ecoRegeneration: Development of a "Merit-Order" in order to assess regeneration heat for geothermal probes within urban residential neighbourhoods.

In urban residential areas there are not enough active-cooled usages, to use the waste heat of the cooling process as required regeneration heat for geothermal probes; free cooling of the apartments is not sufficient. The project is developing various options (waste heat from commercial uses in the ground floor zones of residential buildings, by using waste heat of data centres, additional installation of heat generation systems for regeneration) within the urban settlement area, business models and is calculating life-cycle-costs of all solutions. The result should be a kind of "merit order" for regeneration heat.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Larger Austrian cities are confronted with the necessity to develop new districts. This process includes the development of new energy supply systems. The objectives in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions require an extended use of local, renewable energy resources.

On behalf of the City of Vienna a study about innovative energy systems in Donaufeld, a city development area in Vienna, is carried out. The most promising heat supply concept includes a heat pump and earth probe for seasonal storage.

A field of geothermal probes must be thermally regenerated, so that the temperature of the soil doesn't decrease constantly and deteriorates the efficiency of the system. Since in urban residential area there is low cooling demand, which waste heat can be used to regenerate the geothermal probes, additional solutions are required.

Contents and goals

The aim of the project is the development of a technical and economic basis for regeneration heat in urban residential areas. This includes a detailed technical examination, determination of cost data, development of business models, integration of appropriate stakeholders and the calculation of the „Merit-Order" for the following solutions of regeneration heat:

  • Use of waste heat of industrial enterprises in the ground floor areas of residential buildings (e.g. supermarket)
  • Targeted settlement of data centre in urban residential areas and use of the waste heat resources
  • Technical assessment and economic evaluation of additional heat supply systems, such as hybrid collectors, solar absorbers.
  • Know-how transfer and stakeholder process for the integration of asphalt collectors


The adequate methods will be applied depending on the specific task:

  • methods of economic calculations and the life-cycle costing
  • research of technical solutions for cost-effective waste heat generation
  • development of technical concepts based on methods of engineering science and by using of existing experiences
  • interviews with technology developers and well-known cost calculation
  • stakeholder process towards implementing of new concepts and to ensure acceptance
  • Integration of business models based on widely-used rules for the development of business cases (e.g. business model canvas) and funding
  • planning of concrete example, solutions for waste heat recovery with companies

Expected results

Results of the project are application guidelines for optimal early involvement of more cost-effective regeneration heat in urban residential areas. The guideline is targeted for municipalities as well as project developers and planners. The direct involvement of members of the target groups in the project is to secure the acceptance and to ensure the dissemination of results.

Project Partners

Project management

e7 Energie Markt Analyse GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • Institute of Building Research & Innovation ZT-GmbH
  • TINA Vienna GmbH (Energy Center)
  • VASKO+PARTNER INGENIEURE Ziviltechniker für Bauwesen und Verfahrenstechnik GesmbH

Contact Address

DI Gerhard Hofer
Walcherstraße 11/43
A-1020 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 907 80 26