Construction of three new energy efficient blocks of social housing, contributing to new homes for young people and an enhanced urban landscape
An empty plot in an existing neighbourhood was transformed from a desolate space into an energy efficient block of social housing focusing on helping young people to enter the housing market. Through this project, the local community gained not only more homes for young families but an improved perception of the urban landscape in the area.
The buildings were painted in beautiful colours, to be pleasantly integrated into the neighbourhood. There are trees and lawns between the blocks and parking facilities for the residents on the side.
This type of social housing, funded by the National Agency for Housing, is targeted to young people up to 38 years old and is specifically oriented towards persons who have never owned a home, irrespective of their salary. It also allows for tenants to establish a plan to buy their homes at reasonable prices after proving the financial capacity to do so. Importantly, the tenant has first right of refusal on any sale of their apartment.
With regards to the financial means from the National Agency for Housing, the project also succeeded in achieving a high degree of energy efficiency, through measures such as insulation in each level’s ceiling, along with the insulation of all basements, which serve as thermal buffers for the dwellings. Further, thermal windows and wall insulation provide acoustic and thermal protection. The buildings are included in the B Class of energy performance with energy consumption of 155.38 kWh/m2/year per block.

Resources needed

The project cost 9,151,280.34 LEI (2,046,945.74 EUR as at Jan 2014) to construct three new resource efficient blocks of social housing. In total 60 apartments: 32 single room apartments (between 45,08-54,22 sqm), 16 two room apartments (69,24 sqm) and 12 three room apartments (87,37 sqm).

Evidence of success

This project succeeded in combining affordability, opportunities for young people to enter the housing market, and sustainability. The development achieved B class energy performance and is inhabited by young people. It was made possible through the funds from the National Agency for Housing, which aims to help young people enter the housing market.

Potential for learning or transfer

The project has great potential for scaling to other cities or regions facing the same issues related to lack of social housing. Also bearing in mind its position close to the city centre and the proximity of the bus stations, the project ensured affordable housing for a key demographic group combined with accessible mobility. The latter is also an important factor to bear in mind in order to encourage sustainable and affordable mobility for future residents of a project.
The funds from the National Agency for Housing, that target young people who have never owned a home, can be scaled and transferred to other settings. The program supports young people in entering the housing market, but could also, as seen in this example, be combined with energy efficiency measures in housing complexes. An excellent combination to ensure affordability and green measures in the housing sector.

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Main institution
Alba Iulia Municipality
Centru, Romania (România)
Start Date
January 2009
End Date
December 2014


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