Cooperative Refurbishment

Models for participation of owners and tenants in ecological refurbishment of multi floor buildings

Content Description




The aim of this project "Cooperative Refurbishment" was on the one hand to investigate the access of housing companies to and on the other hand the needs from occupants with refurbishment processes in multi floor buildings, to develop efficient models of user participation, to execute exemplary moderation- and participation processes for refurbishment projects and to accomplish the project results in form of a brochure.

It appeared that housing companies are quite open minded for approaches and models of occupants' participation for the execution of refurbishment processes. Occupants are perceived as "customers" and cared for accordingly. There are many things in common, but however nevertheless each housing company has a very individual style in handling their occupants.

On the one hand the housing companies have to move within the legally prescribed framework - in such a way the residential property law ("Wohnungseigentumsgesetz") and the non-profit-making housing law ("Wohnungsgemeinnützigkeitsgesetz") define certain proceedings, which must be kept, e.g. duties to supply information, holding from information meetings in regular intervals, the execution of inquiries and votings with the occupants or the observance of periods.

On the other hand the companies themselves are very interested in possibilities of including occupants in reorganization processes and develop partly already own approaches and procedures for it, which supplement the usual methods such as information meetings or votings - e.g. the formation of small groups with interested occupants for the preparation of refurbishment processes to develop their wishes and suggestions or inspections of housing areas in the forefield of refurbishment in order to get to know the desires and also the fears of occupants personally, the organization of excursions to objects already refurbished or the possibility of selecting under (given) alternatives in subareas in refurbishment processes.

Sustainable or ecological reorganization means for the housing companies "thermal refurbishment" or "thermal insulation". Additionally in connection with this approach the exchange of windows or the conversion to a central and more pollution free source of energy for the heating system is seen. Beyond that other aspects like e.g. the use of ecological building materials play no role.

The responsible house keepers are experts in their profession. They have developed their own style of communication with and participation of occupants. Beyond that it is however quite meaningful to put new possibilities of participation at for refurbishment responsible persons disposal (e.g. moderation, inspections, excursions, check lists for occupants, focus groups), which they can select and set in depending upon situation and the basic conditions.

The in the context of this project developed "flexible participation model" is for supporting this process. This model is directed primarily to practical experts. On the basis of the existing requirements and styles of the for refurbishment responsible persons as well as the expectations of the occupants a participation process co-ordinated individually with a respective project can be provided with the help of this model and its elements.

Project Partners

Project manager:

Juergen Suschek-Berger
Interuniversitäres Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur (IFF/IFZ)


  • Dr. Michael Ornetzeder
    Center for Social Innovation (ZSI)
  • Evert Hasselaar
    TU Delft/NL


Juergen Suschek-Berger
Inter-University Research Center for Technology, Work and Culture (IFF/IFZ)
Schloegelgasse 2, A 8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 316 813909-31
Fax: +43 316 810274