Sustainable Housing - Services creating individual and social advantages

Contemporary sustainable solutions for residential building will be optimised and realized by
  • interdisciplinary planning orientated to the life-cycle
  • services supporting the quality of life and
  • intelligent use of information and communication technologies.

Content Description




From a medium to long-term perspective we acknowledge the following challenges for housing:

  • The available space for new buildings in Vorarlberg, in particular in Bregenz is on the decrease.
  • This means that a greater tendency towards apartment buildings / multi-story buildings is to be forecasted.
  • There is space available for redensification, but this needs to be dealt with sensitively so that socially functioning municipal structures are developed and that there is no potential for social clashes.
  • Today, the flexibility of the plans in the utilisation phase is only possible in a very limited form, i.e. adaptations to individual utilisation requirements and requirements changing over a lifetime are hard to be implemented from a structural point of view.
  • Collective integrative solutions to enable self-determined lifestyles for the elderly will become more and more sought-after.
  • There are scientifically supported sociological, psychological and geomantic housing studies available, but these are still not taken into consideration enough in the planning stage.
  • Information and building technology is highly developed, but till now has been not been applied as an effective means of helpful support for housing.
  • One third of the material consumption total is generated by the building industry: protection of resources will become a heightened issue in our society.
  • Social issues for the design and realisation of apartment houses are gaining more and more importance: e.g. childcare, family network, health, education, mobility, environment, power supplies, work, life cycles and lifestyles of the residents.

To sum up, it is obvious that the constantly changing socio-psychological and demographic framework and necessities call for a new positioning of housing.

From our point of view, the bottleneck in housing exists in the fact that the knowledge available till now is being made use of unsystematically, and not in the fact that there is too little knowledge available on sustainable solutions. The housing issue has more and more to do with the integration of economical and ecological and above all social components as well as individual health aspects.


In our research project we want to develop a concept that includes a design for a sustainable apartment building development ready for implementation with a particularly distinctive quality of service. The concept should be optimised on the basis of life cycle costs and with the goal being that no additional costs are generated for the residents despite the higher quality of services.

The buildings serve the purpose of an apartment building or complex on a scale of approx. 60-80 units.

The ecological or energy conscious utilisation will be achieved by means by actively including the parties involved and the transparency of the information and communication system. The residents should therefore be able to track their running costs on a transparent diagram.

Core questions of the research are:

  • Can we combine the advantages of a one-family house with the advantages of freehold apartments in a multi-story building?
  • Which measures can we take to ensure that our customers recognise their "real" housing requirements?
  • How can these needs then be put into practice in the form of a plan and how can the apartment be adapted to changing requirements throughout the course of time?
  • How can we make the most of the information and communication technology in the building so that the quality of living, working and life is enhanced?
  • Which measures and range of services on offer can be used to support self-determined lifestyles for the elderly and a positive intergenerational way of living together?
  • How can we further improve the efficiency of resources and the environment of our buildings with regard to thermal heat requirements and providing the building with regenerative energy resources, the use of renewable and environmentally-friendly resources for building materials and the conceptual design of components?


In the research work "inkl. wohnen" (all-inclusive living) we want to integrate existing knowledge for the individual disciplines into the concept of "Sustainable housing proposal". To do this we are working in cooperation with experts from the following fields:

As an impetus for the networking of ideas based on the target catalogue, we held a design and planning "Future Workshop" for the experts.


In the project the following "Solutions Package" was compiled and will be put into practice in the pilot project "Sandgrubenweg Residential Park, Bregenz":

Deliberate Planning - Sensitive designation of the individual living requirements and foresighted planning

"inkl. wohnen" places emphasis on human beings, their life cycles and the principle of sustainability as a real claim on high standards.

This means that the deliberate inclusion of the future owners in the design of their living space is a logical part of "inkl. wohnen". Modular architecture and flexible structural design for multi-story apartment buildings are prerequisites for the necessary design leeway.

  • With interested parties of the pilot project "Sandgrubenweg Residential Park, Bregenz", who are prepared to define their personal demands on living, as well as their individual plans and choice of interior fittings with trained consultants, a deliberate planning process is to be introduced. It encompasses the following subject areas:
  • Planning with reflection (beautiful places, places of retreat/protection, recreational areas, places for specific activities, relating to indoor and outdoor spaces)
  • Planning with perception and self-perception (materials, colours, distances, spatial requirements)
  • Current situation and looking ahead to future living situation (in 10 and 20 years; daily reports)
  • Infrastructural questions such as "What do I really need? What do I need in the apartment? What do I get out of the neighbourhood?
  • Collaborative planning of owners (understanding of roles)
  • The goal is to determine individual living requirements and planning for the future.

Flexible and modifiable - Modular plans, feasible alteration and adaptation possibilities at a later date.

In contrast to conventional construction methods in multi-story apartment buildings, "inkl. wohnen" provides constructive and organisational structures that render needs-oriented plans and interior design possible (for the first time): from ample openness to secluded rooms of retreat, from special technical fittings for the building to detailed layout designs.

A continuous and economically feasible concept is required to guarantee the flexibility of utilisation, such as workable alteration possibilities at a later date, or the dividing, opening or merging of apartments. The apartment thus accompanies the resident throughout his/her life cycle and adapts itself to the changing living requirements of the person.

Geomancy, impact of location - Bonding of fields of space and locations in architecture

"Space and human beings in matters of their mutual development possess physical, mental and intellectual qualities that interact to constitute the vitality of life. Correspondingly, human beings and space are fulfilled with consciousness and spiritual strength and are involved in constant interplay with each other on a mental and physical level. (...) in this spirit the art and science of geomancy are concerned with recognising and interpreting the interaction and the spiritual hold on the space, its aesthetic effect as well as being able to understand its interplay with us humans."
(quote from Univ. Prof. Dr Erwin Frohmann, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna)

The development of the pilot project Sandgrubenweg Residential Park is based upon a geomantic analysis of the space of the location. Thus our starting point is serious and up to date scientific modern science research and we are herewith developing a new sensitivity for key influencing factors on the quality of living.

