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Barcelona's APROPs are the new rage in the EU housing. Photo: Barcelona City Council
Barcelona's APROPs are the new rage in the EU housing. Photo: Barcelona City Council

The EU rewards Barcelona for its sustainable public housing

The European Union has given the New European Bauhaus award to the city for its innovative public housing design.

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Barcelona built the first public housing building constructed with shipping containers two years ago. Now, the European Union has awarded the project and another for landscaped roofs with the New European Bauhaus award. Both projects create "beautiful, sustainable and inclusive" ways of life.

The building has 12 houses with one or two rooms designed to provide temporary accommodation to families who have suffered an eviction and are waiting for a permanent flat. Barcelona City Council defined them as Provisional Proximity Accommodation (APROP).

The New European Bauhaus award is an initiative from the EU to boost sustainability without losing style and beauty. The objective is that the green transition can reach several sectors of the economy and construction is to blame for the resulting pollutants. It emits 39% of carbon dioxide.

The EU considers APROPs to be “a modular, adaptable and mobile living solution.” The shipping containers are not visible and a team of architects designed them with interior and exterior insulation so it looks like a conventional residential building. In addition, the facade combines polycarbonate and wood, which improves its thermal insulation and reduces energy consumption.

The building exceeds the maximum sustainable rating level for buildings and the cost of construction was 940,000 euros ($1.1 million). In a year and a half, Barcelona City Council has social housing that would normally take between six or seven years to build.

Although at first there was talk that they would be temporary flats, it is likely a final destination for many.

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