BIGMODERN Subproject 3: Demonstration building University Innsbruck - Main building of the Faculty for Technical Sciences - Planning process

Demonstration of feasibility of renovation of an official building in high thermal and energetical quality and consideration of further sustainable criteria.

Short Description

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"



Starting point/motivation

In the course of various national and international agreements on energy saving and climate protection (Kyoto Protocol (United Nations, 1998)) as well as European guidelines such as the buildings directive (Richtlinie, 2010) or the energy services directive (Richtlinie, 2006), the Republic of Austria has committed itself to implement energy efficiency measures and CO2-saving measures.

In addition to international obligations there are additional national measures which have to be met by public buildings. Articles 12 and 13 of the agreement pursuant to Article 15a B-VG between the government and the federal states concerning measures in the building sector for the purpose of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases defines requirements concerning the contracting parties for the construction and renovation of public buildings.

The BIG holding of Austria’s largest public real estate companies owning roughly 2,800 public buildings which comprise a total building area of approx. 7 million m2. At the same time the BIG holding is also one of Austria’s most important building developers, which in the acts in a market-based way by trying constantly to optimize cost and processes. The portfolio consists of the following segments: schools (about 40%); universities (about 12%) and special property (about 12%). Since January 2013 the BIG holding has furthermore concentrated its portfolio in the administration and office segment as well as development property into an affiliated company called ARE Austrian Real Estate GmbH. Its portfolio consists of about 600 buildings with about 1.8 million m2. The affiliated company ARE aims at addressing also private tenants.

As a publicly owned company the BIG holding has to meet high demands in terms of energy savings and sustainability as regards renovation of its building stock. Therefore, BIG has submitted a pilot project to House of Future Plus. 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 (especially as far as the planning phase is concerned) 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

Against this background, the objective sub-project supported the planning process at the main building of the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the University of Innsbruck with the following objectives:

  • Demonstration of the extent to which the renovation of a federal office building is feasible, if high level of thermal-energetic quality is implemented and if additional sustainability criteria are taken into account;
  • Starting from the basic commitment of BIG to implement above-average quality standards into demonstration buildings, a specification of the quality requirements for energy efficiency and sustainability based on the TQB set of criteria for sustainable buildings should be carried out for the specific modernization project (as depicted in the scope of work of AP 1);
  • Design and support of the planning processes in a way that the required quality standards are not “lost” during the planning process (as edited in detail in AP 2 for the preliminary planning and design, and in AP 3 for the detailed design);
  • Based on the “lessons learned” in the demonstration project office building Bruck, an outlet for generalizable conclusions and recommendations for further planning project is carried out as a core result of AP 4

Methodological approach

The task of the project partners referred to consulting with a special focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. Within the scope of their scope of work the project team continuously reviewed the compliance with the target criteria. At the same time, proposals and suggestions concerning thermal and energy optimization were contributed during the planning meetings. These proposed solutions were examined by the general planner as far as feasibility, energy conservation and the construction costs are concerned. Concerning the detailed planning, concrete details and the tender documents have been tested for compliance with the quality criteria as well as for the integration of energy efficiency indicators. Responsibility for the technical solutions was carried entirely by the general planner.


The energy efficiency and sustainability standards which have been tested in both demonstration projects (office building Bruck/Mur; University Innsbruck, building engineering faculty) shall be recommended to the user ministries (tenants) for implementation for all future modernization projects in existing buildings of BIG of construction period of the 1950s to 1980s. However, this quality standard has to be accepted by the ministries, any additional costs incurred in the implementation / in compliance with energy efficiency and sustainability standards have to be budgeted. The advantages in terms of life cycle costs have to be presented. Hence, the consideration of the life cycle costs shall be implemented in a standardized way in the future planning.

From the perspective of BIG it is necessary that the ministries as clients of BIG are not relieved of their responsibility. Without active contribution of the tenants the implementation of high energy efficiency and sustainability standards in modernization of federal buildings is not viable.

Project Partners

Project managemant

  • Mag. Dirk Jäger
    Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m. b. H.

Project partners

  • DI (FH) Gerhard Hofer, Mag. Klemens Leutgöb, DI Margot Grim, DI Christoph Kuh
    e7 Energie Markt Analyse GmbH
  • DI Gerhard Bucar
    Grazer Energieagentur GmbH

Contact Address

Architekt Mag. Dirk Jäger
BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.
Hintere Zollamtsstraße 1
A-1031 Wien
Tel.: +43 05 0244 4829