Project

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Shrinking housing's environmental footprint (SHEF)

English title Shrinking housing's environmental footprint (SHEF)
Applicant Thalmann Philippe
Number 172435
Funding scheme NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
Research institution LEURE ENAC EPFL
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.10.2017 - 30.09.2021
Approved amount 725'788.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Economics
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (10)

Building/Construction; buildings; resource efficiency; material flow; environmental footprint; material recycling; sustainability; housing; liveability; housing area

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
In diesem Projekt untersuchen wir Massnahmen, die den Ressourcenverbrauch des Wohnens senken. Dazu entwickeln wir unterschiedliche Ansätze für die Bewohnerinnen und Bewohner, die Gebäudeeigentümerschaft und die Behörden. Die Massnahmen betreffen die Phasen Bau, Nutzung und Sanierung von Wohngebäuden.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Das Projekt verbindet Methoden aus den Natur- und Sozialwissenschaften. Ein Hauptmerkmal ist der Einbezug zweier Wohngenossenschaften – ABZ (Zürich), SCHL (Lausanne) – und der Schweizer Mobiliar, deren Wohnungsbestände, total ca. 10'000 Wohnungen, vertieft untersucht werden. Mit diesen Partnern erarbeiten wir Massnahmen zur Verbesserung der Ressourceneffizienz. Die ökologischen Auswirkungen der Bestände werden anhand eines Modells simuliert.

Ziel
Unser Ziel ist, besser zu verstehen, welche Massnahmen den Fussabdruck von Gebäuden in welchem Ausmass reduzieren können. Wir werden die Projektergebnisse mit verschiedenen Typen von Gebäudeeigentümern und ihren Mieterinnen und Mietern diskutieren. Dabei wollen wir wirksame und konsensfähige Handlungsempfehlungen entwickeln, deren Auswirkungen auf Komfort, Kosten, Renditen und Ressourcenverbrauch modellieren und transparent offengelegen. Damit möchten wir mögliche Pfade für ein nachhaltigeres Wohnen aufzeigen.

Bedeutung
Seit 1990 ist die Schweizer Bevölkerung um 23 Prozent gestiegen, ihre Wohnfläche aber um 40 Prozent. Letztere ist einer der Haupttreiber des Ressourcenverbrauchs. Mit den Massnahmenempfehlungen des Projekts soll der materielle Fussabdruck von Mehrfamilienhäusern gesenkt werden, ohne den Energieverbrauch zu erhöhen. Zugleich soll Rücksicht auf die Akzeptanz und die Wirtschaftlichkeit genommen werden. Dies ist dank der engen Zusammenarbeit mit grossen Gebäudeeigentümern möglich, die solche Massnahmen mitentwickeln und umsetzen wollen. Das Projekt liefert damit einen Beitrag zum Ziel 11 für nachhaltige Entwicklung, nachhaltige Städte und Gemeinden.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Dans ce projet, nous étudions les mesures visant à réduire la consommation de ressources de l’habitat. Nous développons dans ce cadre diverses approches à l’attention des habitants et habitantes, des propriétaires d’immeubles et des autorités. Les mesures concernent les phases de construction, d’utilisation et de réhabilitation de bâtiments résidentiels.
Lay summary

Contexte
Le projet relie des méthodes issues des sciences naturelles et des sciences sociales. Sa caractéristique principale est l’implication de deux sociétés coopératives d’habitation – ABZ (Zurich), SCHL (Lausanne) – et de la Mobilière Suisse, dont les parcs immobiliers (env. 10 000 appartements au total) sont examinés en détails. Avec ces partenaires, nous travaillons sur des mesures visant une utilisation plus efficace des ressources. L’impact environnemental des parcs immobiliers est simulé au moyen d’un modèle.

Objectifs
Notre objectif est de mieux comprendre quelles mesures pourraient réduire l’empreinte environnementale des bâtiments et dans quelle proportion. Nous discuterons des résultats du projet avec différents types de propriétaires d’immeubles et leurs locataires. À cet effet, nous entendons élaborer des mesures efficaces et consensuelles, modéliser leurs effets sur le confort, les coûts, les rendements et la consommation de ressources, et communiquer sur cet ensemble d'aspects de manière transparente. De cette façon, nous souhaitons fournir des pistes possibles vers un habitat plus durable.

