Development and application of an consultancy model to promote sustainable building design

Development of an consultancy model to promote ecologic and economic sustainable building solutions within the planning process. Analysis of the efficiency of guided (integral) meetings with architects, planners, and experts for different items.

Content Description




Initial position

The targets concerning sustainability in designing new buildings or renovation projects have been known for a long time. The aspired aims are a high comfort for the inhabitants connected with an as small as possible need for resources. A high performance in the fields of energetic behaviour, building physics and biological rating has to be reached. In addition the buildings have to be affordable in erection, operating and disposal. Different disciplines have built up great competences to achieve these requirements by now. Although numerous experts are available for the individual disciplines, the existing knowledge is mostly used in an inefficient way. As a consequence, often, sustainable solutions are not implemented because the level of information of the decision makers in the planning process in this regard is insufficient.

Idea of project

A consulting team arranged individually depending on the requirements of the respective building influences the upcoming planning decisions according to the aims of sustainability. The consulting team, consisting of experts in the field of building physics, energy management and building ecology, and the customers of the consultation meet for a (moderated) consulting meeting. The primary aim of the project is to strengthen the level of information regarding sustainable solutions in real building projects and to bring specialized knowledge to where the greatest effect can be achieved: namely to the decision maker in planning processes. The secondary effect of the project is the development of an information tool (guideline for integral consulting conversations) aiming for a strengthening of sustainable solutions in the planning process of buildings. The development of the guideline is based on the consulting conversations carried out in the context of the project.

Putting into action

The target group who assigned integral consulting conversations ranged from hospital operators, railway companies, housing associations, architects, engineering offices, up to private customers. The spectrum of the 84 building projects, which were dealt with, contained buildings, hotels, laboratory buildings, office buildings, various special buildings, residential buildings and detached houses. A number of 105 consulting sessions was assigned by the customers. Thereof 58 consulting sessions concerned new buildings, 32 dealt with renovation projects and 15 consulting sessions included both topics. The consulting team was arranged according to the requirements in the respective building process. In most of the cases the number of experts was between two and four. Moreover, a moderator was involved in 61 % of the consultations.


Even if the integral planning approach seems to be self-evident, the integral consulting conversations often identified lack of knowledge in the fields of building physics, building ecology and energy management. The basics needed for an implementation of sustainable building design had to be developed in many cases. It has been found that the accomplished integral consulting conversations had, based on the concentrated knowledge of several disciplines, the ability to counteract these circumstances and to strengthen the belief of planers and customers in alternative, sustainable building solutions. A taut consulting organization and ambitious and excellent consultants with well developed team skills are basic requirements for a successful implementation.

Project Partners

Project management

DI Dr. Thomas Mach, Ao. Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Wolfgang Streicher, Inst. f. Wärmetechnik (IWT), Technische Universität Graz

Project collaborator

DI Dr. Richard Heimrath, DI Dr. Hermann Schranzhofer, DI Thomas Eiper


  • Mag. Sirit Kostron, DI Susanne Bruner-Lienhart
    Interuniversitäres Forschungszentrum f. Technik, Arbeit u. Kultur (IFZ)
  • Univ.-Prof. Mag. DI Dr. Dr. Peter Kautsch, DI Herwig Hengsberger
    Institut für Hochbau und Bauphysik, Technische Universität Graz
  • BMST Ing. Heribert Hegedys, DI Michael Pock, Dr. Romana Ull,
    Ing. Günther Dörr, DI Martin Meißnitzer, DI Gertrud Holzleitner
    Haus der Baubiologie, Graz
  • Ing. Christian Fink, DI Ernst Blümel, Ing. Josef Schröttner
    Arbeitsgemeinschaft Erneuerbare Energie (AEE INTEC)

cooperation with

  • ÖKOINFORM - Informationsknoten für ökologisches Bauen
    LEARNCONSULT - DI Meitz & Ing. Pock OEG


DI Thomas Mach
Institut für Wärmetechnik, Technische Universität Graz
Inffeldgasse 25
A 8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 316 873-7814
Fax: +43 316 873-7305