"Universities support the demands of the Fridays For Future movement for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and global climate justice and welcome their contribution to raising public awareness for the complex social, ecological and economic challenges." This is one of six points of the Uniko Sustainability Manifesto, which was decided this week by the Presidency of the University Conference (Uniko). Austria's universities are committed to "taking responsibility for sustainable action in teaching, research, knowledge exchange and university management in order to help shape the path to a sustainable and livable society".
The president of uniko, Sabine Seidler, emphasizes the role of the universities as "thought leaders", who will essentialy contribute to sustainable development through their extensive scientific expertise. This is also in the self-image of the universities "as a space for the creation of new knowledge", which contributes to social changes. This knowledge is represented in public "in the sense of freedom of research and teaching for the benefit of society to lay the foundations for evidence-based political decision-making".
In this new study by Martin Röck et al., the importance of reducing embodied carbon of buildings for effective climate change mitigation is showed. By analysing hundreds of life cycle assessment case studies, a global trend and ways forward were identified. While operational GHG emissions are reduced due to energy efficiency improvements, the embodied GHG emissions - i.e. related to sourcing and processing of construction materials - are increasing.
The study shows, that embodied GHG emissions investment for the production of new buildings dominates in the first decade, making their reduction and effectiveness a fundamental aspect in reducing life cycle emissions. Find more about the methodology and the detailed analyse in the open access publication.
From 3 to 7 June, Graz University of Technology actively promoted awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a week of sustainability. Highlights included a Sustainability Lecture by Verena Winiwarter (Professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences) midweek and the (H)TU Sustainability Day on Campus Inffeldgasse.
The aftermovie can be found at cloud.tugraz.at.
At the invitation of Landesrat Johann Seitinger, experts including Alexander Passer discussed the future of living at Kunsthaus Graz. Climate protection and the creation of affordable property were the focus of attention.
According to Seitinger, the building sector makes a very significant contribution to climate protection: "About one third of the progress made to date in climate protection comes from this area. Strict insulation standards and heating with renewable energy sources not only protect our climate, but also reduce operating costs."
Professor Passer presented the necessary mitigation and adaptation strategies to cope with climate change, especially in heavely built-up urban areas. These areas are going through a rapid phase of growth and the emergence of heat islands is threatening: "It is essential to plan buildings, open spaces and entire neighborhoods in advance to counter climatic change" says Professor Passer. Our cities then would not only be better prepared for climate change, but they would make an active contribution to climate protection.
Guillaume Habert, head of the Chair of Sustainable Construction, ETH Zürich, is launching a new Certificate of Advanced Studies in “Regenerative Materials” dedicated to earth, bio-based materials and reuse materials.
The objectives are to teach the specificities of these low-carbon materials (supply, implementation, adapted architectural design, material properties, construction cost and planning, end-of-life, etc.) through practical experiments, inspiring examples (visits and guest lectures) and exercises based on real case study.
The team, composed of international experts (Wang Shu, Anna Heringer, Martin Rauch, Dominique Gauzin-Müller…) want to teach not only architects and engineers, but also members of city technical services, building contractors, NGOs, in order to globally raise skills in the low-carbon construction sector.
A first session will open in January 2020 (5 weeks of contact lectures during one semester). Courses will be hold in English in order to receive a Swiss and international public. A Master of Advanced Studies will open in January 2021 (2 semesters) and will go deeper into technical details.
At the Sustainable Built Environment D-A-CH Conference 2019, researchers adopted the Graz declaration for climate protection in the built environment.
An intact natural environment is not only vital for humankind but also provides the basis for further social and economic development. For more than 30 years, the international scientific community has provided a strong body of evidence on the increasingly high atmospheric concentrations of man-made greenhouse gases (GHG) and the need to reduce these in order to limit the damages and risks caused by global warming.
The operation of buildings is responsible for approximately 40% of Europe’s energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, making them the single largest cause of energy consumption and GHG-emissions. In addition, there are energy consumption and emissions caused by the manufacturing of construction products for creation and refurbishment of buildings and constructed assets.
The objectives of limiting global warming require translation into actions for the specific sectors and actors.
You can sign the declaration here.
All signatories can be found here.
Buildings must be planned, constructed and operated in such a way that they represent a capital rather than a legacy for future generations.
In the research project UNAB, an interdisciplinary research team of TU Graz took up this challenge with the aim of developing new, integral and hybrid building envelopes with special emphasis on sustainability and implementation in the planning process. By merging two complementary research approaches and integrating different research methods in the areas of design, numerical simulations, life cycle assessment, risk analysis and systemic analysis, a milestone in the operationalization (assessability) could be achieved.
We are a partner of the summer school “Green.Building.Solutions. (GBS)”, which will take place from July, 20th to August, 11th 2019 in Vienna.
