The concept of employee housing is not new. In the 19th century, companies in Germany began creating affordable housing for their employees. For some years now, however, this concept has been experiencing a renaissance. In times of high rents, employee housing not only provides support for existing and potential new employees but is also an advantage in attracting and retaining skilled workers. For elobau, however, employee housing represents much more: an additional aspect of fulfilling its social responsibility.
Not only in metropolitan areas, but also in many smaller towns such as Leutkirch – the location of elobau’s headquarters – housing is now in short supply. The time-consuming and costly search for accommodation at the new place of work often represents a risk for potential employees: will I find a nice and affordable place to live? How quickly can I catch up with my family? And what if the job might not be the right one after all? With its employee house, elobau wants to relieve new colleagues at precisely this point and help them to arrive in peace and settle into their new surroundings. But the staff house is also an attractive option for people already working at elobau. The only condition for taking part in employee housing: unterminated employment with elobau.
Living in a great area with high quality furnishings
The staff house is centrally located, yet quiet, on the outskirts of Leutkirch with a view of the countryside towards the Alps. There are several schools in the immediate vicinity, which makes the location particularly attractive for employees with children. The building has a total of 13 residential units, including six one-bedroom apartments, five two-bedroom apartments and two four-bedroom apartments. Four of the one-bedroom apartments are furnished, one of which is even fully equipped. This apartment, called “elo B&B”, offers the comfort of a hotel room and is the ideal solution for shorter stays, for example for interns or students.
The apartments are furnished to a high standard and all have a balcony and mountain view. In addition to underground parking spaces, there is an e-charging station in front of the building. The house is built to save energy and is characterized by the insulation standard of a passive house. It is a timber construction with stud walls and cross-laminated timber ceilings. The façade is made of spruce shingles. elobau’s rental costs are based on the lower end of the Leutkirch rent index, so that employees can enjoy high-quality living at comparatively low rents.
A mixed house community
In addition, several communal areas have been created as a place for socializing and networking. For example, the large garden invites people to meet up for a barbecue or a sporting exchange of blows on the volleyball court. There are also several raised planting beds where tenants can try their hand at gardening and grow their own vegetables. Washing machines and dryers can also be used communally in a dedicated room.
The tenants work in a wide variety of areas at elobau. From trainees to production and office staff to managers – the residents reflect the wide range of activities at elobau. Just as diverse as the professional backgrounds of the residents is their length of stay. Some only stay for a limited time until they catch up with their family and move to a larger residence or leave the building because they are taking on a new professional challenge with another company. Others stay long-term and enjoy the benefits of employee housing for several years. In principle, tenants can stay in the staff house for as long as they are employed by elobau.
Acknowledgement as part of the “Residential building of the year” award
The staff house was designed by the Kempten-based architectural firm f64 Architekten. At the end of 2023, the team of architects received an acknowledgement for the project as part of the “Excellent Residential Building – Residential Building of the Year” award. The jury awarded prizes in nine categories: Subsidized Housing, Innovative Façade, Rural Space, Mixed Use, Densification, Premium Living, Neighborhood Development, Revitalization and Residential High-Rise. The jury awarded a total of one first prize, four acknowledgements and 45 awards. The best 50 projects are documented in the volume “Excellent Residential Construction”, including the elobau staff house.