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The Wohnprojekt in Vienna: participatory and ecological housing.

© Marie Fontaine -

In Vienna, an imposing wooden building attracts attention: it is the "Wohnprojekt" created in 2014. It is an eight-story "participatory building" housing 39 private apartments, with about 100 residents, and common spaces accessible to all.

The communal kitchen at the Wohnprojekt in Vienna
The communal kitchen at the Wohnprojekt in Vienna

The goal of this project is to bring together all generations by strengthening social ties through exchanges, and to collectively decrease their ecological footprint by living in an environmentally friendly habitat with an emphasis on sharing.

From the outset, the building has been designed to minimize its environmental impact.

The materials used in the construction are sustainable and locally sourced.

The architects also considered thermal insulation and energy efficiency, with double and triple glazed windows and quality insulation to limit heat loss.

The building relies on renewable energy to meet its electricity and heating needs.

Solar panels are installed on the roof of the building, allowing the production of part of the energy needed by the inhabitants. In addition, the heating and ventilation system is designed to be energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Rainwater harvesting systems have been installed to supply the toilets and water the green spaces.

Jardin potager du Wohnprojekt à Vienne
Wohnprojekt vegetable garden in Vienna

Green spaces play a central role in the project. Shared gardens allow residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables, promoting food self-sufficiency and healthy, local food. Urban agriculture also contributes to biodiversity and the creation of a pleasant microclimate, while providing a space for residents to relax and socialize.

They also share some objects like 7 cars and 2 cargo bikes!

The building also houses a café-grocery store in a room that faces the street, run by a couple of residents.

The ecological aspect of the Wohnprojekt is an essential element of its success and attractiveness. This project demonstrates that it is possible to reconcile harmonious "living together" with environmental protection and the promotion of a sustainable and responsible way of life.

There are other examples of participatory housing around the world:

- Marmalade Lane in Cambridge (UK) is a 42-unit participatory habitat with common spaces, awarded for its design and sustainable commitment.

- LaBorde in Toulouse (France) is an eco-neighborhood combining participatory, cooperative and social housing, with a focus on eco-responsibility.

- Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing in Seattle (USA) brings together nine households in a four-story sustainable urban building with a focus on carbon footprint reduction and water management.

- Sargfabrik in Vienna (Austria) is a 42-unit community housing project for 100 residents, committed to sustainability and social cohesion, which began before the Wohnprojekt.

The success of the Wohnprojekt, as well as other similar initiatives around the world, paves the way for more environmentally friendly urbanization, focused on well-being and solidarity among residents.


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