Berlin solves housing shortage by adding flats to old buildings

A project in Berlin, by the Howoge company, seeks to solve the problem of the housing shortage by adding prefabricated flats to old buildings

A project by the municipal company Howoge aims to overcome the housing shortage in Berlin by adding prefabricated flats to older buildings, as presented today.

In this way, he reported, three new apartments and more than 20 homes were added in the span of almost two years of construction on Franz Schmidt Street in the German capital, in the northeastern district of Buch.

Experts see great potential for the German real estate market from this type of project in existing buildings, both due to the lack of housing and in terms of sustainability.

Currently, some 74,500 homes belong to Howoge in Berlin. “If we look at our properties, especially in the east of the city, we generally see the classic WBS 70 building type, i.e. homes that were built in the last years of the GDR,” said Howoge CEO Ulrich Schiller.

“These are mainly in our case five or six stories. So what could be more convenient than adding more stories to these buildings?” Schiller analyzed.

Howoge’s manager estimated that, only in this way, the company could build thousands of new homes, with the advantage that they do not break into undeveloped areas or push the city further towards the outskirts.


In addition, specialists see more advantages. “As a rule, extensions are made using lightweight materials,” explained Anna Braune, head of research and development at the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

“Here, in particular, wood is an important material,” said Braune, highlighting the most sustainable type of construction with this material, in relation to steel and concrete.

Likewise, the lower floors also benefit from these extensions. In Berlin-Buch, for example, there is now an elevator that did not exist before. As detailed by Schiller, the pipes throughout the building were also renewed and its roof was optimized.

Researchers from the Technical University of Dresden calculated in a study that between 1.1 and 1.5 million new homes could be built across the country on buildings dating from the decades between 1950 and 1990.

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Source: dpa

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