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.
The latter, in particular, is often the result of intensive participation. Anyone who listens to their target group cannot ignore their needs when planning for the future. This also applies to the editors of magazines. In spring 2016, we therefore set up an online survey in order to open up a discussion on the concept and contents of DETAIL green. The great response we received confirmed that DETAIL green is and will continue to be important as the voice of ecology and sustainability in building. We also received some valuable pointers as to how the magazine might be improved in future. We would like to sincerely thank all those who participated for their valuable feedback.