Accelerating the construction of public housing
Industrialised construction enables the construction process to be accelerated, expanded the public housing stock quickly and sustainably.
Faster, more ecological and efficient construction
Barcelona’s Municipal Institute of Housing and Renovation (IMHAB) is committed to industrialised housing to boost growth of the public housing stock in Barcelona. This construction system had already been used for the APROP provisional properties, built from recycled containers, and will now also be used to build permanent housing.
Fabricated and assembled housing allows the execution times of works to be reduced and is more sustainable, as it can be built from reused materials. In the specifications published for the new tenders for industrialised housing, architectural quality, reduction of building times, energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with the manufacturing of materials comprise 85% of the weight of the score when choosing the companies to develop these projects.
What is industrialised housing?
Industrialised construction is a building system that uses the most innovative techniques and processes and in which the structural components are fabricated in a workshop, transported to the final location and assembled there. This kind of construction allows design and production processes to be automated. It is an incipient system here but very widespread in countries in the north of Europe.
Industrialised construction has several advantages:
- It is faster: a standardised design and automated production is used and this means the work can be done in less time. Construction times at the final location of the building are also reduced, and the pieces arrive ready for assembly. This also reduces inconvenience for neighbours caused by the works.
- It is cheaper: all the automated processes involved in industrialisation of the construction lower the cost.
- It is safer: a large part of the construction process is done in workshops, spaces that are better prepared and, therefore, safer, for the people involved in the construction process.
- It is more ecological: as most of the work is done in the workshop it allows the energy consumption of the construction process to be reduced, less waste is generated and part of the waste produced is reused. Reused materials can also be used, such as, for example, maritime transport containers that have been used in the APROP properties.
Barcelona City Council began its commitment to industrialised construction with the APROP properties. Now this construction system is also used for the permanent public housing.
Works will also be launched for the construction of two new public housing buildings for rent at the Casernes de Sant Andreu. In total, these two new projects will provide new homes for nearly 340 people.. The buildings will be located at C/ Víctor Colomer, 6-12 and C/ Fernando Pessoa, 53-57.
In addition, projects have already been awarded to build 212 four-storey plots in the Sant Martí district. The plots are the following:
- Carrer de Pallars, 477
- Carrer del Marroc, 180
- Carrer de Binèfar, 22
- Passatge d’Arriassa, s/n
With this tender it aims to boost an innovative, cheap, quick and ecological construction technique. In conventional housing construction works, development times are 53 months, however, with the industrialised system they will done in a maximum of 37 months.
IMHAB used industrialised construction for the first time in the APROP provisional properties. Built with reused maritime transport containers, they aim to be a quick and innovative solution to deal with the housing emergency in Barcelona. The pilot test was inaugurated in Ciutat Vella in December 2019 and there are currently two more under construction at El Parc i Llacuna del Poblenou and La Bordeta.
APROP Ciutat Vella
The APROP properties in Ciutat Vella were the first built by IMHAB and worked as a pilot test. The building was built in a year and a half, while for traditional housing the process can last between 6 and 7 years. There are twelve properties in APROP in Ciutat Vella: four have two bedrooms and 60 m2 surface area and the other eight have one bedroom and 30 m2.
El Parc i la Llacuna del Poblenou
The second building of APROP properties will be built on Carrer Bolívia 33-41. It will have 42 properties, of which 35 will have two bedrooms and the rest one. Therefore, it will house 110 people. Of these buildings, half will be provisional accommodation for family units in a housing emergency and the other half will be for young people. The works will last 26 weeks and the building will be finished before the end of 2021.
This is the first development of APROP properties in which a competition was held to find an innovative architectural proposal now the project is consolidated. The APROP building at La Bordeta will have forty properties, 24 with two bedrooms and a surface area of 56 m2 and 16 with one bedroom and an area of 44 m2. All the properties will have a 9 m2 terrace. Half of the properties will be allocated to family units referred by the Emergency Board and the other half for single-parent families. It will also have a system of galleries surrounding the building offering an image that moves away from the closed container and work as access passages to the properties, terraces and common spaces and for interaction between the residents.
The definitive project is due to be ready in the autumn and then the works will be put up for tender, probably during the second quarter of 2022.