town to constantly monitor the town to ensure the safety of the town. The costs of operating these security cameras are covered by the profits from the solar power generation facilities of the town, which are named “Machi-kado Solar Power Generator.”

Services for individual houses

各戸へのサービス例(ハウスクリーニング)

Services for individual houses include house cleaning, such as cleaning of the kitchen and air-conditioning systems, and rental of cleaning tools.

Successful development of a net zero energy town by energy saving, generation and storage at individual houses and energy generation by the town, the first of its kind in Mie Prefecture

Facilities using advanced technologies for saving, generating and storing energy are installed in all the 66 single-family houses in the SMA-ECO Town Hidamari-no-Oka. In addition, there are solar power generation facilities to generate energy for the entire town. With these facilities, we are aiming to develop the SMA-ECO Town Hidamari-no-Oka as a net zero energy town, the first of its kind in Mie Prefecture. It is estimated that the total amount of primary energy generated by individual houses and communal facilities exceeds the total amount consumed by individual houses, which makes the achievement rate of a net zero energy town at about 104.8%. A high-standard, large scale smart town will be developed.

The amount of energy usage of the entire town (annual estimate)

Achievement rate of a net zero energy town (estimated)

All houses are smart houses adopting passive design.
CO2 emissions saving through an ultra-small mobility vehicle rental system

Passive design,*5 which takes advantage of natural sources, is applied to all the houses in the town. Houses are designed in such a way as to reduce the use of air conditioning systems and lighting as much as possible. Tall shade trees, lawns and water-retaining pavements help reduce heat-island effects. A rainwater tank is installed at each house so that collected water can be used for watering their garden to reduce water bills. The aim of these efforts is to make maximum use of natural resources, such as the sun, wind and water, to achieve a low-carbon town.

*5 Architectural design that makes maximum use of ambient natural sources

スマートハウスを体感できるモデルハウス

Two model houses (in the photo), where people can experience the smart house, are open for one year to be used as a place for environmental education for residents in adjacent areas and school students.

Conceptual Scheme of a Smart House
1) Solar power generation panels

A solar power generation system is installed in all the 66 houses. Generated electricity can be used by each household, helping improve their daily lives both environmentally and economically.

2) EcoCute and ENE-FARM

EcoCute, a highly efficient water heating system, and ENE-FARM, which generates hot water and electricity, are installed to achieve not only a comfortable environment but also power and energy saving.

3) Lithium-ion battery (storage capacity of 6.2 kW)

Electricity is stored during the night for use during the day, helping reduce peak time electricity purchase. Stored electricity can be used during power outage in case of an emergency.

4) Charging outlet for EV and PHV

In preparation for the spread of the next-generation eco-cars in the near future, a charging facility is installed for electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV).

5) Visualization of energy-related data on TV

D-HEMS3, an HEMS originally developed by our company

D-HEMS3, an HEMS originally developed by our company
●State of power generation at the Machi-kado Solar Power Generator
●Energy-saving ranking in the town
●Energy consumption of communal facilities
●Gas consumption of the entire town

Houses are equipped with D-HEMS3, a home energy management system (HEMS) originally developed by our company, a system which monitors the energy consumption in a home in real time and visualizes the monitored data in an easy-to-understand way. The data obtained from the system can also be viewed on a TV screen. There is also a system to visualize data on the energy consumption of the entire town. It is expected that the visualization on a large screen will increase the awareness of energy saving among families and the entire town.

Ultra-small mobility vehicle rental system

The SMA-ECO station which was built in the southeast of the town as a communal facility for residents, serves as a garage for ultra-small mobility vehicles. A solar power generation system and storage batteries are installed to supply electricity to charge the mobility vehicles and operate the lights in and outside of the garage. Mobility vehicles are available for residents to use for free for a certain period of time to verify the feasibility of using them as transportation means in residential areas in the future.

Drawing contest for mobility vehicles

A contest to produce the drawing to be featured on the bodies of the ultra-small mobility vehicles to be used in the town was held inviting children in the sixth grade of elementary schools or younger living in Mie Prefecture. Under the theme of “Hidamari-de-hashiru Eco Cars (Eco Cars driving under the sun),” 79 children participated in the contest. A drawing entitled “Genki Ippai Aozora-go,” which was awarded the first prize, is used to decorate the bodies of the vehicles.

