About this good practice
The high demand for social housing in Extremadura region and the importance of the construction sector in the amount of energy consumed has led to the development of the EDEA project, "Development of Eco-Efficiency Architecture: Methods and Technologies for Public Social Housing Building in Extremadura" which was implemented from 2009 to 2013. This project was funded within the LIFE+07 call and was carried out by Extremadura’s regional government in collaboration with INTROMAC, AGENEX, GOP Project office S.A, and Valladares Engineering.
The project involved the construction of 2 detached single-family homes, following the housing typology outlined in the “Special Housing Plan”. Both buildings share the same construction characteristics and orientation. One is the "reference house", while the second is the "experimental house." As their names imply, the first one followed the defined construction specifications at the time, while the second incorporated innovative sustainable measures, both passive and active.
Monitoring both buildings provided comparative data and performance on the various measures implemented in the housing units in real-time. These results contributed to the development of new methodologies for designing and constructing social housing. This allowed to build affordable housing that includes sustainable criteria, improves its energy performance, and integrates RES, improving the accessibility of social groups with limited incomes throughout the region.
Total budget: 2,38 MEUR, where the 49,39% was co-financed by the EU.
More than 50 companies from the building and energy sectors were involved in the project.
Evidence of success
The EDEA project influenced the 'Special Housing Plan,' aimed at enhancing the comfort and image of the social housing built by Extremadura’s regional government. This project's methodology allows to provide advice on housing policies in the region. Additionally, national outreach was established with the Ministry of Housing to disseminate project results to other Spanish regions. In 2013, this project received one of the Best European Projects, LIFE+2013' award in the environmental category.
Potential for learning or transfer
Social housing in the region of Extremadura remained unexplored, and the construction sector requires a trial-and-error test. This is where the EDEA project emerged as a groundbreaking initiative. Through the twin demonstrators, it allowed the testing of different solutions and the dissemination of their results, which could enhance regional policies and construction standards.
As a result, the publication of a 'Methodological Guide on Sustainability' facilitates the transfer of the acquired methodology to regions with similar conditions. The project has generated a cost-effective and sustainable model for bio-climatic housing, suitable for individuals with limited incomes. It also brings social benefits, including improved living conditions in Spanish social housing (increased comfort and human health benefits), citizen and user education and awareness regarding this type of housing, and training for stakeholders in construction, engineering, acoustics, and energy fields.