Therefore, we invite our students to apply for the summer school.
The programme deals with ecological, economical, technical and social aspects of sustainable planning and building. Participants deepen their knowledge in the fields of passive house technology and energy efficiency. The contents are transmitted in close cooperation with Austrian experts in a transdisciplinary and intercultural setting of lectures, excursions and a final project work (information under: www.summer-university.net.)
Application deadline: April, 22nd (resp. June, 30th 2019)
Participation fee (incl. Housing, light refreshments):
Scholarship: EUR 490,- Regular fee: EUR 2000,- for students / EUR 2490,- for professionals
The Working Group Sustainable Construction, the Science, Technology and Society Unit and the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change teamed up for the project 'Transition of the procurement process towards Paris compatible public buildings' to identify the mitigation potential for the public building sector and to help integrate requirements to reach climate objectives.
In alignment with the Paris Agreement, Austria is committed to development towards a climate neutral society. The ParisBuildings project addresses the implications on buildings in Austria, considering both operational and embodied emissions. Moreover, the project combines environmental with economic assessments and develops Paris compatible public procurement requirements. The derived recommendations are evaluated based on case studies to support Austria’s policymakers.
SUSTAINABILITY LECTURE by Univ.-Prof. Ing. Verena Winiwarter (BOKU) on Sustainability as a Challenge: Innovations, Preparedness and Interdisciplinary Thinking.
Afterwards panel discussion with Rector Kainz and the Sustainability Advisory Board.
When: 5 June 2019, 12 to 14 o'clock
Where: Hörsaal i9, Inffeldgasse 13, ground floor, 8010 Graz
For further information and registration please have a look at tugraz.at/go/SL.
The event will be recorded.
On 18 June 2019 the 71st Discussion Forum on Life Cycle Assessment will take place at ETH Zurich and will cover the topic “Environmental Benchmarks for buildings: Needs, challenges and solutions”.
COP23, IEA and an increasing number of countries are extending their consideration from aspects such as building energy demand and emissions from building operation to building construction and the manufacture of construction materials.
This Discussion Forum will allow participants to inform themselves on the state of activities and regulations on the environmental LCA of buildings in Switzerland, European and other foreign countries. It is targeted to LCA practitioners and researchers as well as policy makers in the construction sector.
This DF profits from the research activities of the IEA EBC Annex 72 “Assessing Life-Cycle Related Environmental Impacts Caused by Buildings”.
Starting in 2019, Hermes is an international research project driven by scientists in Norway, Austria and China focusing on the integrated evaluation of energy saving, emission reduction potential and management strategies for urban road systems.
Innovation strategies aiming to improve urban life and development must address the pillars of urban areas: their infrastructural system. In Europe, about 80% of the road network consists of asphalt pavements, requiring more than 275 million tons of asphalt mixture to be produced every year. The negative impact of this production in terms of fossil energy, air quality and resource depletion is immense. If we are to take great leaps towards a sustainable infrastructure this challenge must be addressed. For further information on the project please have a look at the website.
Graz University of Technology is campaigning for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is actively promoting awareness of the SDGs in a week of sustainability from 3 to 7 June. Highlights include a Sustainability Lecture by Verena Winiwarter (Professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences) midweek and the (H)TU Sustainability Day on Campus Inffeldgasse (for more information check Facebook).
Graz University of Technology is of course also committed to sustainability during the remaining 51 weeks of the year: Together with 17 partner institutions, TU Graz is developing options for implementing the SDGs (UniNEtZ project).
Under the chairmanship of Alexander Passer the Sustainability Advisory Board has taken the lead to advise the university management in terms of sustainability.
From April 24 to 26, Austrian climate researchers gathered at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) and the Vienna University of Technology.
Under the umbrella of the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA), Climate Day, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, has become 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.
70 posters divided in 5 Sessions on the topics Transformation, Climate I Water I Snow, climate change impacts, agriculture and forestry, and climate change adaptation were presented.
The complete Conference Transcript can be found on CCCA’s website.
Since 2018, pupils, students and other (young) people around the world, following the example of the Swede Greta Thunberg, are demonstrating for climate protection and calling for a courageous environmental policy in accordance with the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Climate Agreement.
In April 2019, an international statement on the climate strikes of the Fridays For Future movement was published. The statement was signed by about three thousand international scientists and published on April 12, 2019 in the renowned journal Science.
"The concerns of climate protesters are justified and supported by the best available science. The current measures for protecting the climate and biosphere are deeply inadequate. We see it as our social, ethical, and scholarly responsibility to state in no uncertain terms: Only if humanity acts quickly and resolutely can we limit global warming, halt the ongoing mass extinction of animal and plant species, and preserve the natural basis for the food supply and well-being of present and future generations. This is what the young people want to achieve. They deserve our respect and full support."
