Foto: Wohnhaus der SolarCity

BIGMODERN - Sustainable refurbishment standards of federal buildings constructed between 1950 and 1980

The project aims at developing sustainability and climate protection criteria for the refurbishment of federal buildings of the postwar period. These criteria will be tested for their practical suitability within the framework of demonstration projects. Subsequently, these criteria will be defined as fundamental guiding principles in the planning and building processes for all future BIG retrofit projects.

Short Description

This project is a Building of Tomorrow flagship project.




Starting point / motivation

While the BIG has already realized new constructed buildings in an energy efficient and climate protecting manner as showcases (e.g. Haus der Forschung, residential passive house Jungstraße together with Raiffeisen Evolution) overall and functional refurbishments are still conventional state of the art adaptations. The refurbishments fit to the valid building regulations, but are widely carried out without any orientation to sustainable and climate protecting refurbishment standards.

The BIG refurbishment plans have a high share in the total investments of the BIG. For that reason consequent steps from conventional to innovative refurbishment solutions are required. In practice lots of different barriers occur regarding the realization of innovative refurbishment solutions:

  • Technological leaps, which are necessary to reach high standards in sustainability and energy efficiency, include serious risks for builders and planers.
  • Sustainable and energy efficient refurbishments require new planning processes. All sub planners are highly integrated to adjust and optimize the processes among all crafts. Furthermore sustainability and energy efficiency criteria are already needed in the very early planning phase (e.g. for the definition of the competition entry framework).
  • In general, investment decisions on refurbishments base upon manufacturing costs – also for public buildings. To implement sustainable and climate protecting refurbishments operation costs over the whole life cycle have to be added to manufacturing costs. These costs together are the basis for the investment decision.

Contents and goals

The flagship project deals with the explained barriers comprehensively and follows the particular project aims in a structured manner:

  • Implementation of two large demonstration projects with the aim of the practical feasibility (cost effectiveness, functionality, judicial implementation) survey of sustainability and energy efficiency criteria in specific modernizations projects.
  • Based on know-how and experiences, which have been gained during the planning and construction phase of the demonstration projects, sustainability and energy efficiency criteria will be defined as fundamental guiding principles in the planning and building processes for all future BIG retrofit projects.
  • Role model for other large public and private real estate companies to define similar innovative and sustainable standards for their modernization projects.

Methodological approach

Core element of the flagship project is the realization of both demonstration projects. Both refurbishment projects are federal buildings constructed between 1950 and 1980. Considering ambitious – largely thermal – criteria the planning process has already started. For both demonstration projects competition entries have already been selected, which have great potential for sustainable and energy efficient modernization. In an accompanying research part several sub projects will be supported scientifically in their decision making process. In detail:

  • Realization of a planning process accompanying life cycle cost analysis to find the alternative at optimal costs over the whole life cycle – not only at optimal manufacturing costs.
  • Prior to the application of innovative retrofitting measures a concise feasibility study on crucial technologies will be undertaken to reduce risks of planners and builders.
  • Judicial implementation of a resource saving and (therewith) operating costs reducing modernization; the contract will be closed between BIG and particular ministries respectively between planners and builders. Total usage costs (net rent without heating plus operating costs) will be used as basic principle.
  • Furthermore a monitoring and evaluation system will be developed, which collects data of the demonstration objects. Subsequently, the database will support release of the first project results.

Expected results / conclusions

Results and experiences gained in the prior planning and construction process of the demonstration projects will be summarized in an evaluation and documentation section. Hence standard goal criteria for sustainable and energy efficient modernizations and standard planning process will be derived. Subsequently, these standard criteria should be valid for all BIG modernization projects in the building stock of the postwar period (1950-1980).

Dissemination covers the spread of project results (“lessons learned”) to other real estate companies and planners as well as sustainable implementation of the results in the future BIG planning process.

Again, please note, we state explicitly that the BIG has already taken self-contained and essential steps to implement sustainable and energy efficient standards in their own planning processes. Prior the announcement to the call for planners thermal-energetic goal criteria were defined and integrated by the beginning of the planning process of the demonstration projects. In addition to the preliminary survey of the contributions it was verified if the particular contributions really meet the expected goal criteria. Finally contributions were selected which are fully able to meet the expected sustainability and energy efficiency criteria, respectively even exceed the expected criteria. This flagship project makes a contribution to the already taken BIG efforts within the range of sustainable and energy efficient refurbishment. The contribution of this project strengthens and develops their efforts toward a high-class standard. Considerable positive ecological effects will be the result if sustainable and energy efficient modernizations succeed to become standard. Moreover the BIG acts as role model and maybe influences further real estate companies considering sustainability and energy efficiency criteria as well.

Demonstration Projects

  • Building type: municipality
  • Address: 8600 Bruck an der Mur, An der Postwiese 8
  • Year of construction: 1965
  • Net floor space: 6,342 m² (whole object)
  • Specification: precast concrete skeleton construction with brick-and-stud-work, platform roof
  • Energy demand in stock (heating demand): ~ 153.38 kWh/m²a
  • Energy demand after refurbishment (heating demand): energy efficiency class A of the energy pass (max. 25 kWh/m²a)
  • Heating consumption in kWh: 625.000 kWh (rounded, 2007)
  • Overall refurbishment measures: modernizationbuilding shell, building services, functional retrofit, extension
  • Construction costs: € 8.1 m (net)
  • Renter: BMJ, BMF, BEV
  • Users: district court, tax office, Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen
  • Building type: University
  • Address: 6020 Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 13
  • Year of construction: 1971
  • Net floor space: ~ 12,200 m² (main building without lecture halls)
  • Specification: precast concrete skeleton construction; facade: ribbon glazing and concrete slab, cantilevering exit balconies, platform roof
  • Energy demand in stock (heating demand):~ 86 kWh/m²a energy pass 2010
  • Energy demand after refurbishment (heating demand): energy efficiency class A of the energy pass (max. 25 kWh/m²a)
  • Overall refurbishment measures: modernizationbuilding shell, building services, functional retrofit
  • Construction costs: € 13.2 m (net)
  • Render: Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck
  • User: faculty for civil engineering

Project Partners

Project management

Architekt Mag. Dirk Jäger
BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.

Project and cooperation partners

Contact Address

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

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