Ultra-small mobility vehicle and SMA-ECO station

Ultra-small mobility vehicle and SMA-ECO station

We developed the town development guidelines to maintain the beautiful landscapes of the town. We will continue our efforts to maintain and improve well-coordinated landscapes.

There is an ample space of at least two meters between each house in the town, which adds a bright and relaxing atmosphere to the town. Each house has its symbol tree that provides seasonal pleasures, such as flowers and autumn leaves, to its residents.

Comment from Mayor of Kuwana City

Hope to share information on the successful results of this first-of-its-kind project initiated as a collaboration between Kuwana City and Daiwa House Industry with people around the country

The SMA-ECO Town Hidamari-no-Oka is a first-of-its-kind in Japan project realized through collaboration between two like-minded entities: Kuwana City and Daiwa House Industry. Kuwana City aims to develop into “a city that places high priority on energy issues and is highly motivated to become a self-sufficient and safe city” and “a city that is environmentally friendly and can contribute to a recycling-oriented society.” Daiwa House Industry aims to achieve zero environmental impact and promotes sustainable houses and living. The town is equipped with a system that uses the large-scale solar power generation facilities of the town to provide services to support residents’ daily life, which is the first of its kind in Japan. It is our hope to share the information on the lifestyle ahead of the times to encourage many people to think about the environment and new lifestyles.

Narutaka Ito Mayor of Kuwana City

Narutaka Ito
Mayor of Kuwana City

Comment from customers

Our expectations are raised by the system designed to achieve an ecological town that is comfortable, safe and secure to live in at a low cost.

We sold our former house due to my husband’s transfer. After living in a rental house for a while after the relocation, we decided to build our own house again. While searching for a residential lot, we learned about this town. We were attracted by its location atop the middle of a hill, the concept of net zero, and the safe and secure design of the town. While the price seemed relatively high, when considering the net zero heating and lighting costs, it is reasonable. Our former house was equipped with a heating system designed to heat bricks using low-rate midnight power to store heat for use during the day. With that system, it was difficult to make a fine adjustment. The new house is equipped with ENE-FARM and floor heating. I’m sure we will be able to enjoy the winter.

Fujikura

Junko Fujikura
Miyabi
Urara

Comment from customers

We can totally rely on Daiwa House to provide us with after-sales service for many years. We’re looking forward to living a smart, ecological life in the town.

We just wanted to have a good view but, after receiving an explanation of the SMA-ECO town, we were very impressed by the concept behind the town, which is truly innovative and excellent: the town is designed in such a way as to use profits from the solar power generation facilities of the town to cover the maintenance costs of the town and individual houses and to enable its residents to maintain the beauty and comfort of the town and their houses without collecting maintenance fees from them. Daiwa House has built more houses than any other company in Hidamari-no-oka and is trustworthy in terms of after-sales service. After settling into our new house, I would definitely like to drive a mobility car.

Yamashita

Junichi Yamashita
Megumi
Yusei

Comment from Branch Manager

We made every possible effort to accomplish this project, which I wanted to implement in Kuwana City, which is positive in promoting smart houses, by any means.

The Daiwa House Group has been making efforts to build its recognition in Kuwana City. For this reason, I wanted to implement this project in Hidamari-no-oka, where we had built more houses than any other company, by any means. I shared this hope of mine with members of the Head Office and branches and others concerned. Our concerted efforts have enabled us to successfully develop various systems, such as a system to use profits from selling electricity generated by the solar power generation facilities for services to support residents’ daily life. This is the first system of its kind in Japan. We will implement more measures to further improve the value of the town and contribute to spreading SMA-ECO towns.

Susumu Abe Kuwana Branch Manager

Susumu Abe
Kuwana Branch Manager

Comment from a member of the development team

This town is a successful result achieved by the enthusiasm and efforts of the many people involved and is an important step to the next project.

Since this project was something totally new to our company, there were many difficulties to overcome. We asked for cooperation from members of our company’s research laboratory and many other people to address the challenges. Without the involvement of these people, this project wouldn’t have been possible to achieve. It has been successfully completed and will serve as a stepping stone toward the next project. We will continue to take on new challenges, such as the implementation of power interchange operation.

Takuya Konno Chief, Information Development Group

Takuya Konno
Chief, Information Development Group
Planning Section
Osaka Urban Development Department


Back to top