Since the first oil crises in the 1970’s operational energy efficiency has become an increasingly important aspect of the design of buildings, as well as a subject of legislation respectively. As a result, the operational energy...more...
Current assessments of the economic performance of buildings are mainly based on performance expressed in cost terms over the life cycle or in terms of financial value over the life cycle. The economic performance ...more...
The Working Group Sustainable Construction of the Institute of Structural Design is offering a broad spectrum in the area of sustainability assessment of buildings, life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC) and systemic sustainability modelling including digitalisation and multi-criteria decision models.
Our research is dedicated on sustainability assessment methods, the work flow within the building design process and the applicability in the built environment as well as their successful implementation and realisation within demonstration projects. In our interdisciplinary projects our foci lie on the optimization of the environmental and economic performance by the use of life cycle assessment, life cycle costing, system analysis and multi- criteria assessment methods.
How can Austria become climate neutral by 2040?
Mandated by the Austrian parlament the new Climate Council, a representative group consisting of 100 people with various backgrounds and different opinions on sustainability and climate change, will work together on recommendations concerning climate mitigation and adaptation actions for Austria.
Gentle scientific support is essential for the independent work of the Climate Council. The council is therefor supported by a 15-member scientific monitoring committee, in which scientists from many different disciplines are represented, including Alexander Passer for the field of sustainability in the built environment.
The main focus (i.e. transport & mobility, diet, clean energy, social justice,...) as well as the exact method of decision making are yet to be agreed on.
Above all the success of the Climate Council will be measured by whether the measures it develops find their way into the political process and are taken into account by the government and parliament. The Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Leonore Gewessler promised to take the results very seriously (see press conference).
We are happy to share that the final version of the "Monte Verità Declaration on a built environment within planetary boundaries" is now published!
It is addressed to several different stakeholder in the buildings and construction sector.
More than 40 scientists from 20 countries signed the declaration.
The declaration was presented to Andreas Eckmanns, a representative from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and Swiss representative of the IEA EBC ExCo during the 10. expert meeting of the IEA EBC Annex 72.
The TU Graz Sustainabilty Report for the reporting period 2016 to 2018+ is now published and accessible for the public.
The university programme in Sustainable Construction is a cooperation between TU Graz (Life Long Learning) and TU Wien (Academy for Continuing Education). AGNHB's Alexander Passer is the programme director at TU Graz.
The purpose of the programme is to bring the students up to speed about the developments in suatainable construction. It focuses on current methods, theories, trends and tools in the building sector. Additionaly, certification as ÖGNI auditor is possible. The programme is an ideal postgraduate course for managers in the constrcution industry with a specialisation or an interest in sustainable construction.
This year's course started the week before last.
A warm welcome to all students and good luck with your studies!
As part of the development of an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for Airium, a cementitious insulation foam, the Working Group visited a construction site in Zlatten, to investigate how the foam was being produced and applied in a new residential house. The Airium truck contains all the technological equipment allowing for an on-site production of the foam, which is then transported inside the house through the blue pipe. The foam is then, in this case, poured on the floor under the screed, covering the pipes and the electrical wires. The whole life cycle impacts of this technology, which can be used for example instead of plastics materials (EPS, XPS, etc.), are currently being assessed.
This year's Science Day under the title Climate and Energy takes place on 29 September at Alte Technik and online (the keynote speeches as well as the panel discussion and award ceremony will be streamed live here).
In the afternoon researchers will shed light on the future topic of climate and energy in 8 theme sessions hosted by the 5 Fields of Expertise.
They will focus on new research approaches and technologies in the context of their field of activity and discuss them with guests from science, business and society.
At 1 pm Alexander Passer is giving one of the four lectures hosted by the FoE Sustainable Systems. He will present the latest methodological and technological developments in Sustainable Construction.
To attend please register by sending an email with name and contact to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For detailled information see tugraz.at/research/fields-of-expertise/tu-graz-science-for-future/2021-climate-and-energy/
This new study by Martin Röck et al. presents a systematic review of both the latest scientific literature on environmental modelling of building stocks and related EU policy initiatives. The findings illuminate the strengths and limitations of existing approaches as well as the potential of such modelling and the required directions for future development to provide effective policy support.
