Morphology of a City - The Austrian Built Environment

This study uses several data sources to analyze the effects of the research programe "Haus der Zukunft" ("Building of Tomorrow") on the Austrian housebuilding industry and the built environment.

Short Description


Starting point/motivation

The research program "Haus der Zukunft" ("Building of Tomorrow") has been in existence for 15 years and has shaped the Austrian built environment, especially through the development and the implementation of high thermal qualities in building construction and retrofitting. The main aim of this study is to highlight the effects these research programs have had on the Austrian built environment.

Contents and goals

In accordance with the aim and motivation of the study, national and international data sets are presented on fields such as energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, national plans to cope with EU guidelines, the development of energy performance of building stock and new constructions, thermal retrofitting and ecological building materials.

After providing the framework for the program "Haus der Zukunft" this study focuses more clearly on the direct effects of particular research projects and describes some of them systematically.

The main data for this impact analysis are expert interviews conducted for this purpose. These interviews also provided ideas for possible future research projects within the "Haus der Zukunft" framework.

Methods of treatment

This study is based on an in-depth analysis of several data sources. Austrian information is bench-marked against neighbouring countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and EU average data. The impact analysis of "Haus der Zukunft" and the possible future research focus is based on the expert interviews.


Some of the main findings are:

  • The building sector could do more!

    While the building sector has shown very good performance in space heating savings, additional action has to be taken to reach the ambitious EU targets of reducing emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80-90% by 2050. National plans that implement EU targets are not ambitious enough.

  • Continuity of new construction at high energy standards

    This continuity is seen as one of the main strengths of Austrian housing policy. Haus der Zukunft has contributed strongly to implementing passive house standards into new construction.

  • The rate of refurbishments is still too low

    Within all building segments the necessary refurbishment rate of 3% has clearly not yet been reached. In order to increase the refurbishment rate, solutions tailored to the building segments have to be sought. These include adaptations of the legal framework, financial incentives, research and demonstration projects and raising awareness.

  • Long-term cooperation of housing subsidy schemes with Haus der Zukunft

    Haus der Zukunft has provided essential input for the adaption of the regional subsidy schemes, especially regarding the feasibility of high energy and ecology standards. Conversely, it was the housing subsidy schemes that have helped to implement standards established by Haus der Zukunft projects into the mainstream.

  • Haus der Zukunft as link between research and industry

    Developers, the construction industry, building material providers and construction-related service providers have all committed to energy efficiency and ecology. Very high energy standards are provided by the building industry at large. Haus der Zukunft has contributed strongly to this development and has helped to establish Austrian firms as leading players in the very competitive international market for energy efficient buildings.

  • Ample fields for further research

    This study describes 38 possible topics for future research projects within the Haus der Zukunft framework. These topics include a stronger focus on basic research, connecting European initiatives, shaping the program’s profile, technological priorities in new construction and refurbishment and the development of new building materials.

Project Partners

Project menagement

IIBW - Institute for Real Estate Construction and Housing Ltd.
FH-Doz. Dr. Wolfgang Amann

Project partners

IIBW - Institute for Real Estate Construction and Housing Ltd.
  • Dr. Nadejda Komendantova, MMag. Alexis Mundt

Contact Address

IIBW - Institute for Real Estate Construction and Housing Ltd.
PF 2
A-1020 Wien
Tel.: + 43 (1) 968 60 08