Science documentary "Building of Tomorrow" for television

The documentary film for ORF/ 3sat and Bayern alpha-TV presents the concept of the passive house. Fascinating pioneer projects of the Austrian Program on Technologies for Sustainable Development, Sub-Program "Building of Tomorrow", have been filmed over several months. The importance of taking care of ecology and sustainability when constructing houses is demonstrated to a large audience.

Content Description




A dream comes true. Just twenty years ago the building of a passive house was regarded as an unrealistic dream. Today, however, thanks to modern technologies, the dream has come true. These especially designed buildings will be cosy and warm even in harsh winters without a standard heating system since several ecological and sustainable techniques and energy sources are perfectly combined to save energy. The architects of passive houses take advantage of several methods such as using solar energy and reducing the loss of energy and warmth to a minimum. An extremely thick insulation makes the building invulnerable to wind and cold.

The film. The 45-minute-television documentary "Building of Tomorrow" guides you through the fascinating world of modern architecture. The film focuses primarily on the energy efficient construction of buildings as well as solar architecture. Pioneer projects are followed over the course of several months, and experts are interviewed. In order to make space and dimension of the rooms visible, the filmteam makes use of a lightcrane, helicopter and steadycam. The main interest is to create an informative and yet highly professional documentary film.

Pioneer projects. The narration of the 45-minute-documentary follows three spectacular pioneer projects of the Austrian Program on Technologies for Sustainable Development - Subprogram "Building of Tomorrow" - such as the construction of the "Schiestlhaus" according to the criteria of a passive house. The Schiestlhaus is an alpine refuge hut situated high in the Styrian mountains 2.100 metres above sea-level, the first alpine hut ever to be designed as a passive house. The second pioneer project shows an office building in Tattendorf near the town of Baden made exclusively of traditional materials like clay, straw and other sustainable materials, and the third project in the documentary film shows a large office building, "SOL 4", in the town of Mödling. Both office buildings are also designed as passive houses. In the film "Building of Tomorrow" we accompany the construction of these three buildings, showing all the efforts, ups and downs, of the architects, the owners and the construction workers. The focal point of the TV documentary is the long-term-observation of those three pioneer projects spanning different locations, upcoming problems and the different approaches to solving these problems.

Leading experts. Interviews with experts will round up the storyline. Leading experts are Professor Wolfgang Feist, founder of the passive house and director of the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Helmut Krapmeier of the Energieinistitut Vorarlberg in Dornbirn who brought the idea of passive houses to Austria and Robert Hastings, Professor of Solararchitecture in Zurich, Switzerland, and at the Donauuniversität in Krems, Austria. Additionally, the film guides the audience to the beginnings of energy efficient building in the 1970s. Several journeys will take you to passive houses in Austria, for example to Vorarlberg, where the first passive houses were built, to a kindergarden in Ziersdorf and to family houses in Weiz. "Building of Tomorrow" provides informative and fascinating insights into the world of science. The development over the past decade and the future of building passive houses are presented to not only a highly specialised scientific community but to an interested tv-audience in Austria, Germany and Switzerland via the tv-channels ORF/ 3sat and Bayern alpha during prime time.

Overwhelming interest. On October 31st 2005 the science documentary "Bauen mit Hausverstand - Das Haus der Zukunft" ("Smart Buildings - The Building of Tomorrow") was first broadcast on 3sat. Due to the overwhelming interest of the audience it was aired several times within the following months. In December 2005 the film was shown for the first time on the Austrian TV ORF, in the science program "Modern Times" and in March 2006 on Bayern alpha. By the end of the year 2005 more than one million people had already seen the film. Hundreds of viewers asked for a copy of the film, and consequently the BMVIT decided to copy and distribute it on DVD.

Project Partners

Project management

Mag. Claudia Hefner

Project or cooperation partner

  • Peter Giczy Video/ Filmproduktion, Gablitz
  • 3sat / ORF-Zentrum, Wien
  • Bayern alpha/ ORF-Zentrum, Wien


Mag. Claudia Hefner
Haydngasse 32
A- 3003 Gablitz
Telefon: +43 664- 330 28 24