Based on the assessment of 104 scientific papers, our study shortlisted and analysed 22 environmental building stock modelling approaches. While promising, these show various limitations on their effectiveness in supporting decarbonization efforts while avoiding burden shifting. Future building stock models should offer extended system boundaries and comprehensive life cycle assessment, improved hotspot analysis and impact monitoring across spatiotemporal scales. A long-term perspective on the entire building stock covering climate and other environmental impacts is needed, as outlined in the latest standards. By linking existing studies to related EU policy objectives, we identify various studies that investigate scenarios and strategies relevant to EU policy makers and highlight research gaps.
The publication can be accessed here.
From June to early August 2021, the Working Group Sustainable Construction is hosting Bernardette Soust-Verdaguer as a guest researcher. She works as a researcher at the Building Construction I Department of the School of Architecture of the University of Seville. Her expertise area is the Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment integration in the building’s design process and design tools.
At the moment, she is concentrated on working in the project the IEA Annex 72 project Subtask 2 and the project “Development of a unified tool for the quantification and reduction of the environmental, social and economic impact during the buildings life cycle in BIM platforms”. During her stay we will focus on working on both projects, and specifically on the development of scientific deliverables and scientific papers related. Moreover, other further collaborations will be discussed.
Like last May, this year's (H)TU Sustainability Day will take place online on 19 May.
Eva Schulev-Steindl, professor at the Institute of Public Law and Political Science (University of Graz) and head of the Research Center for Climate Law will give the Sustainability Lecture on the topic "Legal policy challenges on the way to climate neutrality".
The climate crisis as a massive social, legal and political task is omnipresent today and has reached the center of social discourse at least since the emergence of the Fridays for Future movement.
Therefore, the lecture will focus on the obstacles that still need to be overcome on the way to the climate neutrality aimed for by the federal government by 2040 and where the impulses for a climate-friendly future are coming from.
The lecture will be streamed live from 16 to 18 o'clock on TUbe and is also available as recording afterwards.
The 2nd International Online Conference CoMS, co-organised by Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute ZAG, University of Zagreb, University of Novi Sad and Bundesanstalt für Materialprüfung und -forschung BAM, took place from 21 to 22 April 2021.
Alexander Passer is one of six Plenary Speakers. His talk is titled Sustainable Construction – New Chances for our Future?
The keynote addresses the latest methodological, technological and policy related developments as well as presents good examples that show that it is possible to create a net-zero GHG-emission built environment. In addition to addressing climatic and environmental concerns, these projects also engage with wider societal concerns expressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These positive examples are proof of technical, social and economic feasibility. It is imperative to adopt these practices widely.
The International Sustainable Energy Conference - ISEC 2022, organized by AEE INTEC, sees itself as a promoter for innovative ideas in the areas of renewable energy systems and resource efficiency and is intended to be a forum for research, industry and energy policy.
Alexander Passer, head of the Working Group, is part of the Organizing Comitee of the 2nd edition of ISEC.
Unfortunately, the International Sustainable Energy Conference 2020 (ISEC 2020) had to be postponed by two years to April 2022 due to the effects of the corona pandemic.
The Call for Abstracts will be open from September 13 to October 10. Abstracts, that have been submitted in the last call, will remain in the system and will be reviewed for 2022.
Registration will be open soon.
For further information see aee-intec-events.at/events/isec-2022.
Green.Building.Solutions Summer University is a three week master-level training for architects, engineers and urban planners. This year, it takes place online from July 17 to August 8. Austria's leading building experts provide in-depth knowledge on passive house standard, sustainable urban development, clean energy technologies, ecological architecture and construction in talks and interactive sessions. The program can be found here.
Apply until May 1 at summer-university.net/gbs-vienna/application/.
At GBS, one scholarship is exclusively reserved for a TU Graz student.
As part of the HERMES-project, Endrit Hoxha et al. published a paper on the Life cycle assessment of roads. To overcome the problems in identifying low-carbon solutions for urban roads, a Systematic Literature Review was conducted. Only 18 % of the total 417 road case studies were classified as transparent and reproducible. Based on these results, the authors proposed several improvements of the life cycle assessment to ensure a harmonized calculation of the environmental impacts of roads.