Climate Change Centre Austria (click here to view their press release) and our team support Science for Future and Fridays For Future and therefore encourage other scientists from all fields of expertise to sign the international statement here.
The Sustainability Advisory Board is the central body for implementing sustainability at Graz University of Technology. In addition to advising university management in all matters of sustainability, the Advisory Board continuously develops the current sustainability strategy, bundles activities and initiates new proposals and projects.
Sustainability should be anchored at all levels of the university through the activities of the Advisory Board. For example, the Sustainability Advisory Board aims to integrate technology assessment in research and teaching, optimise energy and mobility management at TU Graz, develop measures to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, initiate (research) projects in the field of sustainability and regularly compile a sustainability report.
“Montagsakademie” is a monthly event hosted by the Center of Continuing Education at University of Graz that offers scientific lectures, intelligible to all, freely accessible and free of charge. The lectures are also broadcasted live in participating regions in Styria, Carinthia, Burgenland, Upper Austria and Salzburg.
This year’s topic is “Schöne, neue Welt!? Wie Wissenschaft und Technik unsere Zukunft sehen“. Aside from talks about cultural studies and humanities, there will also be presentations on technical sciences.
Therefore, Alexander Passer is going to hold a lecture about Sustainable Construction and its future opportunities on April 1st.
For more information check their website. A recording of the lecture will be accessible on this website shortly after.
Assoc. prof. dr. Rebeka Kovačič Lukman from University of Maribor is a visiting professor at the Working Group Sustainable Construction since January 2019. Her research focus is: sustainable consumption and production, LCA, circular economy. She has been involved in the coordination and implementation of over 25 international and national projects, focusing on sustainability, energy and environment. She is a core group member at the expert group by the European Commission in the field of Circular Economy Financing in the EU. Until now, she has published over 100 bibliographic units, including papers, conference proceedings, chapters in monographs, etc. Based on the Current Research Information System data, her h-index is 10. In the Web of Science (WoS) database, she has over 955 pure citations of her academic papers, which are in WoS ranked in the 1 % of the highly cited papers in the field.
Assoc. prof. dr. Rebeka Kovačič Lukman will teach the course Environmental assessment of construction materials (206.456). During her stay, she will co-supervise PhD- and master students and collaborate in scientific projects and publications paper in the field of LCA.
Universities as centers of innovation and training for future decision-makers play an important role in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Therefore, the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria has developed a project titled UniNEtZ - "Universitäten und Nachhaltige Entwicklungsziele".
The official project kick-off took place on 21/22 January at University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Currently, 16 universities / research institutes are involved in the project and will work on the development of an options paper, which should support the Federal Government in the implementation of its sustainability goals.
In addition, the project focuses on improving the networking between the universities and the anchoring of the SDGs in research and teaching.
For further information please visit nachhaltigeuniversitaeten.at.
Within our international research project IEA EBC Annex 72 we developed an international survey to improve understanding of the current needs of designers and engineers regarding methods, data and tools for an assessment of the environmental quality of buildings. This survey will be conducted simultaneously in more than 20 countries. The answers will be analyzed and shall serve as guidance for future research activities, knowledge sharing between design professionals in different countries, as well as contributing to future standards and regulations concerning environmental performance.
Participants get the chance to win a free entrance ticket for the World Sustainable Built Environment (WSBE) conference 'BEYOND 2020', which will take place in Gothenburg (Sweden) in June 2020!
Take the AT-version of the survey via bit.ly/A72-AT or a general EN-version via bit.ly/A72-EN.
For more information on the project visit nachhaltigwirtschaften.at or http://annex72.iea-ebc.org.
COP24 takes place in Katowice, Poland from December 3th to 14th 2018.
Goals for nations to keep global warming below a target threshold of 1.5°C were set up at a previous COP in Paris in 2015.
COP24 should now encourage all countries to actually start doing something about it by following the rules set up in the COP24-rule-book.
It will also be determined how to finance the implementation of greenhouse gas avoidance measures in developing countries.
Stopping global warming is generally considered to be one of the most important civilizational challenges and is required to achieve a sustainable development.
Under the umbrella of the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA), numerous Austrian researchers, including Alexander Passer, will present their latest research findings and results of their projects to the participants of the COP24. CCCA’s activities are supported by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism and will take place at the Austrian Pavilion.
You can find CCCA's activities at COP24 in detail here.
This year, the initiative Growth in transition is organizing its fourth international conference, entitled “Europe’s transformation: Where People Matter”, on 14–15 November 2018 at the Austria Center Vienna.
During the two-day event, plenary and parallel sessions will feature inspiring speakers from politics, science, civil-society and the private sector.
Keynote speakers include Ban Ki-Moon (Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens and Former Secretary-General of the United Nations), Elisabeth Köstinger (Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria) and Frans Timmermans (Vice-President European Commission).
