IPCC Working Group III endorses Baugruppen

On 4 April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group III released their report on climate change mitigation processes and efforts in emissions reductions.

We spent the afternoon combing over it, including the technical summary – focusing on the Built Environment chapters: Urban Systems and other Settlements (Ch. 8), Buildings (Ch. 9), and Transportation (Ch. 10).

Unsurprisingly, most of the report included things that we have long advocated for, and are focusing on: Passivhaus/energetic retrofits, decarbonized construction (wood construction! prefabrication!), sponge cities/blue-green infrastructure, walkable & bike-friendly cities, and ecodistricts. Naturally, there are co-benefits for all of these topics (including big ones around reduction in noise and air pollution, and better public health outcomes) Рand many of also have amplifying effects at the industrial level as well. 

This is already our approach to planning and building – it’s foundational to who we are and why we were founded.

However, we were not expecting, and were thrilled to see, an endorsement for co-housing/Baugruppen in the report’s chapter on buildings:

Cohousing strategies provide users, in both new and existing buildings, a shared space (i.e, for laundry, offices, guest rooms and dining rooms) to complement their private space. Thus, reducing per capita consumption of resources including energy, water and electricity, while offering social benefits such as limiting loneliness of elderly people and single parents. Senior cooperative housing communities and eco-villages are considered among the cohousing examples to scale-up. Local authorities have an important role to play in the metamorphosis of housing by proposing communal spaces to be shared through urban planning and land use policies. Thus, encouraging inter-generational cohousing as well as interactions between people with different social backgrounds.

-IPCC WGIII Report, Ch. 9 Buildings

Baugruppen offer numerous advantages to the business as usual approach to multifamily development – they’re community-oriented, multigenerational, family-friendly, sustainable, livable, and more affordable.

Reducing loneliness for elderly residents, single parents Рeven families, or refugees Рand allowing people to live together in community, is a benefit definitely worth highlighting. Social sustainability, along with economic and environmental Рis critical  to meeting our climate goals, as laid out in the WGIII report.

If you would like to talk to know more about urban co-housing/baugruppen, please contact us.


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