Community Engagement for Sustainable Housing
Community Works offers services in community engagement for sustainable housing in remote communities. The goal is to support residents to live sustainably in their houses while respecting their culture and their environment.
Community Works has developed a framework to engage communities on sustainable housing that includes the participation of community members to create a sustainability rating adaptable for each community. The rating will vary, depending on the sustainability priorities identified by the community as well as the specific
environmental context. The rating is produced through specific, measurable criteria and sub-criteria that are weighted according to
their relevance to the community context.
The framework is designed for the development of new houses and the improvement of current housing stock. Ratings will drive community-led improvements in the suitability and the environmental sustainability of houses. They allow the identification of priority actions and enable regular monitoring.
VISIT TO COMMUNITY
» Measuring sustainability criteria
» Interviewing community residents
PRODUCTION OF RATINGS
» Desk work
» Communication with housing association
» Identification of priority interventions
IMPROVEMENTS TO HOUSES
» Involvement of residents in decisions
» Technical guidance provided
NEW HOUSING PROJECT
» Architect and project team work on design to match criteria
» Several solutions designed
» Workshop with the community to assess preliminary designs
» Decision on new design owned by community residents
FINAL DESIGN,CONSTRUCTION RATING
» Project is rolled out
» Ratings are produced for each new house to allow monitoring
DEFINING PRIORITY SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES WITH THE COMMUNITY
The first step of the framework aims at defining and prioritising sustainability issues in the target community. This will be done through research and a series of consultations. A comprehensive view of the life in the community will be sought and will be obtained with a combination of scientific research (related to the climate, natural environment and resources) and interviews with service providers and community members. The community will be at the heart of this approach and decisions regarding sustainability priorities will be owned by residents, after having built a mutual understanding of environmental, social and economic issues faced by the specific community on the long-term. The approach will be fully tailored to the needs of the target community. Sustainability criteria will encompass diverse issues such as health (physical and mental), resource use, maintenance, safety, accessibility for people with special needs etc. The initiative is focusing on providing suitable and durable housing for residents. The criteria will provide guidance on how to design the ideal house for the target community. When sustainability priorities are defined, Community Works will produce a methodology to measure the performance of a house against the defined criteria. The goal is to create a methodology that can be easily understood by everyone, while being objective and relatively simple to measure. This will be done through research in best practices of sustainability ratings. The approach will also involve consideration of effective solutions to sustainability issues that arise.
SUSTAINABILITY RATINGS AS A MEANS OF DRIVING CHANGE EXISTING HOUSES
Community Works will visit target communities and engage with residents to rate the sustainability of their existing houses. A rating will be given for each of the sustainability priorities which together will provide a sustainability rating for the house. The breakdown enables the provision of targeted technical solutions to improve housing sustainability while the total rating enables housing managers to identify priorities to be addressed. Solutions will be discussed with relevant community resident as well as with the service providers. Targets can be set for each category to drive improvements and priority actions can be easily identified and defined with the householders. Ratings can also provide a tool to monitor housing stock and to ensure suitability and proper maintenance.
NEW HOUSING PROJECTS
Community Works will coordinate with the architects and managers involved in the new project and the targeted community to find suitable technical approaches to addressing the sustainability priorities identified. The framework enables active involvement of the broad community and of future specific residents to achieve a household design that focuses on aspects that are useful and important to them. Ratings can be monitored to verify the suitability of housing projects over the mid- to long-term