COOL-QUARTER-PLUS - GHG-neutral cooling of office and research quarters

Development of systems for the emission-neutral cooling of office, research and urban quarters on the basis of photovoltaic or geothermal energy supply and user integration. Life cycle cost calculations and analyses of grey and operational greenhouse gas emissions allow a holistic assessment.

Short Description



Starting point / motivation

The cooling demand of the worldwide building stock is constantly and unstoppably increasing. The rapid growth of cities and their densification, combined with the effects of climate change, become massive drivers of this development. Passive cooling concepts are now also reaching their limits in Central Europe and urban heat islands are spreading.

The effects are massive growth rates in the sale numbers of decentralized cooling units, which often have poor efficiency and high noise levels, cause uncomfortable draughts and are increasingly becoming a problem concerning the appearance of building facades. The associated and also rapidly increasing energy consumption is diametrically opposed to the required reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the path towards plus-energy quarters.

Contents and Goals

The project COOL-QUARTER-PLUS was developed to counteract the current trend towards inefficient individual units with coordinated cooling concepts at neighbourhood level. The focus is on office and research quarters, because here central measures are more likely to be implemented than in heterogeneous residential or mixed-use quarters due to the ownership structure and central management.


In this project, central and semicentral cooling concepts are developed, represented in highly detailed dynamic models and analysed with regard to their energy system behaviour. The simulation results will be validated with long-term measurement data from a real example neighbourhood.

Expected results

The basis of all concepts is a greenhouse gas-neutral or emission-free operation in which cooling is generated exclusively on the basis of the electricity generated at the location from photovoltaic plants. The analysed cooling systems range from building-central solutions, to semicentral bundling of photovoltaics or cold generation, through to fully district central systems.

In order to be able to operate the cooling systems as efficiently and effectively as possible, a project line is working on the development and testing of technological systems to closely adapt the cooling systems to the needs of the users. For this purpose, information concerning the use from existing systems is analysed by means of machine learning. In addition, a system will be developed and tested that enables immediate feedback from the users via a mobile phone app.

A comparative, dynamic life cycle cost calculation brings a further perspective to the interdisciplinary analysis of cooling systems. The life cycle assessment, over the entire life cycle, as well as the differentiation between grey and operational greenhouse gas emissions, enables a holistic evaluation of the building services measures to be implemented in the individual cooling configurations.

Project Partners

Project management

Institute of Thermal Engineering / Graz University of Technology

Project or cooperation partners

  • Institute of Software Technology, TU Graz
  • Institute of Electrical Power Systems, TU Graz
  • Institute of Technology and Testing of Construction Materials
  • EQUA Solutions AG
  • simulation services technical solutions GmbH
  • TB-Starchel Ingenieurbüro GmbH

Contact Address

Institute of Thermal Engineering
Graz University of Technology
Dr. Thomas Mach
Inffeldgasse 25b
A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 873 7814