The conference will address the transformation towards a sustainable society from very different perspectives. Conference topics will range from social and distributional aspects of a fair society to the role of the financial sector enabling a sustainable transformation.
Graz University of Technology and the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria organized a Session in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research, ETH Zurich and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology:
The Built Environment in Transition:
Adaption of Production and Consumption Patterns in the D-A-CH-Region
The aim of the session is to underline the need for a transformation of the built environment. Due to economic importance of the construction and real estate sector covering our human needs for shelter and infrastructure, the anthropogenic material flows and the high energy demand as well as the associated emissions, there is a great need for action in the direction of sustainable development. To tackle these challenges in the sense of the Global Grand Challenges, UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement, a paradigm shift is needed in the construction industry (planers and contractors), on the part of procurers (public and private investors, real estate sector) as well as on the demand side (user needs and user behavior).
Alexander Passer, Professor for Sustainable Construction at Graz University of Technology
Josefina Lindblom (DG Environment, European Commision)
Thomas Lützkendorf (Director of the Centre for Real Estate at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
Guillaume Habert (Chair of Sustainable Construction, ETH Zurich)
Oskar Mair am Tinkhof (Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing)
Günter Getzinger (Graz University of Technology)
The European Union and Austria have committed to reducing CO2 and thus to comprehensive measures in the area of sustainability.
The conference "Science in Transition" takes part on November 13th in the run-up of the international conference Growth in Transition.
Hosted by the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria, it addresses these challenges at the level of universities and colleges. As training and research centers, these can provide the necessary impetus for societal changes and thus play a decisive role in the implementation of global development goals.
EIT Climate-KIC's mission is to bring together, inspire and empower a dynamic community to build a zero carbon economy and climate resilient society.
In more than 100 cities on six continents, entrepreneurs, students, programmers and policy-makers come together on the October 26th and 27th 2018 to work on new, creative solutions to local climate change challenges (in Graz and Vienna on October 19th and 20th 2018 due to a holiday).
The Climathon is a 24-hour Hackathon and a global movement for the development of solutions of climate change challenges in cities worldwide.
The teams in Graz will be working on four topics:
We are looking forward to this event and hereby invite every interested citizen to JOIN the Climathon 2018 to create and present their innovative ideas around the topic of climate protection and bring society forward.
“Innovation happens when diverse perspectives are brought together.”
On September 14, 2018 Graz University of Technology, Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA), Climate KIC and MUL hosted the Partnering Day.
In the morning, a meeting took place on topics such as funding opportunities in climate change research and the Climate KIC Ecosystem with the following speakers (to view their presentation click their name):
Afterwards we invited to join the discussion on possible synergies and projects at lunch.
In the afternoon, researchers gathered for the "Climate-KIC-off-Styria" (on invitation only).
From July 23rd to August 3rd Marco Scherz took part in the 13th EURO PhD Summer School on MCDA/MCDM in Chania, Greece.
MCDA/MCDM focuses on developing and implementing systematic approaches to decision-making that require consideration of a variety of criteria, goals and perspectives. The application of MCDM methods is an essential contribution to the implementation of sustainable construction, also with regard to achieving the climate goals.
By attending the Summer School Marco increased the solid foundation for his PhD thesis and enlarged his network for important future collaborations.
The pioneers and best scientists of the MCDA/MCDM area gave their lectures within in the Summer School (see program).
For the practical application, the participants had to work on a case study “Urban Sustainability Assessment”. After preparation and presentation (see project presentation) of the case study, the group in which Marco worked, was honored with an acknowledgment of excellence for their outstanding performance in the case project work.
We sincerely congratulate.
In July 2018, the Working Group Sustainable Construction will host Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade as a guest researcher. Marcella's expertise on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) will be applied to the Advanced and Sustainable Sprayed Concrete Project (ASSpC), to evaluate the environmental performance of newly proposed mix designs with an improved technical behavior. Marcella has collaborated with the Working Group between October 2016 and January 2017, while performing research for her PhD thesis on impact distribution in cement and concrete materials' LCA. During her second stay, focus will be given to the development of scientific deliverables for the ASSpC project.
At the Buildings and Energy Day on June 14th, organized by the TU Graz Field of Expertise Sustainable Systems, the subject of resource efficiency and the urban planning and architectural quality was discussed with leading experts. Also, specific actions and strategies on how to contribute to positive changes were discussed.
The evening event was opened by Rector Kainz; followed by a highly interesting lecture from Prof. Werner Sobek. Sobek highlighted the urgency of resource-efficient construction with simple calculations. He showcased adaptive building structures and buildings with a positive energy balance and gave many inspiring examples of how to find new solutions for construction challenges that are both technically and aesthetically innovative.