Top Quality Architecture - Fascinating concepts of space, long-term housing quality, a cost-conscious start

New social, technological and ecological developments ask for radical re-thinking in the architectural design of multi-story apartment buildings.

In the first project realisation of "inkl. wohnen" this interplay to form an ensemble should become noticeable and be seen as a fascinating new form of architecture. "Top quality" refers in particular to the different design alternatives and to the diverse usability of the building.

So the character of "inkl. wohnen" is stamped by open and flexible structures.

The Sandgrubenweg Residential Park attempts to transfer the individual quality of a one-family house to a multi-story level.

The special quality of design of parts of a structure lies in the fact that as a result of the maximum convertibility of the floor plan and the required formal and technical prerequisites, the whole appearance of the Sandgrubenweg Residential Park still looks aesthetic as well as technically strong and impressive.

The innovative overall concept includes competitively priced modular architecture that can be tailored to suit different phases of life and the most up-to-date communication and building services engineering. Life in an "inkl. wohnen" project should be comfortable and well organised. Individual privacy is however still a priority. Everything is based on voluntariness.

"Top Quality Architecture" has the challenge of juggling all "Solutions packages" creatively, technically and economically.

Environmentally Conscious Living - Energy efficiency und renewable energy, highest demands on building biology, building ecology and building physics

Challenging alternative concepts for conventional building and contemporary solutions are in the foreground of "inkl. wohnen". Materials and constructional elements are subject to strict assessment in their areas of building biology, building ecology and building physics. Up-to-date expertise on the use of renewable energy sources and energy-saving heating and air conditioning systems are introduced.

The pilot project Sandgrubenweg Residential Park has been built against the background of the Vorarlberg Housing Support Ecological Catalogue of Specifications. In doing so the attempt was above all made to find the ideal mixture of the following criteria:

  • Planning - comfort and functionality
  • Location - area and land requirements
  • Energy demand - thermal heat
  • Building services - power supplies
  • Building services - heat distribution, water heating
  • Choice of material - ecological assessment
  • Choice of material - durability and maintenance
  • Internal space - equal-zero-emission

Collective Structures - Well thought out proposals based on living together with neighbours

We recognise and make use of the positive sides of living together with neighbours and orient towards creative and wise service packages. Structures and useful housing services are developed accordingly in the areas where a community makes sense, e.g.:

  • Shopping service
  • Laundry service
  • Car sharing
  • Relocation service
  • Mobility advice
  • Map of the neighbourhood with local suppliers, pedestrian and cyclist distances
  • Attractive bike sheds incl. service and repair centre
  • Well-lit pedestrian paths and house entrances
  • Recreation room in the cellar of House C
  • Outdoor recreational areas
  • "Community guidance" and encouragement of pro-activeness among residents

High-tech in Everyday Living - Uncomplicated but highly developed building and communication technologies

The housing concept "inkl. wohnen" with its innovative technology has launched a "partner dialogue" between the surroundings in which the residents live and their individual demands as persons. No gimmicks, but rather practical help in the "handling" of your own housing property:

  • Intelligent but simple user-friendly control systems for heating, air-conditioning, shade solutions...
  • High quality leisure and information technologies
  • Central and cost-efficient units
  • Permanent information access to complete range of joint services offered
  • Regular inspection of consumption and running costs
  • Modern alarm, safety and access systems

Combined Mobility - Flexible use and proposals of means of travel and reduction of pollution

Being mobile in the 21st century - this is a colourful mix of different kinds of transport. Car, bike, bus, walking. Based on our mobility proposals, we can offer various personal mobility solutions that can be calculated at the request of each resident.

Project Partners

Project manager

lic.oec.HSG Gerfried Thür


  • ARGE, DI Hörburger, DI Kuess, DI Ritsch, DI Kuess
  • Atelier für Baukunst, DI Wolfgang Ritsch
  • Atelier für Grafikdesign und Kommunikation, Reinhard Gassner
  • BENEVIT - Vorarlberger Pflegemanagement GmbH
  • Co-merce Consulting
  • Creaktiver - Bernhard Tötschinger
  • Energieinstitut Vorarlberg
  • Ender Bianca, Mag.Wirtschpädagogin, Trainerin
  • Fachhochschule Vorarlberg Studiengang "Intermedia", Dr. Roland Alton-Scheidl
  • GMI Ingenieure
  • Hecht Licht- und Elektroplanung
  • Kanzlei Dr. Bruck - Ingenieurkonsulent für technische Physik
  • DI Dr. Künz Lothar, Bauphysik
  • Milton Erikson Institut, Dr. Reinhold Bartl
  • Mader & Flatz Ziviltechniker GmbH
  • Pircher Gruppe
  • St. Anna-Hilfe
  • Teleport Consulting GmbH, Vorarlberger Medienhaus
  • United Innovative Partners AG
  • Universität für Bodenkultur, Institut für Freiraumgestaltung, Freiraumplanung, Gestaltungslehre, Raumwahrnehmung und Geomantie, a.o. Univ. Prof. Dr. Erwin Frohmann
  • Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Soziologie, a.o. Univ.Prof. Dr. Hermann Denz
  • Dr. Wansch Franz, Wohnpsychologe
  • Wirkungsgrad Energieservice GmbH


lic.oec.HSG Gerfried Thür
Belruptstraße 59
A-6900 Bregenz
Tel.: +43 (0)5574 403-200
Fax: +43 (0)5574 403-209