Researchers author major UN report on greening social housing

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Green Building UN Habitat

A major new report on sustainable housing titled Green Building Interventions for Social Housing has been published by UN-Habitat and UNEP.

The report explores the inefficiencies of existing buildings across the world in terms of environmental impact. Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to more than double over the next 20 years but tackling the problem from the building sector, such as through green social housing, can create jobs and save money as well as create buildings which have a positive environmental influence. 

Our new research-based, practically-oriented publication will help in the development of sustainable and affordable housing solutions and social housing programmes in developing and transitional countries.

Prof Rajat Gupta, Director of Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxford Brookes University

The report also shows how investing in green social housing has the potential to boost local economies and improve living conditions, particularly for low-income communities. 

Professor Rajat Gupta, Principal Author of the report and Director of Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development at Oxford Brookes, said: “The provision of sustainable and affordable homes is an issue of profound international importance. 

“Our new research-based, practically-oriented publication will help in the development of sustainable and affordable housing solutions and social housing programmes in developing and transitional countries.”

Matt Gregg, Research Fellow in the Low Carbon Building Group, was a co-author of the report.

The social housing sector of countries is a vital element for supporting access to adequate housing for low-income populations. According to the Global Housing Strategy a ”paradigm shift” has to be undertaken in the housing sector of countries in order to provide both affordable and adequate housing for all, and to slow down the climate change impact as requested in the twin goal of the Habitat agenda. 

The research has undertaken analysis of international examples of legislative and regulatory frameworks for enabling green social housing and identified a range of technical measures for building new and improving existing social housing in a sustainable manner. The study has found that along with technical measures, resident engagement and behaviour change measures are essential for achieving green social housing. Monitoring and evaluation of performance of green social housing in practice can provide evidence about the actual outcomes and benefits of green buildings.

The study is implemented in the framework of UN-Habitat and UNEP collaboration on Sustainable Buildings, and as a part of the activities of the Global Network for Sustainable Housing.

The full report has already been downloaded over 2000 times and is available on the UN Habitat website.