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Daylight & Architecture

A view of the sky
Conversion of a stable in Tschagguns

Like many Alpine locations, the Vorarl-berg municipality of Tschagguns lives primarily from tourism, whereas farming is on the retreat. In some cases, however, at least the architectural heritage of the past can be saved. Such is the case with a stable from the end of the 19th century that architect Bernard Breuer has converted into a home. The existing building had a beautifully ornate wooden facade that had been blackened by the weather over time. At its north-east corner, it featured a solid ashlar base − the other facades were made of simple wooden boards, through the cracks of which the wind would whistle.

   Behind this old shell, Bernhard Breuer inserted new interior walls and ceilings with surgical precision, mainly making use of traditional carpentry techniques. From the outside, the former stable can still be easily recognised but large windows with narrow frames now allow copious amounts of daylight into the living areas. There is also an abundance of light on the upper floor thanks to three roof windows. At night, the owners can contemplate the unique starlit sky above the Alps through the same roof windows. The opposite side of the roof, which faces south-west, is used for energy generation. Photovoltaic and solar thermal modules supply the house with electricity and meet a large part of the heating needs.

Mühleweg 2, Tschagguns, Austria
Rosa Breuer
Bernhard Breuer, Schruns
A view of the sky - Daylight and Architecture Magazine
A view of the sky - Daylight and Architecture Magazine

Healthy Homes Barometer 2018

(Un)healthy homes, offices and suburbanisation in Europe

The Healthy Homes Barometer 2018 is the 4th edition of this pan-European study, which takes the pulse of Europe’s buildings and examines the effects of housing on inhabitants’ health. The 2018 Barometer sheds light on some stark realities, especially in Europe’s rapidly-growing suburban areas:

  • Europe’s suburbs have grown 54% more than urban areas over recent decades, and are made up of 62% single-family homes
  • Single-family homes are up to 33% more likely to result in residents reporting ill-health than multi-family homes
  • Investing in healthy office buildings should be a no-brainer for companies.

Suburbanisation and the (un)healthy home 
Urbanisation is a familiar topic to many, but in Europe as a whole, it is actually suburban areas which are growing fastest, outpacing urban growth by 54% between 1961 and 2011 (when the last 10-year dataset is available). A house in the suburbs is still the dream for many Europeans, who move out of cities looking for more space, lower costs and better quality of life. Single-family homes dominate the suburban landscape, comprising 62% of dwellings in these areas. Yet many of them are old and deficient, and they are significantly more likely to cause poor health. For example, occupants of single-family homes with overheating issues are 33% more likely to report poor health than those in multi-family homes with the same problem.

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