Sustainable residential design, abstracts

CHIARA PICCARDO, ALAM ASHRAFUL, MARK HUGHES (Aalto University, Finland): The potential of wood in sustainable residential buildings: prospects in green building certifications
The building sector have a significant impact on the environment, accounting for 36% of CO2 emissions and about half of material consumption in Europe. Residential buildings dominate the European building stock. In Finland, residential buildings account for over 60% of the building stock and the rate of new buildings is higher compared to other building types. Therefore, residential buildings play an important role in the transition to sustainable built environment. A number of studies show that increasing the use of wood can lower the life cycle environmental impacts of buildings. In Scandinavia, the use of wood in small houses is an established practice, applied in 90% of the single family houses. Furthermore, the increasing number of high-rise wooden buildings suggests a growing interest in the potential of wood in large-scale buildings. Green building certifications provide criteria to assess the sustainability level of buildings and are expected to influence the building sector in the next future, by promoting the use of sustainable technologies. This study aims at investigating how green building certifications assess wood materials and how wood materials can contribute to fulfill sustainability criteria for green buildings. We analyze sustainability criteria adopted by the most common certification schemes in Finland, BREEAM, LEED and Nordic Ecolabelling, as well as the upcoming Level(s) certification promoted by the European Community. The analysis shows that the contribution of wood materials to the overall score of green building certifications accounts for between 5 and 19%. Wood is advantageous as a renewable and low-carbon material. Furthermore, wood can offer indirect benefits due to its recycling potential and to the water saving in construction phase. However, wood materials have to comply with some requirements, as sustainable forest management and low volatile organic compound content. The new European certification suggests a comprehensive assessment including circular material life cycles.
Keywords: wood materials, sustainability criteria, green building certifications, climate change

ANDREAS SAVVIDES, A. MICHAEL, V. IERIDES, E. TRIANTAFYLLIDOU, M. XENOPHONTOS, C. VASSILIADES (University of Cyprus, Cyprus; IMA Architecture, Cyprus): Development of an environmentally-friendly prefabricated housing unit – An affordable and spatially flexible housing solution
Nowadays, many people are subjected to forced resettlements, due to political, economic and ethnographic reasons. Most of these people, as they cross borders and move to new cities, face spatial segregation, which is closely linked to social and economic distance from appropriate housing venues. This generates the need for design proposals which address this challenge and help initiate a broader debate on the issues raised by the current refugee's crisis.
This movement of populations is turning into a pressing challenge for architects and urban planners in places where these people are relocated and who are increasingly tasked with designing new types of housing stock to house these ever more mobile groups of people, existing in an almost nomadic situation.
Based on the above, the research team of this paper is working on a new off-grid prefabricated residential model, the “Prefab Eco Smart House,” aiming to provide an affordable, spatially flexible and site adaptable construct. More precisely, the proposed design is characterized by an environmental design approach based on the principles of bioclimatic design, which offer minimization of energy requirements and an on-site energy production capability through the use of integrated solar systems. The proposed unit aims to be superior in terms of cost, standard of habitation and ease of configuration and expansion to conventional prefabricated housing units currently on offer or under development in Cyprus, reduction which will occur during its operation.
The modular ability of the proposed unit to create bigger units or even clusters in the form of neighborhood units relatively easily, allows for its siting in undeveloped and / or underutilized sites in the city.
Keywords: modular housing, neighborhood unit, sustainability, prefabrication, social support

MARKKU KARJALAINEN (Tampere University, Finland): Timber apartment building resident and builder surveys support timber construction in Finland [In Finnish]
By March 2019 altogether 77 over-two-story timber residential apartment buildings containing a total of 2 098 apartments have been built in Finland. New multi-story timber apartment buildings containing as many as 9300 apartments are being planned in different parts of the country.
Extensive feedback was gathered from residents of timber apartment buildings in 2000 and 2017. The resident surveys were conducted by Architect Markku Karjalainen. The residents had a positive attitude toward timber apartment buildings, and they hoped timber construction and use of wood would increase in Finland. Timber apartment buildings are commonly considered to be cozy, comfortable, and functional, with good indoor climate, successful architecture, and good fire safety and airborne sound insulation. Based on the resident surveys, particular attention should be paid to the impact sound insulation of the intermediate floors of timber apartment buildings. The residents hoped more wood would be used in the stairways, balconies, indoor surfaces, and façades.
According to feedback gathered from the developers of all the sites, all the sites turned out well and feedback during their use has been positive. The developers intend to build new timber apartment buildings. The developers hope there would be more competition in the housing construction field between different building materials, construction methods, and the various operators within the sector so that development work would be continuous and that housing developers and residents would have different alternatives available alongside of mainstream construction methods.
The study is a part of the Tampere University School of Architecture´s broader “Competitiveness of timber apartment buildings” study.
Keywords: timber construction, multi-story timber apartment building, resident survey