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GEMA – Assessment of the performance of energy-efficient demonstration buildings

In GEMA, the project team will study and analyse the energy consumption of at least 10 commercial and residential buildings in Austria, which include innovative technologies or concepts for minimising their energy requirements. The results will allow for the potential optimal performance in terms of energy, environmental and social indicators of buildings in future construction projects.

Short Description




Starting point / motivation

In Austria, in recent years, numerous modern, energy-efficient buildings have been built and existing buildings renovated. Low energy and "passive" houses have to face stiff requirements. They must reduce energy and material use significantly, increase use of renewable energy sources - especially solar and geothermal energy, use ecological building materials, increase room comfort and do all this with comparable cost to conventional construction.

To ensure that the planned energy performance and claimed level of sustainability of these houses are actually achieved, the actual versus projected energy consumption and financial performance of numerous buildings has been assessed in an earlier "Stadt der Zukunft" project. The results documented in this regard have been very encouraging.

However, it was found that many modern technological innovative buildings did not deliver the promised energy and financial savings. There are many different causes for this discrepancy, such as the complexity of the interaction between technical systems, user requirements, building envelope and environmental conditions, or oversized energy, utility and building services with correspondingly low utilization levels.

Contents and goals

In order to realise the potential of innovative building concepts and technologies in reducing energy demand, 10 energy-efficient demonstration buildings in Austria are to be investigated within GEMA.

The results of this assessment will be made publicly available in order that future construction projects may realise the full potential energy and environmental savings of the technologies and concepts involved. The buildings will be selected from the residential and commercial sectors.


The examination of the building will be carried out for a period of up to 18 months using a professional web-based measuring system developed by the project partners. The hardware and software solution already captures the energy flows and auxiliary energy for the provision, supply and delivery of space heating, hot water, and electricity, as well as temperature and humidity.

In addition to the effective consumption values, Meta information such as data on weather and building operation are recorded at 15-minute intervals and fed to a web-based central data server. Indicators, e.g. the Building Energy Performance Certificates, will be estimated based on actual measurement and compared to the forecasted values.

Any deviations from the forecasted values will be used to illuminate the links between energy consumption, building control and regulation technology, parameters of the building envelope, comfort parameters, and external influences such as weather and solar gain.

Expected Results

The energy use will be evaluated following existing monitoring guidelines. In addition to the measured energy values building performance will be evaluated in a comparable way for all buildings by considering information collected on the building envelope, and user behavior and satisfaction.

The recommendations to optimise building performance will be made available to architects, building planners and developers so that future construction projects can benefit by realising the building optimal savings potential in energy , environmental and social terms.

Project Partners

Project management

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • EUDT Energie- u. Umweltdaten Treuhand GmbH

  • DI E. Sauper Mess-, Regel- und Steuerungstechnik

Contact Address

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
DI Martin Beermann
Elisabethstrasse 18/II
A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 876 1434
Fax: +43 (316) 876 9 1434

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