Sustainable strategies to preserve tangible and intangible values in social housing rehabilitation: an Italian case study.




Design for Adaptability principles, Nature-Based Solutions, social housing rehabilitation, sustainable buildings, sustainable strategies, Urban Mining processes


The European social housing stock, built since the early post-war period, now needs major energy, structural and functional upgrading. The owners, almost always public bodies, are therefore called upon to adapt these buildings to the new regulations issued by the European Community. To reduce the costs of intervention, the preferred solution is that of a complete demolition and a subsequent reconstruction by using newly supplied materials, without considering the non-sustainability and social fallout of this choice. The contribution, starting from the hypothesis that more sustainable building rehabilitation interventions are possible, analyses which social and material supply aspects must be considered, and which design strategies can be applied to achieve the objective. First, the characteristics of social buildings in their historical evolution are summarized to understand their value in a broader non-economic sense. Subsequently, the requirements for a sustainable renovation of the existing social dwellings are analysed, and three, out of many other, design strategies are proposed. A case study is then presented and the application of the three strategies done through three Master thesis works is described. In conclusion, the results of the application of the strategies to the case study is analysed to assess whether it is possible to intervene on existing social housing complexes to achieve better results with a more sustainability-oriented perspective.


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Author Biographies

Massimiliano Condotta, Università Iuav di Venezia

Department of Architecture and Arts

Chiara Scanagatta, Università Iuav di Venezia

Department of Architecture and Arts

Elisa Zatta, Università Iuav di Venezia

Department of Architecture and Arts


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How to Cite

Condotta, M., Scanagatta, C. and Zatta, E. (2023) “Sustainable strategies to preserve tangible and intangible values in social housing rehabilitation: an Italian case study”., VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 8(1), pp. 84–99. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2023.19479.