Pilot project gaining-building-land Pongau

Gaining extra space for additional households through sustainable renovation and/or extension of 8 detached houses by integrating consulting, planning, energy efficiency concepts and financing.

Short Description





In Austria, an estimated number of 400,000 detached houses (or: single-family homes) are in need of renovation as regards energy consumption and adjustment to the changes in household forms. Furthermore, it must be regarded as beneficial in terms of ecology and sustainability to focus on converting buildings for new uses and adapting existing land resources and structures rather than on developing new building land. In most cases, however, the considerable potentials of building conversion and of density increase among the detached housing stock have neither been recognised nor have they been developed. This applies, above all, to neighbourhoods characterised by houses which were built in the post-war period and in the so-called "economic miracle" (Wirtschaftswunder) times of the 1950s and which, at least in parts, are in need of renovation. The pilot project conducted under Building for Tomorrow (Haus der Zukunft - HdZ) aims at implementing the insights gained from the basic research study on "Gaining Building Land without Expansion", conducted under Building for Tomorrow in 2003. In the Land of Salzburg, three residential areas where the housing stock is single family homes were selected after recording their internal and external reserves and after scrutinising the opportunities of mobilisation. Such sustainable projects, however, are frequently hampered by restraints, such as unpredictable planning measures and resulting financial consequences. Selecting the Pongau district as pilot region had the following background: In the municipality of Altenmarkt, one of the examples of the research study mentioned above, the relevance of internal living space reserves has proved most evident. As a result of the changes in the social and economic structures of the whole region, private accommodation and lodging have gradually been given up, which has resulted in a lot of vacancies in large detached houses. Therefore, the local representatives have been highly interested in the sustainable mobilisation of these living space reserves to accommodate to the changed housing demands. It may be assumed that other regions, too, suffer the impact of current social trends, such as ageing of the population, increase in single households, new forms of domestic partnership and alternative workplace arrangements, but also from the rising interest in city life among young people, which, altogether, will cause similar problems of utilisation for such objects.


Based on the results of the study on "Gaining Building Land without Expansion", conducted under Building for Tomorrow, the pilot project "Gaining Building Land in the Pongau" focuses on renovating 8 detached houses in a sustainable way and/or extending them to gain extra space for additional households in the existing properties. The 8 examples selected shall demonstrate ways to activate these reserves. Special consideration will be given to space optimisation and energy optimisation. The existing structures shall be adapted to meet the standards for low energy consumption, whereas the external extensions shall be designed according to passive house standard. Space optimisation of the detached houses, which shall help tackle the problems associated with the socio-demographic changes, will also rely on the analyses and planning scenarios of the Building for Tomorrow research study. The 8 demonstrator examples selected shall provide prove that the adaptation of existing detached houses may help cope with the changes in housing needs and household forms. The selection of the specific project examples was based on the various forms of utilisation intended by the participating property developers and building owners. These forms of utilisation range from homes suiting multi-generations, to (sheltered) housing, to arrangements for living and working and to letting. The Salzburg Department for Housing Subsidies has been considering a special funding for efforts to increase the building density in neighbourhoods predominantly stocked with detached houses and, therefore, this pilot project will be subject to assessment.


The 8 demonstrator examples will be implemented by combining comprehensive consulting and planning with a flexible financing model including government funding, financing through banks and, if required, contracting. As regards contracting, the amount of 8 participants makes good sense to form a financing pool. The financing model will be based on the results of the project on "Saving energy with ‘single-family house contracting'", implemented under Energy Systems for Tomorrow (Energiesysteme der Zukunft - EdZ), and on the "Zuschlagspunktemodell" of the Land of Salzburg, a programme, which, based on a rating system, aims to enhance and subsidise measures for the improvement of building energy efficiency. For the purpose of quality assurance, the project will be subject to monitoring and assessment. Based on the results of this pilot project, a marketing programme for "Gaining Building Land" will be developed, which shall serve the dissemination of information and results. The project is supported by the municipalities participating in the project, by the Regionalforum Pongau and by the Land of Salzburg. The network bauen innovativ will serve as a platform to disseminate information on the project among the relevant branches of business, which, in consequence, should help to accumulate know-how among local planners, manufacturers and craftsmen. Keeping in mind that 400,000 Austrian detached houses are actually in need of renovation, a large potential for the utilisation of the project results may be expected. Without doubt, the participating municipalities will benefit from the optimised use of the properties already developed through minimising cost of infrastructure. At the same time, the project implementation will foster the thrifty and sustainable management of land and resources.

Project Partners

Project manager

DI Arch. FH Paul Schweizer


Paul Schweizer, Architekt FH/REG A/SIA, Staatlich befugter und beeideter Ziviltechniker

Project- and cooperationpartners

  • Dipl. Ing Eduard Böhm
    J-Messnerstr. 32, A-5020 Salzburg
    Tel.: +43 (662) 64 28 50
    Fax: +43 (662) 64 28 50
    E-Mail: erich.six@netway.at
  • wohnbund:consult (Dr. Raimund Gutmann)
    Hellbrunner Straße 3/8, 5020 A-Salzburg,
    Tel.: +43 (662) 87 21 77
    Tel.: +43 (662) 87 21 77
    E-Mail: wohnbund@sbg.aon.at
  • SIR (Salzb. Inst. für Raumpl., DI Helmut Strasser)
    Alpenstraße 47, A-5020 Salzburg,
    Tel.: +43 (662) 62 34 55-26
    Fax: +43 (662) 62 34 55-15
    E-Mail: helmut.strasser@salzburg.gv.at
  • Conness (DI Reinhardt Ungerböck)
    Conrad von Hötzendorfstr. 103 a
    A-8010 Graz
    Tel.: +43 (316) 46 60 99-20
    Fax: +43 (316) 46 60 99-40
    E-Mail: ru@conness.at
  • Land Salzburg (Abt. 10 für Wohnbauförderung, DI Helmut Schörghofer)
    Fanny von Lennert Straße 1, A-5020 Salzburg
    Tel.: +43 (662) 80 42-3714
    Fax: +43 (662) 80 42-3388
    E-Mail: helmut.schoerghofer@salzburg.gv.at


DI Arch. FH Paul Schweizer
Linzergasse 17 bis 19
A-5020 Salzburg
Tel.: +43 (662) 82 77 50
Fax: +43 (662) 82 77 50
E-Mail: psw@salzburg.co.at