Housing Master´s Thesis 2020

Lovisa Stadig Roswall


A housing community designed to improve sustainability in users everyday life

problem statement

The climate crisis demands us to change our way of living. We need to lower our ecological footprint drastically in the near future. Building industry contributes to almost a third of global CO2 emissions. What we build in the future need to adapt to new sustainability goals and have a lower environmental impact. 

84% of the Swedes describe themselves as climate conscious and almost everyone, 95%, think that we will be affected by the environmental change in the future. Despite this knowledge we do not take enough action. This perception reflects the population’s where 65% think that there are not enough green or climate conscious alternatives on todays market.

This thesis aim to meet the lack of climate conscious housing alternatives for people choosing to live Eco-friendly in a row house context.

research questions

” How can residential communities in Sweden be designed to influence and support a sustainable lifestyle? ”

How can the planning of a single family house be developed in order to improve sustainability?


The choosen site is situated in Kungälv municipality in the region of Västra Götaland. Kungälv municipality works with climate goals for all the new building projects, touching the areas climate impact, biodiversity and quality architecture. The municipality plans about 350 dwellings in the new area, it is supposed to connect the west and central part of Ytterby.

Ytterby, Kungälv


The design process had its starting point in developing the traditional row house layout. I wanted to change the long street with repeated similar houses into something more social that increases interaction between neighbors. The “entrance cluster” came up early in the design process and has developed during the project.


At first the clusters where totally closed, shaped like a flower, with focus on the qualities created in the middle. The qualities I chose to continue to work on where the visible entrances and short distances between households with possibility to design good semi private rooms.


The disadvantages with the entrance flower where the rooms created around the shape. It was hard to find efficiently use of this area and it caused trouble when combining the clusters. The benefits of the design was the privacy generated in the household gardens.


Early in the process the activity path that connects the clusters came up. The flower clusters turned their backs against the semipublic area, which was the opposite of the goal. The conclusion was that the cluster flower works well individually but is too closed in a larger context.


By making the activity path cross through the clusters the social concept of closeness to people got strengthen. The efficiency of the site is still low due to the large area one cluster needs.


Further on in the process I worked with “filling up the spaces” and the corner house was developed. The boarder between zones was not so clear and blurred together and the semiprivate layer disappeared.


By tilting the squares, and pushing them apart the semiprivate zones in front of the clusters was recreated. This design also helped with tighten the area and keep the short distances between households.