Following this keynote speech, a panel discussion was held, in which Werner Sobek, Werner Prutsch (Graz Umweltamt), Thomas Fleckl (AIT), Brian Cody (Institute of Buildings and Energy) and Roger Riewe (Institute of Architectural Technology) participated.
Accompanying the event, a poster exhibition was set up displaying 27 projects of the FoE Sustainable Systems, three of which were contributed by AGNHB.
May 23, 2018 in the festive setting of the Palais Niederösterreich in the presence of almost 400 guests the 25th anniversary of the Austrian Institute of Construction Engineering (OIB) and 10 years OIB guidelines were celebrated.
Within the fest event a special symposium was organized of the Inter-jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration Committee (IRCC), where speakers from all over the world presented their ideas on Sustainability in the Construction Sector. Assoc.Prof. Alexander Passer focused in his speech on the European environmental assessment methods for construction products and buildings.
You can download the programme here.
On Friday, May 18 we welcomed experts from design practice as well as from research and development to give lectures on Building Information Modelling.
DI Philipp Müller, Autodesk Inc.:
Integral planning processes, simulation and automation in BIM require a wide variety of software solutions and workflows. Autodesk is the leading provider of software for the construction industry. An overview of current R & D projects showed where we are heading in view of the software industry.
DI Dr. Thomas Lorenz, Thomas Lorenz ZT:
Thomas Lorenz ZT GmbH unites specialists for project control, general planning, structural design and local building supervision. They mainly realize architecturally challenging buildings and technically sophisticated infrastructure projects. Thomas Lorenz gave insights into the application of BIM at his office.
DI Michael Fuchs, IB Lang:
Michael Fuchs is BIM-Manager at engineering office Lang and an expert for HVAC. Based on practical examples from major projects, he presented the transition to Autodesk Revit, as well as discussed everyday BIM issues, challenges and the added value of BIM in HVAC design and coordination.
“Development of a glycosylation platform cell factory
and optimisation of downstream processing for the sustainable production of glycosides and building blocks”
CARBAFIN will develop, based on an integrated biocatalytic production technology, a radically new value chain for the utilisation of surplus sucrose from sugar beet biomass in the EU. CARBAFIN will demonstrate bio-based co-production of a functional glucoside and fructose. Leading platform technologies in biocatalytic cell factories and downstream processing, conjointly optimised in CARBAFIN for performance efficiency and cost-effectiveness under full integration of LCA and LCC, are key to make industrial co-production of glycosides and HMF via fructose competitive in today's markets.
The Working Group Sustainability Assessment will evaluate accompany, in cooperation with the Institute of Business Economics and Industrial Sociology, the environmental impact as well as the economic feasibility of the developed processes and products.
On 13 April, the event “Lange Nacht der Forschung 2018” took place. It was opened at Science Tower Graz.
The Working Group gave an insight into research about Building Information Modeling (BIM), tried to explain Multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) on the basis of a simple purchase decision and encouraged to calculate (and lower) the personal ecological footprint.
We are delighted about the rush of visitors and would like to thank all guests. We look forward to the next event in 2020.
On 10 April 2018 DELTA and ÖGNI hosted an event in Vienna on“Vision: Building stock - How to breathe new life into old buildings”. IMMO FutureLab aims to promote future-oriented thinking in the construction industry, pick up on new topics and offer participants a forum to exchange ideas. Furthermore, it wants to serve the real estate industry as think tank and innovation driver.
Junior Researcher Martin Röck presented our research on “Revitalization as chance to optimize the building life cycle”. He refered about the potential environmental gains from revitalizing old buildings and how the implementation of LCA in BIM. Furthermore, he presented ongoing research projects on the optimization of environmental impacts throughout the building life cycle.
Dr. Damien Trigaux from KU Leuven is visiting professor at the Working Group Sustainable Construction since March. His expertise in Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) includes several full-scale levels, from methodological basics for assessing materials and construction products to evaluating buildings and whole neighbourhoods. Dr. Trigaux supports the courses Environmental assessment of construction materials (206.456) and Life Cycle Engineering (219.556).
In January and February 2018 the The Working Group Sustainability Assessment has hosted Tajda P. Obrecht as guest researcher. She is a young researcher at the Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG) and is preparing her PhD at the University of Ljubljana, which focused on the application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to refurbishment of buildings. The aim is the improvement of the current methodology for assessing the environmental impacts of refurbishment. During her stay we have investigated the possibilities how to integrate LCA and Building Information Modelling (BIM). The findings will also contribute to the IEA Annex 72 project. Additionally, possibilities for further collaborations were discussed.
