It’s cheaper, leads to fewer mental illnesses and, not least, can reduce a building’s carbon dioxide emissions by half. Emma Sarin, project manager at HSB Living Lab, explains why it’s important to share everything from sewing machines to showers in the homes of the future.
One of the big issues that we see and that young people think about when it comes to their first home is sustainability, and it affects so many parts of the way we will live and live in the future, says Emma Sarin.
Above all, it influences what you see as “mine”, “your” dwelling, and our “common” dwellings.
Roundness is strongly ingrained in the younger generation, and it implies that they do not strive to own everything themselves, but can imagine sharing things with their neighbors, regardless of whether it is being in a car park, acquiring communal living areas or a property-sharing vehicle .
Carbon dioxide emissions can be halved
To be a part of enabling this type of housing, HSB is testing many different aspects of the sharing economy in the HSB Living Lab, a globally unique living laboratory where people live while researchers and innovators from academia, business and other bodies develop different aspects of future housing.
– Here we built different ways of sharing from the start. For example, we have two housing plans where residents live in so-called coloring groups where they share oversized kitchens, living rooms, and even bathrooms with their neighbours. But even at the entrance level, there are more areas to be used together under the banner of small living and big living. “
And sharing really reduces the environmental impact. In a recently completed project, it was found that CO2 emissions can be reduced by nearly fifty percent per person if you build properties where residents share a kitchen and bathroom with each other, compared to if everyone should have their own property.
At the same time, studies show that shared living areas reduce loneliness and mental illness, plus are cheaper. Therefore, we believe that sharing in various forms will be an important part of housing in the future.
Flexibility is the most important
Emma Sarin points out, however, that exactly how we live in the future, no one can know because needs are constantly changing. She takes the last year as an example, as we’ve seen how new desires have arisen as a result of this pandemic. Where just a few years ago people demanded open floor plans, the opportunity for peace and quiet is now paramount.
– Now it is very important to be able to close, preferably several family members to be able to do it at the same time. Plus, we’re seeing more pressure on apartments outside of downtown than we could have imagined before the pandemic, so the only thing we can be sure of is that things will change.
Given that houses must last for a hundred years, preferably two hundred years, it is precisely flexibility that is most important, that houses can be changed as life does. This is also one of the reasons why HSB started HSB Living Lab.
When the pace of development is very fast, we cannot sit alone in our room, but we must start cooperation across borders, with academia, with start-ups or with others who have good ideas. This is the time when together we can generate the resilience and good ideas needed to create the sustainable housing of the future.