SHE (Sustainable Housing in Europe)

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The SHE project  (Sustainable Housing in Europe)

The SHE project (Sustainable Housing in Europe) was supported by the European commission in the FP5 programme (City of tomorrow).

It began in 2004 and ended in 2009 and was coordinated by Roberto Ballaroto and Alain Lusardi for the Italian Confcooperative (Roma).


SHE partnership

For a short summary and the partnership description download the newsletter 2

Problems to be solved

The reasons moving the SHE project lie in the challenge to create a living example of sustainable housing methods and criteria, that may contribute to better acceptance of sustainable building processes in Europe and potentially contribute to improving environmental and health conditions of the end users and to move the few present examples of sustainable housing from the “extraordinary” to the “ordinary” as well as to improve the link between the buildings and the neighbourhoods in which the inhabitants live…. The concern and daily involvement of the social housing organisations part of the consortium in the field of residential buildings has lead to the theory that an holistic study and assessment of the building life-cycle, from an environmentally-friendly and sustainable point of view, including the buildings in their context, i.e. the neighbourhood linked to the city (centre), will certainly ease balancing investment costs with economic, environmental as well as social benefits so to demonstrate the real feasibility and important application of such principles to ensure better living conditions for present and future generations.

Scientific objectives and approach

The project aims:

  • to assess and demonstrate the real feasibility of sustainable housing using pilot projects (200 dwellings in 4 different EU countries, namely Denmark, France, Italy and Portugal),
  • to integrate sustainability and closer participation of tenants in the principal stages of the construction decision-making process, at a reasonable cost and with high potential to be replicated,
  • to develop best practice solutions to set up quality assessment and guidelines based on the direct experience acquired and
  • to create a transferable and demonstrative effect of the innovative methods, operations and achievements by defining tools and procedures in a general methodology to manage sustainability throughout the whole building process and equipping all stakeholders with the understanding of long-term costs and direct and indirect benefits of sustainable construction,
  • to evaluate the degree of satisfaction of sustainable houses by future tenants.

The innovative aspects of the project are:

  • to combine promotion of long-term management of land, water, waste, energy and natural resources with users, i.e. tenants, involvement both during the design and future management of the cities of tomorrow.
  • to work out a socioeconomic evaluation model using life cycle costing:

Monitoring activities, as defined according to specific protocols and strategies, will be used in order to realistically assess the effects and effectiveness of the technical and socio-economic issues. These activities together with evaluation practices will document the financial, functional and social appeal of the proposed approach, thus stimulating assessment as common and not experimental practice for urban development. The same structure and associates of the consortium, a European network of social housing organisations and a team of experts, guarantees the best and strongest mean to spread the results and replicate the experience on a national and international scale.

The link with the urban level (city and neighbourhoods) is made due to the 2 partners who were also involved in the HQE2R project: CSTB (with Catherine Charlot-Valdieu, the HQE2R coordinator) and La Calade.

Expected impact

The outcomes of the pilot projects will produce:

  • the development, integration and demonstration of practical methodologies to improve assessment of best practice solutions for sustainable constructions in order to move it “from the extraordinary to the ordinary”,
  • the definition of new procedures to ensure effective direct participation of the final users in the decision-making process thus favouring social inclusion,
  • an integrated approach aiming at the building up of the cities of tomorrow in accordance with sustainability principles through the setting of evaluation criteria and operative recommendations for the management of the entire building process inside a neighbourhood and a city. Benefits in the short and long-term will be felt and employed not only by the social housing organisations but also by all the members of the national social housing associations involved along with the European liaison committee for social housing (CECODHAS), which will represent the best mean to disseminate the results to other candidate countries. The same dissemination action will be shared with government authorities, city planners and local authorities for planning actions and the establishment of new regulations, tenants and their organisations, who may employ the models to serve their needs for improving the quality of life and finally by construction companies, designers, architects in conjunction with the housing organisations.

Results of the socio-economic analysis

Get these results by downloading the report named Economic and social issues towards sustainable housings (February 2009)

Final conference

Download the files on the final conference:

© 2009