At the second PEF4Buildings stakeholder workshop the project partners VITO, KU Leuven and TU Graz shared results on the PEF assessment of two office buildings with stakeholders and got valuable feedback and discussions on potential approaches for benchmarking and classes of performance as well as for the overall assessment at the building level. The importance of work carried out under the umbrella of CEN/TC 350 was underlined once again. Thanks to the stakeholders and the project team, we are ready to start drafting the final report for the EC DG ENV.
On 10 January 2018, the Working Group Consumption Based GHG Accounting (CCCA) gathered for their first meeting this year in Graz. The aim of the meeting was to plan and specify their activities for 2018.
In November 2017, the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria held their 20th workshop about the sustainable activities of the participating universities. Besides, a conference on the contribution of the universities to changing science was organised. In the context of the Austrian EU presidency, it is scheduled for November 2018.
The Dean of the faculty of civil engineering invited to the inaugural lecture of Alexander Passer on the occasion of his venia docendi award for the scientific field of Sustainable Construction. Please find the lecture slides and the video from the lecutre including the welcome words of the Rector from Graz University of Technology, the dean, and the head of the institute.
LINK: Lecture Slides
LINK: Pictures (c) JOfotografie
LINK: Video (TUBe.tugraz.at) - lecture starts at minute 29
From November 27-29 TU Graz hosted the official Kick-Off meeting of IEA EBC Annex 72. We are excited about the team of motivated experts and curious where the project will go in these 4 years. We thank all the participants for their contributions and for making it an enjoyable and productive kick-off! Within "IEA EBC Annex 72 - Assessing Life Cycle Related Environmental Impacts Caused by Buildings" Austria is leading the Subtask on "Assessment workflows and tools" where we will explore the potentials of connecting BIM and LCA for assessment and optimization during the building design process.
On the occasion of COP23, taking place this year from 6 to 17 November in Bonn, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) organised a series of events to discuss how to achieve a low-carbon, energy efficient buildings and construction sector.
Following the Symposiums title “How to achieve the Paris Agreement? Identifying key ingredients to achieving a low-carbon, energy efficient buildings and construction sector” Alexander Passer addressed the question of how data can help assess the environmental impacts in the building life cycle at the Building Action Symposium. He presented the new research project IEA EBC Annex 72 as well as recommendations for achieving a transition of the construction sector towards net-zero-energy buildings.
Download the presentation here.
Download the summary here.
Our working group found a new home in the Science Tower in Graz. Since November, are located in the Wagner-Biro-Strasse 100, 11th floor, next to Graz main station.
The 60-metre high tower is not only the core of “Smart City Graz” project but will also host all kind of green-tec researchers and industry partners.
This new opportunity will help to find more sustainable solutions for the problems that come with urbanisation, digitisation and climate change. The building of the Science Tower is just the beginning in developing the area as a new part of a smart city and hosting living and work-space for around 1500 to 2000 people.
We are looking forward to a good cooperation with our new neighbours and are happy to make up new green technologies whilst experiencing what have been actually researched in this field.
The documentary was shown on 21 October on ORF1, an Austrian TV channel. It is about innovative technologies in the domain of sustainable construction and was supported by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Klima- und Energiefonds Austria and the City of Vienna.
By visiting Austrian experts at home and abroad, the team figured out that the elements to a sustainable built city are smart planning, new technologies and including nature.
Unfortunately, that episode of Newton is not available at orf.at anymore but you can watch it here.
On 12 and 13 October 2017, the the bmvit in cooperation with the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology (ÖGUT) invited to the annual networking meeting of the national actors of the IEA research cooperation. The IEA networking meeting was organized this year as one and a half day event with sightseeing tours in Salzburg. The topic was the ‘Transformation of the energy system as an eco-social challenge’.
Martin Röck, Austrian expert in the IEA EBC Annex 72, attended the meeting to represent the newly launched Annex and to network with the actors of the Austrian IEA research cooperation. The presentations on other IEA Annexes, project management as wells as the guided tours in the newly refurbished district Lehen and the innovative wastewater heat recovery system of the ECO Suite Hotel were both interesting and exciting. We are looking forward to be back next year and present the work of IEA EBC Annex 72.
The agenda as well as presentations and photos of the meeting can be found online.
Guidance to including Embodied Energy & Embodied GHG Emissions in the decision-making process for SME’s, November 2016.
The IEA EBC Annex57 guideline deals with the Evaluation of Embodied Energy and CO2eq for Building Construction. It provides the necessary methodological bases, tools, calculation rules, data bases and application examples for incorporating the aspects of embodied energy and GHG emissions into the decision-making of relevant stakeholder groups.
In this frame, Alexander Passer has presented his view towards Operationalisation of Sustainable Construction with Life Cycle Sustianability Assessment (LCSA) and Building Information Modeling (BIM).
We are happy to welcome our new team members, THERES REISINGER and DOMINIK MAIERHOFER.
Theres started her bachelor studies in October 2016 at Graz University of Technology.
