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New Housing in Old Stock

We live in paradoxical times. Across Europe, the construction industry is at a virtual standstill, especially in residential construction. Construction network Euroconstruct forecasts a 20 % decrease in housing completions between 2022 and 2026, with Germany facing a decline of up to 40 %. Yet, the demand for more living space remains unyielding. However, attempting to meet this demand exclusively through new construction would far exceed Europe’s remaining CO2 budget. Moreover, the urgent task of sustainably retrofitting existing buildings cannot be ignored. This pause in the construction boom presents an opportunity to rethink our approach. Going forward, the focus should be on developing housing within existing buildings and settlement structures – through conversions, additions, extensions, and densification. The articles in our current issue illustrate how this can be achieved, highlighting the immense untapped potential. Enjoy the issue! Jakob Schoof

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