The rehabilitation projects aimed to improve the living conditions of its occupants, taking into account, when possible, original architecture. The ―Grão a Grão‖ project was performed to combat poverty, based on São Vicente de Paulo neighborhood, Cantar Galo parish in Covilhã rehabilitation, and had the assistance of the Construction Group of Civil Engineering and Architecture Department of Beira Interior University, of Covilhã City Council and Beira Serra – Association for Local Development.
During the years 2002/2003 31 houses were rehabilitated. In the present study it was evaluated the current state of rehabilitation constructive solutions implemented in these houses and it there were launched a series of questions in order to obtained the general opinion of São Vicente de Paulo residents, 7 years after works completion.
It was found that in general the houses are in good conservation state, and the residents or owners have started to perform regular maintenance of their homes with care that previously did not exist. As for the residents’ opinion, it is unanimous that the project was well succeeded both in construction and in social terms.
It was concluded that the rehabilitation techniques used were the most suitable for houses in question, because the dwellings are currently in excellent condition. In fact, deterioration was only observed in 3 of 31 habitations intervened. It was determined that before the work the outside quality average was 39.66%, exterior and structural quality was 51,62% and the overall quality 52,81%. In the current assessment there we obtained higher rates. The external quality assessment was 77,92%, the exterior and structural quality was 81,05% and the overall quality 81,61%. These values difference reflects the rehabilitation importance, because it’s verifiable that there was a marked improvement in the dwelling conservation status, with the transition of very poor and at risk of ruin houses for houses almost completely new.
It is also evident that population is satisfied with effected intervention. Such circumstances would not be achieved if residents were transferred to a social neighborhood, since it would involve higher costs and natural dissatisfaction among residents, particularly because of the break-neighborly relations and remoteness of the location of where they now live.
Therefore, we can say that the ―Grão a Grão project was a successful project, being a role model, making the neighborhood a nicer place to live, attracting new residents.
Master Dissertation in Civil Engineering-Construction of Bruno Miguel Figueiredo Gomes , 2010.