Manual for the Sustainable Use of Social housing

Manual for the Sustainable Use of Social housing

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

FOVISEE is a Foundation that focuses its work on the articulation of issues such as housing, energy, environment, poverty and on the promotion of energetic sustainability in terms of social housing. This project developed and applies the first “Manual for the Sustainable Use of Social housing”. In the same way as every electrical appliance includes an instruction manual; houses (something much more complex and to be used for 40-60 years) should also include its "Instruction manual" making special emphasis on sustainable uses and practices. The effects are: a huge save of non renewable resources (energy, water, etc.) money and the significant improvement of the households’ quality of life.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

All families on the globe and potential beneficiaries of the “Manual for the Sustainable Use of Social Housing” since they are users of some kind of housing units they have a huge potential to incorporate sustainable use customs. In this manner they improve their quality of life, save resources and money and contribute with the protection of the environment at local and global level. Rather than huge investment, the educational proposal of the Manual aims at covering a huge deficiency in terms of information, by means of a practical, educational and friendly device that is a useful tool for millions of families, thus producing a cultural change while educating and creating awareness.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In Argentina we found just a few organizations working on the articulation of issues such as energy, poverty, sustainability and social housing and there were no institution or groups or partnerships particularly focused on these issues as a whole. What makes the project unique is the ability to identify a deficiency area (a), the potential to make up for it (b) and the solution to do it (c). a) As a result of the field work and the Applied Research carried out by FOVISEE, the families’ lack of information on the efficient use of housing and natural resources arouse as a conclusion. b) At the same time, it became clear that technical aspects applied (designs, building systems, technologies, etc.) and also beyond them, the creation of awareness on the users of these houses and technologies bring significant benefit to energetic efficiency at the same time it improves the families’ quality of life, the protection of the environment and it increases the budget of low income families. c) In 2009 we started developing the manual and began with electrical energy. During 2010 we developed a pedagogic program to be applied on neighborhood workshops with graphic support material, collective activities, etc. Said manual jointly with the training planning were applied in two low income neighborhoods and achieved excellent results.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The 1st achievement has been to identify the deficiency as well as the manner to make up for it and to apply the first version of the manual and the training workshops. Secondly, jointly with the manual and workshops FOVISEE assesses the impact of the project: socio demographic data of each household, features of the housing unit (design, rooms, materials) services of the house (running water, electrical supply, natural gas) uses of energy, cleanliness, heating, lighting, ventilation, home appliances, doors and windows uses, knowledge on energy (costs, saving methods, risks), perceptions and opinions about the house and the neighborhood. Likewise, we record each step at the development of workshops. Eventually, an impact study is performed in order to evaluate: change of practices, energy savings, quality of life improvement, commitment with the environment and the community, the communication strategy of the Manual as well as its contents, strategy, educational approach and activities. The impact of the project in all the above mentioned features has been positive. Finally the Manual puts forward the "Consumptions game" a challenge that teaches families how to read their energy meters and record their weekly consumptions. The household with the highest consumption reduction wins a prize. In the last neighborhood where the manual was applied, the winner had a 35% electrical energy saving, the second achieved a 30% and the third a 25%; in this manner improving the quality of life of their homes. All participants can use the gained knowledge during the rest of their lives.
About You
Fundación FOVISEE
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Fundación FOVISEE

Organization Phone

54114802 2123

Organization Address

Paunero 2749 9 "G"

Organization Country

, C

Country where this project is creating social impact

, B

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

FOVISEE founders are a group of professionals who share a strong commitment with the improvement of our society. Thus, for more than 10 years we have been working on the design and management of programs focused on the access to energy of low income communities. Each of our programs proved that sustainability in terms of housing can be addressed without huge investments and it improves the quality of life of the poorest families, it increases their budgets and significantly contributes with environmental protection. The background of building and house remodeling programs as well as the communitarian training programs we have worked in, led us to develop the first version of the Manual for the Sustainable Use of Social Housing between 2009 and 2010. Both the need of the Manual itself as well as the content is the result of what we call "Applied Research": each of the field projects designed and managed by FOVISEE is associated with a research component (qualitative and quantitative) which enables the creation of unique knowledge on uses, habits and customs of the population in connection with housing units and energy. This new knowledge is applied on the next project so as to improve it.

Social Impact
How many people have been impacted by your project?

