e80^3-Buildings - Sub project 1: Basics

Goal of this subproject was to select the building with the highest potential within a building-portfolio. Therefore a criteria catalogue was developed, which is generally applicable.

Short Description

This project is a subproject of the flagship project "e80^3-Buildings - Renovation Concepts for Residential Buildings to Plus-Energy Buildings with Prefabricated Active Roof-and Façade Modules, Integrated Building Services and Grid Integration"




Starting point / motivation

The existing building stock offers a major potential to reduce our energy demand. It would be necessary however to rehabilitate all existing buildings. But as a matter of fact it can be stated that there are also buildings which are not that worth to be maintained as sustainable for continued existence (due to their location or infrastructural surrounding or their building structures).

Once the decision to renovate a building is made, there are a lot of existing assessment and evaluation tools. For example: within the “Building of Tomorrow” – programme there are criteria catalogues for both new and renovated buildings. Furthermore the TQB (Total Quality Building) assessment is available. But there is no tool that assists owners or planners within the decision “renovation or demolition?” and “What is an appropriate renovation strategy for this specific building?”

Methods of treatment

First of all the four assessment categories were established. Afterwards all existing tools (klima:aktiv, TQB, criteria for housing subsidies,..) were investigated to identify relevant criteria.

Most of them are depicted now in the first category “Quality of the location and the building”, the criteria for the further three categories were not perceived up to now – so they had to be developed based on experiences. At the same time two non-profit housing associations provided six residential buildings. They were investigated due to the necessary input data for the criteria catalogue. The assessment of these buildings with the newly developed tool as well as feedback from project partners from their testing showed a potential improvement – which was integrated in the final and now available version.

Additionally an explanatory report provides more detailed information to show the background of the assessment system.

Objectives and contens

In order to find the residential building with the highest potential for a renovation to a plusenergy-building a benchmarking-procedure was started. The decision whether to renovate or demolish a building is supported by generally applicable assessment criteria grouped into four categories.

If you decide for a comprehensive renovation, the tool provides also assistance to find the appropriate strategy: Prefabricated large-scale renovation modules are not necessarily always the best solution. Depending on the access to the building-site and several characteristics of the building and façade structure the full variety of possible solutions should be taken into account – and out of that one will prove as best for the specific framework.

The four assessment categories are:

  • Quality of the Location and the Building
  • Renovation Potential
  • Potential Plus-Energy
  • Potential for Application of a Prefabricated Module

This structure offers a differential evaluation. For example: Buildings in locations with good infrastructure and less impairments (sound, dust, neighboured industry or intensely frequented traffic lines,.) do not necessarily have a high renovation potential – maybe they show very bad apartment layout. Therefore the view on different aspects may lead to a more differentiated view on a single building and allows a ranking of priorities within a building-portfolio.


The identification of “high-potential” buildings and the reaction on existing framework with adequate strategies is the key aspect for a sustainable development of our building stock. The developed criteria catalogue provides assistance before the planning starts with questions such as “Is a renovation on this specific building-site sustainable and future-oriented?” If the answer is YES, the catalogue shows the possible and adequate strategy for further renovation work. It is also possible to continue in already existing tools like klima:aktiv or TQB because the criteria are harmonized.

The first application within the subproject 1 – the assessment for six residential buildings provided a benchmarking to select the demonstration project. Furthermore it proved the practicability and the relevance of results of the criteria catalogue.

Beside the choice of the demonstration project the result of subproject 1 is a generally applicable criteria catalogue that provides sustainable development of our building stock.

Project Partners

Project management

DI Dr. Karl Höfler
AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien

Project collaborator

DI Sonja Geier, DI Armin Knotzer, David Venus,

Project or cooperation partner

Contact Address

AEE - Institute for Sustainable Technologies
DI Sonja Geier
Feldgasse 19, 8200 Gleisdorf
Tel.: +43 (3112) 5886-64
Fax: +43 (3112) 5886-18
E-Mail: s.geier@aee.at
Web: www.aee-intec.at