She is interested in environmental issues since her school days and therefore - due to her chosen discipline - also in sustainable building technologies.
Dominik recently started his master studies at the TU Graz, focusing on sustainable infrastructure, mobility as well as Building Information Modelling. Dominik aroused his passion for sustainability in his period as a bachelor student in civil engineering and in various internships in the construction sector.
Theres and Dominik will support us in research projects (e.g. IEA EBC Annex 72) as well as in organisational tasks and teaching and are also highly likely to do their master’s thesis with the collaboration of the working group.
We wish them a very warm welcome and look forward to a good cooperation!
The European Commission proposes the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint methods as a common way of measuring environmental performance so that companies wishing to market their products environmentally friendly in several Member States are not confused any more. (Further information)
Within the frame of the PEF4buildings pilot project, first experiences from testing the applicability of the PEF method to two office building cases were presented in a national stakeholder meeting in Vienna.
The next international stakeholder meeting will take place in February 2018 in Brussels. Please feel free to contact us.
See also: researchgate
Richard joined our research group in 2013 and was working part time in our team. Since April 2016 he was part of the project for the preparation of an environmental product declaration for ready-mixed concrete (LINK: GVTB).
In addition to the project he dedicated his scientific efforts for his master thesis on the topic of LCA ready-mixed concrete: Modelling aspects and respective analysis.
After having finished his thesis, he presented his work and finished his study with distinction. We warmly congratulate him and wish him all the best for his future career path.
Sustainable construction is more than theory.
Within our joint postgraduate course "Sustainable Construction" (LINK: Nachhaltigesbauen.eu) we aim bringing theory and practice together. Heinrich Schober (LINK: OE MED Campus Graz) one of the master minds in the development of the new MED CAMPUS (LINK: http://medcampus.medunigraz.at) explained the project together with Alexander Passer, who presented details on the sustainability optimisation during the whole design process. During the site visit, it was possible to gain insights on all the details of the building.
The project is certified as one of the first research and laboratory buiildings as a whole campus (LINK: http://www.ogni.at/de/medcampusgraz/).
The first PEF4Buildings stakeholder meeting was held on 5th July at European Commission Conference centre in Brussels. We are happy that we could share first results and experiences with many stakeholders from across Europe in the framework of testing the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) method and it’s applicability at the building level. We’re looking forward to a follow-up in November 2017.
On the 21st of June the rector and vice rectors officially awarded scientific fields with the venia docendi.
Alexander Passer received his venia docendi for the new scientific field of Sustainable Construction, which is a premiere in Austria.
The Invitation to the Inaugural Lecture with the title "BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. Sustainable Construction: Let's build changes!" can be found here. (LINK: Invitation to the Inaugural Lecture)
WSBE17 Hong Kong is the world conference of the 2015-2017 cycle of the renowned SBE Conference Series, which is now considered to be the most influential of its kind globally. Following Hong Kong's selection as the host city, WSBE17 Hong Kong concluded the cycle by embracing all of the findings from the 20 regional conferences held in different parts of the world in 2016.
Themed "Transforming Our Built Environment through Innovation and Integration: Putting Ideas into Action", Hong Kong had an aggressive target to "innovate" and "integrate".Several scholars of AGNHB contributed to the conference by presenting research on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Sustainability Certification of construction products and buildings, MDCM for process optimisation and LCA integration in BIM design. Prof. Passer chaired “Session 6.6: Green Construction Materials”.
It was great to see the interest in these topics, discuss our findings with fellow researchers and enjoy the global village of Hong Kong. We’re looking forward to the next SBE!
The first Annex 72 expert meeting during the preparation phase was held at the Danish Building Research Institute at AAU Copenhagen, Denmark from May 18th – 19th 2017. The workshop included 32 participants from 18 countries, primarily from the EU. The goal was to create the Annex 72 team spirit and to invite experts to contribute as participants to the success of Annex 72. Furthermore, the contents of the subtasks and their activities were discussed and further refined. Alexander Passer and Martin Röck of our Working Group Sustainable Construction joined the experts and contributed in their task of leading the preparations of “Subtask 2 – Assessment workflows and tools”.
BIM is becoming more and more the standard in the construction industry, but what about the larger scale, such as urban infrastructure networks?
This lecture will be about how information is managed on large scale infrastructure networks, and how this information can be updated using new technologies, such as UAVs.
Rechbauerstraße 12, HS VIII
31.05.2017, 10:30 Uhr
The Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Campinas appointed Alexander Passer as a member of the assessment committee of Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade´s Doctorate defense. The public defense took place on April 3rd, in Campinas. Together with the committee members (Profa. Dra. Vanessa Gomes da Silva, Unicamp, Profa. Dra. Cassia Maria Lie Ugaya, Universidad Technológica Federal do Paraná, Profa. Dra. Ana Paula Bortoleto, Unicamp, Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert, ETH Zürich) Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade was interviewed about her thesis "Multifunctionality modeling applied to cement and concrete LCAs", supervised by Profa. Dra. Vanessa Gomes da Silva.
