TU.1.B || Future Sustainable Lifestyles – Individual Choices

Kakkos, Efstathios; Vollrath, Fabian; Hischier, Roland

On a global scale, cities have become the epicenters of environmental pollution, resource consumption and are responsible for the overuse of living spaces. To tackle these issues, today’s living and working spaces must be redesigned, with the primary goal being the minimization of primary resource and space consumption. One option is constructing in a much more flexible way – flexible in terms of usability and building location. The Visionaries – a Swiss think-tank of companies from the construction sector – is heading for a clean and space-saving future by re-thinking our living and working places. Core of their vision is a 15m2 modular, eco-friendly unit composed out of wood that can serve as a living/working space and that easily can be transported to answer changes in space demand at a specific place/site, reducing significantly the need for mobility. In this case study, taking a simplified LCA approach, a scenario of such a new, combined living and working space was compared with three different scenarios for today’s way of life (i.e. working place in the city – and living in the city, suburbs, or on the countryside, respectively) by varying different parameters regarding housing (i.e. location, floor area, occupancy, energy consumption of the building) and the commuting patterns (means of transportation, distance). The results – expressed in the form of cumulative energy demand (CED), global warming potential (GWP), and the overall environmental impacts measured in Swiss Eco-points (UBP) – show for this new Visionaries scenario results representing 50% to 90% of impact reduction for all the indicators considered when comparing with the scenarios “suburbs” and “countryside”, respectively – while for the “city” scenario comparable results have been found.