Importance
Depuis 1990, la population suisse a augmenté de 23 %. Dans le même temps, la surface du territoire affectée au logement s’est accrue de 40 %. Or, l'habitat est l’un des facteurs les plus gourmands en matière de ressources. Les mesures recommandées par le projet visent à réduire l'empreinte matérielle des immeubles d’habitation sans augmenter la consommation d’énergie. Parallèlement, il convient de tenir compte de l'acceptation et de la rentabilité. Cela est rendu possible par l’étroite collaboration avec de grands propriétaires d’immeubles résolus à participer au développement de telles mesures et à leur mise en place. Ainsi, le projet participe au 11e objectif de développement durable des Nations Unies qui vise à rendre les villes et les communautés durables.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
This project is examining measures for reducing the consumption of resources in housing. It is also developing a range of approaches for residents, building owners and authorities. The measures relate to the construction, use and renovation phases of residential buildings.
Lay summary

Background
The project will combine methodologies from the natural and social sciences. A major feature is the inclusion of two housing cooperative associations – ABZ, Zurich and SCHL, Lausanne – plus insurer and asset manager Schweizer Mobiliar, whose housing stock (a total of approximately 10,000 apartments) will be studied in depth. Together with these partners we will develop measures to improve resource efficiency. Housing’s ecological impact will be measured using a simulation model.

Aims
The aim of this project is to better understand by which means, and to what extent, the footprint of buildings can be reduced. We will discuss the project’s results with a range of building owners and tenants, together with whom we want to develop effective and consensus-based recommendations whose impacts on comfort, costs, returns and resource consumption are modelled and made transparent. In this way, possible paths for sustainable living can be presented.

Importance
Since 1990, the population of Switzerland has grown by 23 percent, while living space has increased by 40 percent. The latter is one of the main drivers of resource consumption. The project’s recommended measures aim to reduce the material footprint of apartment buildings without increasing their energy consumption. At the same time, acceptance and economic efficiency should also be taken into account. This will be possible thanks to close cooperation with major building owners who co-develop such measures and want to implement them. The project will thus contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal no. 11 (sustainable cities and communities).

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.02.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Allgemeine Baugenossenschaft Zürich (ABZ) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Friedlipartner Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Swiss Mobiliar Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Société coopérative d'habitation Lausanne (SCHL) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Praktischer Umweltschutz Schweiz PUSCH Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects SIA Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Sustainable construction network Switzerland NNBS Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Federal Office for Spatial Development Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Wohnbaugenossenschaften Schweiz/Coopératives d'habitation Suisse Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Federal housing office (OFL/BWO) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
136623 Life Cycle Management of wood in Switzerland: methods, tools and environmental decision support 01.03.2012 NRP 66 Resource Wood

Abstract

The main goal of the project is to identify and promote practical measures that dwellers, property owners and public authorities can implement to reduce the use of primary resources and the environmental impacts of housing, that is, shrinking housing’s environmental footprint (SHEF). These measures cover the construction, use, and refurbishment phases of buildings. They must be effective while preserving the social and economic qualities of housing: liveability, affordability, full cost coverage or return on investment. This project follows an inter- and transdisciplinary approach. It combines methods from natural sciences and engineering with quantitative and qualitative social science approaches. A key characteristic of the project is the involvement of our collaboration partners ABZ, SCHL and Swiss Mobiliar during the entire research process, including study design, occupants’ surveys, model development and validation, identification and assessment of measures, and dissemination. The core product of the project will be an agent-based model (ABM) that allows us to represent the housing-related decisions made by property owners and by occupants as well as the interplay of their decisions leading to the changing occupation of the evolving stock of dwellings. The ABM will be calibrated with real data from our collaboration partners, who own together over 10,000 dwellings. In particular, we will identify determinants of decisions of owners and occupants through a series of workshops and surveys. The calibrated model will be used to project a baseline scenario for the populations of buildings, dwellings and occupants and to simulate alternative scenarios triggered by measures designed to reduce the environmental impacts of housing. Thereby, the project aims to test the feasibility and impacts of such measures. The novelty of our research is the integration of the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability, with a systems perspective. We will consider the life cycles of both buildings and occupants. We will track the life-course of occupants by studying different life stages, e.g. household formation (e.g. marriage), growth (parenthood), shrinking (children move out), and age-related requirements (widowhood, handicaps, etc.). We will identify and formalize decision patterns of property owners and occupants. Furthermore, the model will track the physical material flows due to construction, maintenance, refurbishment and replacement of buildings. The level of detail and scale will be larger than in any previous work and will allow for studying regional differences and variability in Switzerland. It will also quantify future primary resource demands and secondary resource flows driven by the housing demands of a future, growing and ageing population. It will indicate opportunities and challenges for closing material loops from the building stock. Future scenarios will be assessed providing input into the discussion of incentives needed to reduce environmental impacts.The core project team has expertise in economics, social sciences, building physics, and environmental engineering and sciences, which are an ideal basis for this project. Regular interactions with our collaboration partners, their occupants and with the Federal Housing Office will ensure that a large set of measures is examined and that only effective (as shown with the ABM), feasible (from a practical point of view) and socially acceptable measures are retained. Using various dissemination channels and working with implementation partners, the measures and the statistical, system, goal and transformational knowledge generated in this project will be made available to a wide audience, including building stock owners (for profit and non-profit) and their occupants wishing to reduce their environmental footprint while maintaining or even improving their quality of life.
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