Open access publication.
Because of the current situation, the 21th Climate Day was postponed again12 to 14 April 2021. For the first time it will take place online under the motto "Clash of Cultures?-Climate research meets industry!". The Climate Day is hosted by the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA) and is the most important networking event of the Austrian climate research community and promotes, among other things, the exchange and dialogue between scientific and non-scientific groups.
The current program including scientific contributions and framing events, as well as all other information about the Climate Day 2020 can be found here.
In each of the scientific sessions there will be 4 selected lectures on current climate research including discussion. In addition, there are thematically appropriate posters assigned to each session, but these are not presented directly in the session. In order to give the posters sufficient presence during the Climate Day, audio poster presentations will be made available on the CCCA website.
Barbara Truger's audio-presentation of a poster on the project ParisBuildings as part of the ACRP-Poster-Session 1 is available here.
A review of the 21st Austrian Climate Day can be found here.
Based on the results of the Greenhouse Gas Accounting of Graz University of Technology, the University has adopted a roadmap to climate neutrality by 2030. With specific measures and in cooperation with all employees and students, Graz University of Technology plans to fulfill its social responsibility in terms of climate protection and is thereby one of the pioneers among Austria's universities.
In this interview, they explain the strategy of TU Graz and what measures each employee can take to support Graz University of Technology on its path to climate neutrality. The university is essentially pursuing three strategies: increase in efficiency, eco-effectiveness and eco-sufficiency. The focus is on switching to electricity from renewable sources, low-emission heating and cooling systems, sustainable construction and reducing carbon emissions from transportation.
Biking or using public transportation and travelling by train instead of airplane on business trips is highly encouraged. The university subsidizes e-bikes, tickets for public transportation and the charging of electric cars and supports research projects especially in the area of sustainable construction.
At the end of January and the beginning of February, Alexander Passer and Antonija Wieser, hold interactive online workshops for schools on the topic of climate change and greenhouse gas reporting. The workshops are part of the project makingAchange.
makingAchange is a cooperation project between science and schools. The CCCA - Climate Change Centre Austria, together with the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, invited secondary schools to participate in that project on climate change and sustainability in Austria. The AGNHB is conducting the workshops for schools in the Southeast of Austria, namly in Styria, Carinthia and Burgenland.
The overall aim of makingAchange is to contribute to the transformation of society, to raise awareness and integrate the topics of climate protection and sustainability into the school environment as well as in the everyday life of pupils. More about other topics is to be found on the website.
We are looking forward to a great interesting insights, lively discussions as well as many greenhouse gas reportings of schools.
For schools interested: Soon another Call for the second round of schools participating in the school year 2021/2022 will be announced. For updates check the website.
On 25 November, Dr. Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade, who is an employee at the Working Group since July 2020, held a lecture on how to perform a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) as part of a series of seminars organised jointly with the Institute of Business Economics and Industrial Sociology.
The seminar series deal with Techno-Economic Research Methods, which are crucial to every scientific discipline as they ensure rationality and verifiability of scientific findings.
In the seminar, participants were taught the different steps involved in performing an SLR to enable them to differentiate between narrative and systematic reviews, to develop answerable research questions, to design a search protocol and to organize and combine search outcomes.
Two more seminars will take place in December and January. The second one is also co-organised by the Working Group and will be held by Prof. Karen Allacker from KU Leuven on the topic of "Research methods with focus on Sustainability". Registration is open until January 25th 2021. Biking or using public transportation and travelling by train instead of airplane on business trips is highly encouraged. The university subsidizes e-bikes, tickets for public transportation and the charging of electric cars and supports research projects especially in the area of sustainable construction.
Can appropriate carbon metrics in combination with carbon budgets be developed and used by built environment professionals, clients and civil society? Is it feasible to have a scalable approach? Can governments provide clear, useful targets to the products / construction / real estate industries?
Based on the paper "Latest developments in the assessment rules of GHG emissions: biogenic carbon“ published in Buildings & Cities special issue on Carbon Metrics, new findings are presented.
All videos can be watched at buildingsandcities.org.
Institut für Tragwerksentwurf