Ageing population in Danish single-family houses: Energy efficiency and other challenges illustrated by the “Single-family housing atlas” and home research

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The single-family house (SFH) is the most popular housing type in many western societies. In Denmark, more that 50% of the population is living here. The majority of the SFH-stock was built from the 1960ies to the 1980ies, in a period where the nuclear family was the predominant family type. Since then many things have changed: The residents have become older, the kids have moved away, many houses lack a physical upgrading etc. As a result, many municipalities are facing various challenges regarding the single-family houses; is there a need for other types of housing for the elderly? What is the energy standard of the SFH, how is the energy supply, and how bad are the houses in need for retrofitting? In order to illuminate and map the condition of the single-family housing stock, the Danish Building Research Institute (SBi) has developed an interactive GIS-map, that shows characteristics of the SFH-stock in small geographic areas (parishes). This include register-based data such as location, physical and economic data of the houses (year of construct, size, public valuation assessment, EPC label, energy consumption, energy supply etc.), and socio-economic data (number of residents, age, family type, income, education etc.). In this paper we relate this data to research on home - and place attachment, as the single-family house are said to promote many homemaking strategies especially over time. On this background, we develop three types of senior-SFH-owners: The free house owners, the homebound houses owners, and the unfree house owners. Secondly, research shows that elderly are more reluctant to invest in retrofitting their house compared to younger generations. This means that we also need to investigate private dwellers’ motives for physical changes in their SFH. Using this map, we will illustrate some of the present and future challenges related to an ageing population in the SFH-stock, and how the municipality can formulate housing policies to meet these challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date20 Aug 2019
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019
EventENHR 2019: HOUSING FOR THE NEXT EUROPEAN SOCIAL MODEL - Harokopio University, Department of Geography, Athen, Greece
Duration: 27 Aug 201930 Aug 2019


ConferenceENHR 2019
LocationHarokopio University, Department of Geography
Internet address

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