Foto: Frontansicht des Wohnhauses in der Makartstraße, Linz

Low Tech - High Effect! An overview of sustainable low-tech buildings: realized best practice examples, innovative approaches, principles and systematic solutions

In this study, various approaches for low-tech buildings will be investigated and documented in detail, sustainability criteria will be evaluated and potentials for further development will be demonstrated. The aim is to report and make the current state-of-the-art and the existing knowledge of low-tech approaches accessible, based on realized examples. As a result, a knowledge base will be provided that also gives recommendations for further research on sustainable low-tech buildings.

Short Description




Starting point / motivation

In recent years, building technologies developed fast from the low-energy building concept towards active building concepts. Numerous technical innovations and concepts in the field of energy conversion (solar thermal, photovoltaic, geothermal, etc.), energy storage and intelligent controls allow buildings that produce annually more energy than they consume.

In some aspects, the rapid developments occurred isolated from a holistic approach and almost entirely took place in the technologically oriented sectors. The residue of some related fields, which could not follow this rapid progress, resulted in a lack of balance between energy savings, cost efficiency and user comfort. Hence, it is still challenging to ensure an appropriate quality assurance at the stage of building construction.

The service infrastructure to maintain the operation of a building is not yet sufficiently developed and not economically. In addition, the actual user behaviour cannot in advance be predicted with certainty.

Contents and goals

It seems therefore beneficial to have a closer look on concepts of less complexity, automation needs and/or highly engineered solutions and to develop a knowledge base for sustainable low-tech buildings. The preliminary study "Sustainable Low-Tech building", recently prepared by the University of Liechtenstein, offers possibly the most current compendium on low-tech architecture. Based on this theoretical framework and therein defined planning criteria, realized examples will be evaluated and documented in detail, with a certain focus on their potential for sustainable concepts.


In a first analysis step, a comprehensive knowledge base about low-tech buildings and innovative approaches will be generated from subject-specific data sources and materials. The results will be provided to an expert group for discussion and evaluation, and the 10 most innovative "best practice" examples will be selected for further elaboration and documentation.

Expected results

The selected projects or solutions will be processed further into texts, plans and graphics in a consistent and descriptive form. Along the elaboration, the surveyed results will be matched with existing knowledge from previous research projects and thematically related scientific results. Furthermore, additional research needs in this respect will be depicted. The goal is to process the current state of technology and the knowhow based on realized examples as well as to make the findings accessible for further developments.

Project Partners

Project management

DI Dr. Edeltraud Haselsteiner

Cooperation partner

FH Campus Wien Forschungs- und Entwicklungs GmbH

Contact Address

DI Dr. Edeltraud Haselsteiner
Märzstrasse 158/20
A-1140 Wien
Tel.: +43 (699) 1 269 80 82

Diese Seite auf Deutsch

Share this page ...

to Start