101 - 1,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Within our context the main barriers in terms of sustainability and housing are not related to financial but cultural barriers. These barriers are the lack of information and awareness about:
-the tangible reality they belong to: the manner low income households meet their energy, water and waste disposal needs.
- The potential of improvement in the families’ quality of life and health and energy and money saving potential generated by these sustainable practices, uses and customs.
The awareness-creation manual has been designed to overcome these barriers and it is applied in different sectors through networking.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

The first step planned in the development of the project is to broaden the manual contents (including natural gas, water, and household waste sustainable management). The contents will be developed, the material will be designed and the expanded manuals will be printed. Then current networks will be replicated, by creating partnerships with organizations and governments at local, provincial and national level, private sector (public services companies) and the civil society for the implementation of the manual in different low resources neighborhoods and urbanizations in the country. The intention is to deliver the manual together with the social housing units built by the State (over 100,000 in the upcoming three years).

For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

FOVISEE does not charge for its services. Sponsorships and donations from businesses and individuals are the foundation’s financial sources. But above everything, the specificity of the Forum is to gather different institutions that contribute to the projects with human, technical and financial resources. The main partners at present are:
CIHE (Center of Research on Habitat and Energy), Architecture Faculty, University of Buenos Aires: Professional advisory services.
DRS-UTN (Social Responsibility Department, National Technological University): Human resources and logistics support.
INTI (National Institute of Industrial Technology): Institutional support and professional advisory services.
Edenor (largest electrical distributor of Argentina): Financial, logistical and human resources support.
ISOVER Saint-Gobain: Financial support.
The project’s future sustainability is provided by the participation of above mentioned partners and sponsors, in addition to the following stakeholders, service distribution companies (electrical energy, gas, water, waste) from different districts where the Manual is distributed and applied, local provincial and national governments, international cooperation and development entities (Ashoka, embassies, cooperation funds, etc.)

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?

Last year FOVISEE has organized two international events, one at national level and has participated as speaker in at least 6 international and national events, within the aim of disseminating knowledge and experiences in terms of energy, housing and sustainability. Thanks to these events FOVISEE has got in contact with national, provincial and local organizations connected with house construction. By means of agreements with each of them, we will aim at turning them into replicators of the program and deliver a Manual and a training component linked to it with every new house.

By means of the same implicit articulating feature as a forum, we will continue developing the network that is increasingly joined by more stakeholders (official organizations, NGOs, companies, etc.) who enable the distribution of the manual and the implementation of the training program to an increasing number of families. Each public service company (electricity, gas, water, waste) might include their participation in the manual within their corporate social responsibility policies.

In 2010 we have distributed and applied the manual to 700 people approximately. In 2011 our intention is to multiply ten times the distribution and application of the manual thus reaching between 5.000 and 10.000 people. In this manner we will change the scale in a significant manner.

Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Water, Energy conservation, Renewable energy, Green housing, Environment, Urban development, Citizen/community participation.

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

FOVISEE has two major areas of work:

1. “The neighborhood laboratory”: design, implementation and evaluation of applied projects, under standard localization and use conditions in low resources neighborhoods which evidence that in terms of social housing, taking into account energy efficiency, the education of users and together with a minimum additional cost, over 50% of the energy consumed by said households can be saved, significantly improving their quality of life and budget.

2. “The cultural change”: focused on the creation of a cultural change by making our society aware about the importance of energy sustainability in the houses in general and in the social houses in particular, thus generating dialogue and exchange spaces in order to establish the energy efficiency theme in social houses within the public agenda in Argentina by disseminating researches, cases, experiences and results.
During the last year FOVISEE has organized two international events, one national event and has participated as speaker in at least 6 international events and many national events. We believe that we face cultural barriers such as lack of information and awareness. The first Manual for Sustainable Use of Housing addresses these problems.

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?

Yes, service companies (energy distribution and commercialization) companies that manufacture materials related with energy efficiency in building and companies that manufacture solar thermodynamic systems. Examples: Edenor S.A, Isover Saint-Gobain Argentina, Vademarco, Cenit Solar, etc.

Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)

The companies above mentioned, among others, develop different applied projects jointly with FOVISEE. The energy distribution company participates in the integral design of the programs focused on the efficient use of electrical energy. FOVISEE collaborates with companies that manufacture solar thermodynamic systems and insulating materials by designing and testing their products and equipment and promoting the use of solar thermal energy in social housing.

Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed

Corporate social responsibility department, Marketing department.