Sustainable housing for seniors

Urban Challenges

DIABAHS is an ongoing evaluative-research-project focusing on how to create sustainable housing for senior citizens and the role of dialogue and collaboration with the local community. The project is a collaboration between Chalmers Architecture and Civil Engineering and FoU i Väst/the Gothenburg Region of Local Authorities and will last until 2019.  

Society is facing a challenge due to the ageing society in combination with a housing stock that does not correspond to the needs of older people. The living arrangements for older people has changed dramatically during the last decades, with a de-institutionalization trend resulting in fewer nursing homes and sheltered housing. As a reaction to this the development of different models for senior housing and extra care housing (trygghetsboende) etcetera has expanded. However, little is known about how sustainable housing for seniors should be defined and the outcome of such living arrangements.

DIABAHS will contribute with knowledge useful for the planning of sustainable housing for seniors. The project will result in scientific articles, reports and a handbook with practical information for construction clients, architects and planners.

Overall Objective

The overall objective of the project is to investigate what can be defined as sustainable housing for seniors from different perspectives, and the role of construction clients’ and architects’ dialogue with the local community. The perspectives included are: the tenants, the municipalities, the construction clients and the architects. 

Local context - Gothenburg, Mölndal, Tjörn and Alingsås 

Four different building projects in municipalities located in the Gothenburg Region will be studied, namely:
•    Lundby park in Gothenburg
•    Bifrost in Mölndal
•    Kållekärr at Tjörn 
•    Noltorp in Alingsås 

All four building projects target seniors above 65 years. The cases have been chosen to represent buildings in different phases: early planning, planning close to start of construction and newly finished apartment blocks. Moreover, the different cases are located in different contexts: a big city (Göteborg), a middle sized city (Mölndal) and two smaller municipalities (Alingsås and Tjörn) which increases the possibility to draw more general conclusions from the study.

Main Research questions 

The projects research questions include the following: 
•    Which are the main critical factors when it comes to planning sustainable housing for senior citizens? 
•    Does dialogue and collaboration in the different phases of a building project contribute to sustainable housing for seniors? 
•    What working models are used in practice when communicating with the local community? 
•    In what way is the perspective of the local community integrated within the architects’ and constructor clients’ decision-making processes? 
•    Do the finalized facilities meet the criteria for sustainable housing environment in terms of ecological, economic and social aspects? 

Outcomes – Handbook on Housing for seniors

One result of the project will be a handbook on housing for seniors, which is intended to be used as a tool for planning purposes. Representatives working in the building sector e.g. architects, real estate owners and civil servants working in the municipality will be involved in the preparation of this handbook. Other outcomes will be scientific and popular science publications that can be used to increase knowledge in both science and practice

Mistra Urban Futures project –  DIABAHS (Dialogue Build
Sustainable Housing for Senior persons) was taking part on the 15 of May 2019:  A Conference held on the
theme Sustainable housing for elderly.  During the Conference day some good results were presented, good examples from West Sweden was shown och and we were also talking about the international aspects. 

Klokboken for senior housing/houses were launched  – there is also a digital webb-page with inspiration for those who want to know more about planning and buildning for the target-group.

Take part of the Klokboken here (a book, in swedish)

Read the new report about seniors and their living-situation (in swedish) "Vad tycker seniorer om seniorbostäder och vilka flyttar dit"  By: Lisbeth Lindahl, Nina Ryd, Cecilia Kaan och Malin Isaksson

Read more (in Swedish)

For questions about the project please contact: Lisbeth Lindahl, Göteborgsregionen, or Nina Ryd, ACE, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers.  ACE website at Chalmers.