During one year, from 2012 to 2013 this research project accompanies four building care takers at work: besides two stationary care-takers, the project follows one mobile building-care company in the metropolitan area of Zürich and one care-taker of Switzerland’s largest housing cooperation. Building-care is understood as repair and maintenance process that contributes crucially to the quality of housing estates and of buildings and in this way significantly influences the quality of living. Like other repair and maintenance work, building care work is ever present in urban everyday life but goes largely unnoticed. There is no empirical work, nor is there theoretical discussion within the social science literature how building-care, buildings and dwellers are intertwined and how they mutually contribute to stabilizing and improving each other. The methodology of the project is explorative and set up as videoethnography. The four case studies will systematically document care-takers work routines, interactions with residents, fields of competences, local mobility and cooperative work with colleagues and craftsmen.
Documentary portrait: “Building Care: That’s why our cities do not fall apart” (2014, 41 Min, Swiss German/German, English subtitels).
Accompanying book “Hauswartung. Für Bauten und Bewohnerschaft”, Verlag Birkhäuser, Basel, 128 pages, German, published 2015,
ISBN 978-3-0356-0359-0, available as paperback and eBook (PDF)
Concept and Realisation:
Ignaz Strebel & Susanne Hofer
Max Pfister Baubüro AG
Hauseigentümerverband Schweiz HEV
Pensimo Management AG
Allgemeine Baugenossenschaft Zürich ABZ
Home Service AG
Wohnen Schweiz – Verband der Baugenossenschaften