1000 passive houses in Austria - 2nd documentation period 2004 - 2005

2nd documentation period of the joint project of IG Passivhaus Österreich under the programme line "Building of tomorrow", an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) to set up a detailed network documentation on a representative cross-section of all passive houses in Austria.

Short Description





The ecological passive house meets the need for living quality, comfort and cosiness to an extent hardly yet reached, both in single-family and multi-family homes and public and commercial buildings. It is the most consistent concept of sustainable building. In order to further promote this positive development tendency it was imperative to establish a comprehensive network of passive houses from all over Austria.


This unique network has covered 83% of all passive houses built until 2003, 61% built until 2004, 40% built until 2005, and 28% of all passive houses built until 2006 in Austria as successful examples of sustainable building. In total, 503 passive-house building projects, primarily from Austria, and 40 international projects have been documented. This platform for expert planners, property developers, trades and opinion-leaders serves to expand their knowledge about the passive house, different building types and uses, construction methods, services and technical equipment concepts and architectural solutions demonstrated in already built projects. Experiences, developments and trends towards implementing the passive house standard are opened to the general public in all Austrian provinces.

Processing method

The central online database was used as the management tool focussing exclusively on the passive house for entering and managing data gathered from all over Austria in a uniform data entry mask. The user can select permanently updated buildings by using targeted search criteria and obtains various evaluations also in the form of charts and diagrams. The purpose is to provide maximum market diffusion in order to more rapidly disseminate information about the passive house.


The criteria for including passive houses in the IG Passivhaus joint project are solely those set up by the Passivhaus Institut Darmstadt! This secures the high scientific quality and offers a major contribution to raise the general awareness of the high quality standard.

The buildings are subdivided in five categories:

  • Category "Passive-house residential buildings with a heating load < 10 W/m²"
  • Category "Passive-house residential buildings with an energy requirement < 15 kWh/m²a"
  • Category "Residential buildings close to passive houses with an energy requirement of 15 to 20 kWh/m²a"
  • Category "Passive-house special-purpose buildings"
  • Category "Refurbishment of existing buildings with passive-house components"


Due to the broad basis of cooperation in capturing planned and already built passive houses in Austria, as of July 31, 2006, the essential data of a total of 503 passive houses, 463 of them in Austria covering around 2000 residential units, were gathered, documented and made available on the Internet.

  • 67 multi-family and row houses with a total useful floor space of 160,501m²
  • 334 single-family and semi-detached houses with a total useful floor space of 57,862m²
  • 19 schools, nursery schools, special-purpose buildings
  • with a total useful floor space of 47,918m²
  • 43 office, commercial, administrative buildings with a total useful floor space of 48,785m²
  • 463 buildings in Austria total useful floor space 315,066m²
  • 40 international buildings from 11 countries with a total useful floor space of 24,201m²
  • 503 buildings included in the database with a total useful floor space of 339,267m²

Table: Evaluation of the documented 463 Austrian passive house buildings - Saved energy and emissions vs conventionally built structures

07/2006 [*]
new 448 1.630 11.450
refurbished 15 30 350
total 463 1.660 11.800
floor space [tm²]
new buildings 292 897 6.300
refurbished buildings 23 50 560
total 315 947 6.860
heating energy requirement (HER) [GWh]
new buildings 16 49 346
refurbished buildings 4 9 104
total / year 20 58 450
Domestic fuel oil / year [tl] 2.037 5.852 45.000
CO2 savings [t CO2]
new buildings 4.667 14.300 100.800
refurbished buildings 1.402 3.000 33.600
total / year 6.069 17.300 134.400
[*] documented passive houses from Austria
  • The passive house market has rapidly increased since 1996
  • 4% of all new buildings as per end of 2006,
  • 25 - 28% as per 2010 and 62 - 98% share of passive houses (PH) as per 2020
  • Forecast for end of 2006 - around 4000 residential units (RE) with 10,000 passive house residents
  • In Austria 2.5 times more PH buildings per 1 million inhabitants than in Germany
  • 463 documented buildings from Austria with a total useful floor space of 315,066m²
  • Vorarlberg has the highest density of passive houses in Austria - 0.16 buildings per 1000 inhabitants
  • As for the number of buildings, Lower Austria leads against Upper Austria and Vorarlberg
  • Vienna has best documented multi-family passive houses with 715 RE and 60,300 m² of useful floor space
  • Upper Austria has more office, commercial and special-purpose buildings than residential buildings, the useful floor space totalling 47,180 m²
  • Lower Austria has the highest number of single-family passive houses with a floor space of 17,900 m²
  • Mean pressure test values n50 of 0.43 1/h significantly below limit value for passive houses of 0.6 1/h
  • Mean annual heating energy requirement (HER) according to PHPP of 14.27 kWh/m²a
  • Mean HER value according to OIB calculation 2.66 kWh/m²a lower than according to PHPP
  • Heating load acc. to PHPP below 10 W/m² in 79 buildings, 40% of which by 2 project teams
  • Mean heating load acc. to PHPP 12.64 W/m²
  • Heating load of all 11 multi-family homes in Vienna below 10 W/m²K
  • 52% of all buildings in timber construction
  • 66% of all buildings with basement floor; most of them outside the thermal envelope
  • 61% of all passive-house buildings < 15 kWh/m²a have not installed stand-by chimney
  • 44% of all buildings close to passive-house standard of 15 - 20 kWh/m²a have no stand-by chimney
  • 66% of all buildings equipped with compact units
  • 50% of multi-family homes have decentralised, 50% central ventilation systems
  • 2006: already as many as 30 refurbishments of old buildings to passive-house standard, 15 of them documented
  • Importance of refurbishment of old buildings to passive-house standard growing strongly and, according to forecasts, will contribute as much as 72% of in total 3.02 million tons of CO2 savings - this corresponds to an annual fuel consumption/emissions of 950,000 passenger cars
  • Government housing subsidy programmes (GHSP) have direct impact on the number of PH residential buildings
  • Last amendment to Upper Austrian GHSP had severely negative influence
  • In Vorarlberg housing subsidies are granted only if buildings meet passive-house standard
  • GHSP Impulse Programme Passive House could create an additional 17,000 jobs until 2010, and in the refurbishment sector another 83,000 jobs until 2016
  • Excellent architecture of passive houses against conventional building standard
  • Almost every type of architecture suited for passive-house standard, offering genuine harmony between architecture and living comfort
  • Passive houses available for all buyer strata
  • 50% of building owners agree to have their houses visited

The passive-house building database is currently visited by up to 1400 users daily on the three websites:

Project Partners


Ing. Günter Lang
Lang consulting, Konsulent für innovative Baukonzepte, Wien
IG Passivhaus Oberösterreich, Geschäftsführer


  • Ing. Christof Drexel, Arch. DI Helmut Krapmeier, DI Bernd Krauß
    IG Passivhaus Vorarlberg
  • Ing. Günter Lang
    IG Passivhaus Oberösterreich
  • DI Klaus Kiessler
    IG Passivhaus Ost
  • Wolfgang Lackner, Arch. DI Andreas Lang
    IG Passivhaus Steiermark/Burgenland
  • Alexander Treichl
    IG Passivhaus Kärnten
  • Bernhard Schwarze
    IG Passivhaus Tirol


Ing. Günter Lang
Lang consulting, Konsulent für innovative Baukonzepte
Linzerstraße 280/6, A 1140 Wien
Tel.: +43 650 900 20 40
E-Mail: g.lang@langconsulting.at