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Meet the Switchers: Sustainable housing

Find out 9 successful sustainable housing projects 


Why Sustainable housing is important?

Mediterranean regional action plan on sustainable consumption and production mentions housing and construction among the resource-intensive economic sectors, generating high environmental impacts in the Mediterranean. As mentionned by Jeremie Fosse, the moderator of the session, eco-housing projects are very important for the environment, since recycling water and waste is the base of these buildings. He noted that it’s also very positive for the society, because it gives to the entrepreneurs the opportunity to adapt their sustainable projects to the local needs (isolation, protection against humidity...) and to the local culture. 


What did we aim at?

This session was thought to give to the Switchers the opportunity to showcase their projects and stories in order to attract funders and investors around them. They had the opportunity to explain their project to the audience in only 4 minutes each one, using no more than 10 slides.

The second purpose is for the Switchers to receive feedback from the audience as well as questions to clarify certain aspects of each project. Doing so, not only they will gain valuable insight from a variety of people, but also will be able to deepen aspects that they hadn’t had the time to explore in their short presentation.


Find out 9 successful sustainable housing projects 

The presentations allowed the audience to learn about successful cases of Sustainable housing, knowing the goals of the projects, their business models, as well as the way in which the initiatives are sustainably and successfully inserted in their social and environmental local contexts. The session was facilitated by Mr. Jeremie Fosse (eco-union).


1-     Gabriele Diamanti (Eliodomestico): He has designed an ecological solar water destiller for marine water for domestic consumption.

2-     Moussa Amara (Fondation Amidoul - Tafilelt): To overcome the problem of housing in Algeria, they have started a programme to build eco-houses, using only local materials.

3-     Nelly Baz (HBR creative platform): With their project they are giving advice, support and empowering designers to stay at the Lebanon and to grow in the country.

4-     Adital Ela (Criaterra): Under the slogan “local production for local use?, they build green-houses respecting their traditions.  

5-     Gijsbert Huijink (Som Energia): They propose an ecological alternative to the current electrical companies.   

6-     Khaled Fatnassi (SICAP): They explained that in Tunisia there aren’t a lot of green spaces. Their project consists of building vertical gardens at the building’s walls. 

7-     Bouamama Fouzia (Eco Labina): Is important to adapt houses to the local needs. That’s why this entrepreneur is manufacturing bricks with natural local materials which provide a perfect isolation for the high Tunisian temperatures.

8-     Maya Karkour (Eco-consulting): She explained that they want to transfer sustainable life patterns to the population. They offer a training service on composting, planting, building green-houses…  

9-     Elias Abumohor (Applied Research Institute Jerusalem): The switcher showed us some data that reveal the high water consumption that the tourism at Palestine requires. They are creating alternative infrastructures for recycling water and reducing the waste in a 60%.



Which are the main issues?

 During their discussions almost all the switchers agreed on their main obstacles. Of course the most important challenge for them is to get funding to establish a manufacturing facility. In that sense, they were also asking for a consultancy support and training to introduce their technologies into the market. For instance, marketing and communication strategies seem to be quite complicated for some of them, and those who are manufacturing with local products have more problems to upscale their technologies. Mr.Khaled Fatnassi from Tunisia (SICAP), noticed that he didn’t know how to expand his products on the international market, and was thinking in contacting European organisations to ask them for advice.

In addition to this, they were looking for local partners. It seems to be a huge difficulty to find sustainable local materials.

They talked also about the wrong global idea that sustainable patterns are not economically viable. Infact, as mentionned by Ms. Maya Karkour from Eco-consultinggreen building is a rapidity growing industry. She explained to us that for instance that the market for green construction materials is going to grow from $116 billion in 2013 to more than $254 billion by 2020.


"We are for support to initiate a reality in which buildings and products come from earth and returns as nutrients." Ms. Adital Ela, from Criaterra Innovations.


Let's continue the discussion

You can join and contribute the discussion on Sustainable Housing continuing in the session community here. You can also download the presentations here. In that community we encourage you to post your own reflections, experiences and questions. Keep engaging and shaping the content of SwitchMed Connect 2016.