CO2 neuBau - The CO2-neutral Construction Site: a Contribution to the Climate Protection by the Austrian Construction Industry

Identification of all direct and indirect CO2, respectively, GHG emissions generated at construction sites. Analysis of the framework conditions and technologies towards demonstrating the options for their control. In parallel, added values, such as cost-benefit advantages of a CO2-neutral construction site, are outlined and quantified.

Short Description



Starting point / motivation

Both aspects of sustainable construction and the life cycle approach have a long tradition in Austria. In an ecological assessment, the entire life cycle starting with the construction and ending with the demolition of the structure is considered. However, the knowledge of the ecological impacts of the construction phase has not yet been sufficiently researched. In addition, the knowledge is currently not well reflected in existing assessment instruments.

Contents and goals

The aim is to identify all CO2 and GHG emissions (direct & indirect) generated on urban construction sites as well as to outline the necessary framework conditions and technologies for their reduction, substitution, compensation or adaptation. In parallel, added values such as potential cost-benefit advantages of a CO2-neutral construction site are demonstrated and quantified.


The state of knowledge is systematically reviewed. It considers technologies already proven as reliable and innovative for achieving the goals, structured according to subject areas (construction machinery, generation of renewable energy, etc.). In the course of the project, this knowledge is gradually expanded (e.g. energy demand of construction machinery).

The resulting matrix is used for analysis and calculation. Energy surveys on construction sites are carried out based on literature data and evaluations of data provided by construction companies (site power supply, fuel consumption, etc.). An expert advisory group is installed in order to mobilise the stakeholders.

For the optimal use of the data and information collected in this study, the best possible embedding of the work in international and national regulations is crucial. For this reason, the system definition is based on ÖNORM EN ISO 14044 (life cycle assessments), ÖNORM EN ISO 14067 (carbon footprint) or ÖNORM EN 15804 (environmental product declarations - EPD).

During the project, the collection of measures to reduce CO2 will be enhanced. Next to technological measures, also organisational measures (lean management, efficiency measures, BIM, compensation payments) are considered.

In order to test the previously created matrix and to have comprehensible examples as a basis for further discussions, four fictitious sample construction sites are defined. These enable the identification and the impact estimation of the emission sources. The experience gained will be used to create examples of CO2-free construction sites.

The acquired know-how is tested in a workshop. Needs, obstacles, opportunities for emission saving and further development of the matrix are discussed, further developed and reformulated, or new ones are identified. By engaging external experts, also future priorities in the area of research and development can emerge.

Expected results

  • A manual with a clear, concise and hierarchical presentation of the options for emission prevention, shifting and reduction during the planning and operation of the construction site.
  • Review of the state of the art, of the generated emissions, of the current barriers and prospective innovative development possibilities for the implementation of CO2-free construction sites.
  • Recommendations for future priorities in the area of research on the implementation of CO2-neutral construction sites
  • Development of a method for calculating the cost-benefit-ratio and its visualisation of a CO2- neutral construction site.

Project Images

Terms of use: The pictures listed underneath the header “Project Pictures” originate from the projects in the frame of the programmes City of Tomorrow, Building of Tomorrow and the IEA Research Cooperation. They may be used credited for non-commercial purposes under the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC).

Project Partners

Project management

Resource Management Agency (RMA)

Project or cooperation partners

Vienna University of Technology - Institute of Interdisciplinary Construction Process Management, Construction Process and Methods

Contact Address

Ressourcen Management Agentur (RMA)
Mag. Johann Daxbeck
Kölblgasse 17/30
A-1030 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 913 22 520