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green 02/2016

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The journal for all aspects of sustainable planning and construction


Climate protection and housing construction have much in common: both are important aspects of providing for the future, both require long-term thinking and an orientation to people and both involve regular conflicts about costs. That housing ought to remain affordable is a credo that is undeniable. According to many stakeholders, the intended subtext is that we ought to build more cheaply, re-examine current building standards and refrain from any further tightening of the energy requirements placed on construction projects. Are, however, ecological sustainability and social sustainability in housing construction really as incompatible as is often maintained? 

The current issue of DETAIL green is dedicated to this question. In an interview with Thomas Jocher, we discuss alleged and real cost drivers in residential construction. The article entitled ‘Affordable housing in Europe’ takes a look at the housing situation in Zurich, Paris and London. The buildings documented in this issue illustrate the wealth of potential solutions for the housing dilemma. From terraced houses in an informal settlement in the outskirts of Cape Town to a cooperative housing estate in Zurich, they all combine below-average costs with ecological ambition and social added value.