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Cohousing. Programs and projects to recover heritage buildings The project COHOUSING SANGIORGIO consists of a co-housing residential building for 7 families with private apartments and common spaces, located in Ferrara by the Po di Primaro river at about 2 km from the Castello Estense; the construction of a cycle path will connect the area to the city centre. The building plot of 3500 sqm was occupied by a greenhouse and some unused buildings in bad conditions. The project is defined as an urban renovation and it conceives the demolition of two of the empty buildings and the construction of three new buildings for 14 families that will be realized in two phases.

COHOUSING SANGIORGIO is a tailor made project designed for the Cooperativa Cohousing Solidaria as the result of an open design process called “charette”. The “charette” allowed a continuous and constant feedback between the technical team and the cohousers that were involved from the beginning through a series of meetings.The collaborative design workshop lasted three months and allowed the cohousers to become co-authors of the plan so they were more likely to support it.

The co-housing will host a wide range of household types: people with different age and backgrounds, singles and families with children. The placement of the buildings reinterprets the model of the rural courtyard and the goal is to create a place where neighbourhood relations acquire an important role, that’s why the project’s name is COHOUSING SANGIORGIO. The co-housing project was designed after a carefully analyses of the project site. It's built with natural and recyclable materiales and it reaches the energy efficiency class A+ (energy consumption lower than 2,2 kW/h sqm per year) thanks to the thermal insulation and the photovoltaic panels on the roof.

The co-housing could be an off-grid building: it has no natural gas grid connection, the wastewater treatment is provided on-site and there's a rainwater collection system. The first phase co-housing has a wooden structure in X-LAM panels, it's a three storey compact building and its shape is designed to protect the windows from the sun during the summer months.

COHOUSING SANGIORGIO has several spaces for common activities: a kitchen, a living room, a laundry, a playing and meeting room, a common garden. The second phase will implement the common spaces with the construction of a club house, a “ciclofficina”, a neighbourhood library.

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