BIGMODERN - Subproject 2: Demonstration project of an official building in Bruck
This project is a sub project of the flagship project "BIGMODERN – Sustainable modernisation standards for buildings owned by the Federal Republic of Austria of the period from the 1950s to the 1980s"
The Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG) is one of the biggest public owners of buildings in Austria. In the course of the adoption of several international agreements concerning environmental protection (Kyoto protocol [United Nations 1998]) as well as European guidelines – like for example the directive on buildings (2010) or the energy services directive (2006) – the Republic of Austria has obligated itself to implement energy efficiency-measures and CO2-reduction steps. Besides these international commitments there are further national standards which are supposed to be met. An agreement under the terms of Art 15a B-VG between the Federal Government and the federal states concerning measures in the building sector with the aim of reducing greenhouse gases describes fresh standards for new buildings as well as any kind of refurbishment of public buildings.
Taking the aforementioned directives and agreements into account, it can be seen that the BIG is obligated to meet high demands regarding energy saving when renovating buildings.
In doing so, one has to keep in mind that the BIG comprises approx. 2.800 buildings with a total square footage of approx. 7 million m2, including 300 school locations (with 600 buildings), 21 universities (with 380 buildings) and 1.800 official buildings, offices, bureaus and special properties.
In the frame of this subproject being part of the flagship project "BIGMODERN – Sustainable modernization standards for buildings owned by the Federal Republic of Austria of the period from the 1950s to the 1980s", a decision matrix as well as a handbook for planning, including feasibility analysis and a collection of information, serving as decision guidance for planning and implementation of sustainable building refurbishment, is being developed. In this way, the risk for planners and builders of the usage of new sustainable technologies shall be minimized.
To reach the aim of sustainable refurbish-standards in praxis, there have to be bigger changes in different technologies. Innovative technologies in the context of modernization mean additional efforts in planning and coordination, which are hardly possible in the standard planning process. Changes in the standard planning process and in the used technologies imply risks for the building owner like exploding costs, less saving than planned in operation and susceptibility to failure. To get innovations into modernization-standards, these risks have to be minimized.
The core element of the flagship project is the implementation of two demonstration projects, which should be modernized especially for the BIG according to above-average quality standards concerning energy efficiency and sustainability while complying with an industrial management point of view. This is supposed to raise the BIG’s awareness of breaking new grounds in order to maintain innovative and yet cost-effective renovations.
The aim is to set new standards in conventional renovation and to tap the BIG’s full potential concerning implementations.
Contents and Objectives
Aim of this sub-project is to gather and prepare information/experiences of pilot projects and research, so that it can be directly used in the planning and decision process of the building owner BIG and other building owners. The results of sub-project 5 support the planner and project-manager in the draft-design and design phase of the innovative elements of the renovations with decision-standards and analytical tools. The main target-field is the modernization of school- and office-buildings of the 50s to 80s. Final result is a decision matrix and a planning-handbook with collected feasibility studies and information. The project will lead to sustainable standards with innovative technologies as normal modernization-standard, minimizing the risks in the lead-up design of projects.
In these premises the actual sub-project supported the planning process for the demonstration project Amtshaus Bruck with the following aims:
- demonstration, to what extent the renovation of an official building can be carried out, having regard to a high thermal-energetic quality and further sustainability criteria;
- based on the basis-commitment of the BIG to build demonstration buildings according to an above-average quality-standard, a concretion of the demands for quality concerning energy efficiency and sustainability for the concrete refurbishment proposal ought to be implemented (depicted in the scope of services of AP 1);
- shaping and supervision of the planning process in a way, that the requested qualitystandards are not “getting lost” during the planning process (dealt with in detail in AP 2 for the preliminary design as well as the outline planning and in AP 3 for the implementation planning)
- based on the “lessons learned” at the demonstration project Amtshaus Bruck, general conclusions and recommendations for further development proposals as a core outcome of AP 4 ought to be deduced.
The project partners’ role was client consulting with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. The project team continually monitored the compliance with the requested criteria for meeting the objective. At the same time, suggestions concerning thermal-energetic optimization were proposed during the meetings. These proposals were double-checked by the chief executive architect in terms of feasibility, saving of energy and costs. In the detailed planning phase, concrete details as well as tender documents with respect to compliance with the quality criteria and the integration of energy efficiency-indicators were checked.
Concerning technical solutions, the buck stops with the chief executive architect.
Results and conclusions
The sub-project contributed remarkably to an integrated design process with a comprehensive tuning and optimisation process between the planning of the sub-systems of the building. In this context integrated planning can be seen as an indispensable requirement for the implementation of high-level standards with respect to sustainability and energy efficiency in the modernization of federal public buildings.
By integrating high energy efficiency standards into the planning process, a building which can realise high energy savings could be planned. Based on this achievement, further refurbishment-projects of the BIG can profit from the gained solutions and concepts.
It is of utmost importance that sustainability criteria are defined betimes in the planning process and that the compliance with these criteria is controlled continuously until the detailed planning and the tender is completed. Thus it can be assured that high quality standards are being adhered to.
Already in the preliminary draft various optimization alternatives have to be considered and tested. Suggestions and recommendations for improvements in the planning phase ought to be based on the incitement of the client. The builder is supposed to ensure that there are competent collaborators as far as the energy sector is concerned, so that technical solutions of the planner can be double-checked accurately. A detailed building simulation implemented by the client might point out critical points. Together with the planning team solutions for an optimized building draft can be compiled.
At the same time, both client and tenant must be informed about the building and operating costs. In the best of cases this should already happen at the start of the project, but no later than the preliminary draft phase. A comparison of the life cycle costs of a standard refurbishment versus the costs of a refurbishment including high energy efficiency standards is of paramount relevance for the tenants. Based on life cycle analysis, both ecologic and economic sustainability can be guaranteed.
Only if it can be illustrated to the tenants, that higher capital expenditure at the beginning is reasonable, since the high quality standard entails lower operating costs, energy-efficient solutions can be implemented. The impacts on the convenience of use should be illustrated within the scope of the planning. Nevertheless, the restricted budgetary prospects of the tenants of the BIG have to be considered as well.
These energy efficiency-standards ought to be recommended henceforward to all ministries for all modernisation plans of the BIG concerning existing buildings constructed in the period between the 1950s and the 1980s. However, this quality standard has to be accepted by the ministries, possible extra expenses must be budgeted. From the BIG’s view it is important not to disband the ministries (as awarding authory) from their responsibility. Without active contribution of the tenant concerning implementing and operating energy-efficient buildings, high energy efficiency standards are hardly reasonable.
Mag. Dirk Jäger