Former military barracks turned into circular community project

Fehring, Austria Construction and Development, Environment and Resource efficiency, Local social sustainability


The community of residents Cambium was founded in 2014 with the aim to build up an economic,social and ecological sustainable village. In 2017 the Cambium Community Project rented the former military barrack Hadik in Fehring (close to Graz, Austria) and began to transform it into a suitable living and working area with residential units, co-working spaces, studios and a seminar facility. In May 2019, Cambium bought the property with an “asset pool”, a direct credit campaign, with over 250 investors. The goal is to build an eco-village with minimal environmental impact and therefore to implement sustainable agriculture techniques and circular building technologies.


The main goal of the HOUSEFUL project is to develop and demonstrate innovative integrated circular services focused on the optimal management and use of water, waste, energy and material resources during all stages of the life cycle of residential buildings (new and existing).

The buildings for the demo sites were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Spatial/geographical distribution;
  • Differences in social, cultural and current practices on housing;
  • Differences in national regulations regarding construction and refurbishment;
  • Common European building archetypes, scale and number of dwellers per building;
  • Climate differences;
  • Common challenges shared by construction companies, related professionals and regional/national housing agencies.

Moreover, three of the considered buildings are social housing buildings, since one of HOUSEFUL’s objectives is to demonstrate solutions capable of improving the circularity level of low-income buildings.

Issues tackled

Wastewater from bathrooms, toilets and the communal kitchen will be separated and transformed into usable resources together with other organic waste. Organic solid waste will be converted into biogas, to be used within the building. The liquid organic-waste component will be processed by a vertical plant-treatment unit, producing valuable fertilizer for agricultural use.

HOUSEFUL will provide an advance in this building circularity by offering solutions for its calculation (S1), as well as new methodologies for stakeholder engagement (S2) and co-creation materials (S3, S4), water (S6), waste (S7, S8, S9) and energy resources (S10). Find out more about the HOUSEFUL innovative circular solutions scheme here.