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

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.

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.

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).