This paper argues that the conservation of the built environment in general and of mass housing, in particular, should go beyond material and technical parameters to include social pertinence over the long term. This approach was not used to construct those post-war housing estates that have an excessive number of small housing units. Today, this kind of housing is outdated in relation to current domestic requirements including home-based work. Policy decision-makers should carefully formulate a strategy before undertaking renovation projects on an individual basis. The enlarged approach requested in this paper considers housing as lived-space rather than as an inanimate object. Each residential building has specific material, typological and spatial characteristics which are meaningful to people. The approach outlined in this paper reevaluates housing by a careful analysis of its material and experiential characteristics.