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“Leaders of innovation, agents of fair energy transition”

Meet five finalists of the European Responsible Housing Awards

16 May 2019 | Social, The future of the EU & Housing
The L in Barcelona - Ravetlat architecture
The L in Barcelona - Ravetlat architecture

Leading up to the 3rd European Responsible Housing Award ceremony taking place in Lyon on June 6th as part of the International Social Housing Festival, we will be showcasing all 25 finalists with their shortlisted projects. “Leaders of innovation, agents of fair energy transition” means that through innovative, sustainable construction and renovation, to the highest standard possible within the financial means available - housing associations and tenants can reduce the environmental footprint of housing stock. Check out our finalists below...

Housing for senior citizens in Barcelona (L) – Barcelona, Spain

Private company Ravetllat arquitectura aimed to build public rental housing for older people, with services adapted to their needs regarding mobility and accessibility. The project features passive energy control measures to facilitate use and maintenance with minimal ecological impact, and promotes common areas as spaces of relationship.

Answering the question of "what are you especially proud of", Ravetllat respond that,

As architects of the project it is especially gratifying to see how the community spaces are largely used by the people living in the building.

The different gathering and meeting spaces, exterior terraces and multifunctional rooms have proved to work well with the elderly.

The project aims to make life easier and more comfortable for a vulnerable sector in society, by providing services, common spaces and climatic comfort for them.

This last matter is particularly important in this project as it has followed Passivhaus standards, proving to be effective in a Mediterranean climate. Temperature, ventilation, shade... all of these elements combined with the spatial configuration of the building provide a better life quality for the elderly.

More info

Germany’s first energy-autonomous apartment building – Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Cooperative company Wilhelmshavener Spar- und Baugesellschaft eG have constructed Germany’s first energy-autonomous apartment building, using innovative building technology, and enabling residents to obtain two thirds of their heat and electricity from their own resources at a flat-rate with transparency and cost-security.

Peter Krupinski of Wilhelmshavener Spar- und Bau says, 

Our energy autonomous apartment building is breaking new ground: it is first of its class in Germany and at the same time is introducing a new business model.

The next milestone on our project path was, that the first-hand experience and data offered by our new tenants proofed our assumed energy balance correct.

All the continuous positive feedback from tenants, citizens and the press is quite amazing – and we are impressed being considered for the Responsible Housing Awards 2019.

This is what makes one proud and encourages us to move forward with new, innovative projects that may change the way we live in urban areas.

More info

Rapid Delivery Housing at George’s Place - Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Ireland

The local authority Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council project provided 12 high quality energy-efficient A1-rated dwellings, using rapid-build, modular construction and high density approaches, which maximised the value of serviced brownfield land, in order to provide family housing with own door access.

The Council share with us that,

We are very proud of this project because although small in scale it reaches high to provide a pathfinder example of what can be achieved with responsible social housing. With a beautiful architectural design it is now a great place to live in at the heart of our town. It was delivered quickly and on budget providing much needed family housing. The house design has become the preferred model within this municipality and will be replicated at scale on future sites. And of course because it is highly energy efficient our tenants have more to spend on the enjoyable things in life!

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A neighbourhood running on water – Energy-efficiency in the middle of the world heritage – Bamberg, Germany

The foundation Joseph-Stiftung, kirchliches Wohnungsunternehmen has managed the historic “Upper Mills” neighbourhood, which features a student residence, hotel, restaurant and an under-water hydro-powerplant, since the 1970s. Today, the power-plant is completely emission-free, energy-savings projects have been initiated and the entire neighbourhood is completed powered by green energy.

Dr. Klemens Deinzer, CEO of Joseph-Stiftung, shares what they are most proud of, 

In this project the biggest challenge was to implement such a huge technical installation almost invisible in the sensitive area of a world cultural heritage. Our staff and project partners do a tremendous job running the facility in order to provide climate neutral ressources for the whole district. We are very proud to give an example that it is possible to provide sustainable energy by the use of natural ressources and contributing to the preservation of our cultural heritage at the same time. We are ready to go the extra mile for such a project any time because it is worth it in the long run.  

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Moerwijkzicht Breda – Roosendaal, Netherlands

Non-profit organisation Alwel – wanted to make “future-proof” their housing complex and so initiated a major energy renovation of 241 social rental homes. This involved numerous actions, including complete disconnected from gas connect, improved insulation and ventilation, increased comfort, decreased consumption, upgrades in lighting and window, new overall aesthetic following a design and colour scheme. However, it was the resident involvement and intensive collaboration (diverse mix, ca. 25 different nationalities, and 25 residents designed “floor contact person”) which was the project’s “most significant success factor”.

Regarding the sustainability element, Alwel say that,

Making Moerwijkzicht sustainable was a unique project in which we invested immensely in clearer communication among all the residents. From the start, we wanted to work together with the residents to jointly inform them and make choices collectively. In order to realise this, we asked 25 residents to act as contact persons.

The concept of working together with the residents and the way in which the forms of communication were shaped and resident participation was achieved, are seen as the biggest success factors by all parties involved and were crucial for achieving sustainability for this big residential building!

More info

The European Responsible Housing Awards is a joint initiative of Housing Europe, the International Union of Tenants (IUT) and Delphis.

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