The aim and objective of the project is to test the applicability of the EC PEF method, the latest versions available of the related PEF Pilot Guidance documents developed in the framework of the Environmental Footprint pilot test phase and knowledge/experiences from several PEF pilots on construction related materials (draft PEFCR for paints, insulation materials, PV, piping systems for hot and cold water supply in building and metal sheets) to new office buildings, and to provide an overview of pros and cons of alternative possible approaches to the definition of the benchmark and classes of performance for the typology of buildings within the scope of the study. The assessment and the overview will contribute to the development of a final approach to develop benchmark and classes of performance for different typologies of buildings. The project will be carried out by the help of desk studies, from experiences in real building projects and from experiences of the team in several PEF pilot projects. The result of the project will be formulated in a way that it fit well the policy context of the European Commission in the framework. For project for the EC DG Environment VITO is taking the lead with KU Leuven and TU Graz as partners. The project started in January 2017 and the end is foreseen in December 2017. Two stakeholder meetings will be organised during the project under the premises of the European Commission. One to present the lessons learned from the PEF assessment for two office building cases (before summer holidays) and one to present overall findings and guidance for the PEF assessment at the building level.
A first stakeholder meeting will be organised in Brussels (Belgium) before summer holidays.During that stakeholder meeting we will present our first experiences from testing the applicability of the PEF method to two office building cases. The exact date for this stakeholder meeting will be fixed soon (expected to be on the 5th July 2017). For further information please feel free to contact us.
We invite all students of the architecture and construction faculties of Austrian universities to participate in the Concrete Student Trophy 2017. The tender documents are now available!
Future in process...
Just recently DI Martin Röck finished and successfully defended his master thesis "future in process...Exploring sustainability, participation and the building life cycle" at AGNHB, TU Graz, supervised by Ass. Prof. Dr. Alexander Passer. The work deals with user participation and the integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the architectural design process using Building Information Modelling (BIM). Martin Röck conducted the work over the course of a year, including his participation at Wienerberger Sustainable Building Academy 2015 and some months of research at the Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert.
Science Tower Graz is the lighthouse project in the Graz West city development area. Now that the envelope façade of the tower is finished, employees of the AGNHB got the chance to visit the tower and see for themselves. Soon the towers mantle, applying organic photovoltaic panels will be mounted for the interdisciplinary science hub to presumably start operation in 2017.
After AGNHB already assessed the tower in the Smart City Project Graz Mitte we are now co-supervising a master thesis that will again explore the tower using the architect’s Building Information Model.
The Working Group Sustainability Assessment welcomes Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade as a guest student. She is doing her PhD at the University of Campinas, in Brazil. Marcella and her advisor, Prof. Dr. Vanessa Gomes, have been working with Life Cycle Assessment applied to building materials and components for quite some time now. Her focus is specifically on impact distribution issues within LCA’s methodology. From October to the end of January she will be aiding in the environmental assessments for the ASSpC project at the Institute of Technology and Construction Materials.
On Tuesday, 20.09.2016 the ÖGNI convention, as one of three annually held conventions from the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI) took place at the Technical University Graz. In this frame, Helmuth Kreiner presented a contribution on building certification – planning and construction attendant quality assurance for mulit-criteria objectives.
To prepare the follow up project of IEA EBC Annex 57, which is currently finalized, an annex proposal workshop was held in Zurich recently. The workshop was organized to discuss and agree on the objectives and activities , which will deal with harmonization of assessment methods, environmental benchmarks for buildings and the integration of life cycle assessment in state of the art design and planning processes. Among other international sustainability experts and renown researchers, Alexander Passer and Martin Röck contributed to the proposal and attended the workshop. The annex proposal is to be presented in Australia later this autumn for approval by the international IEA committee as well as national authorities in order to start the project preparation phase in 2017.
Link to research project IEA ECBCS Annex 57
The Faculty of Department of Civil and Transport Engineering of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) appointed Alexander Passer as the first opponent of the assessment committee of James George Kallaos. The public defense took place on the September 14th, in Trondheim. The title of his trial lecture was "How will adaptations of the built environment to climate change influence climate change mitigation?". Together with the committee members (Assistant Professor Karen Allacker, Katholic University of Leuven, Belgium and Professor Tore Kvande, NTNU) James George Kallaos was interviewed about his thesis "Energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions - developing an indicator framework applicable to the built environment", supervised by Associate Professor Rolf André Bohne, Department of Civil and Transport Engineering.
During the international conference CESB16 a special session for the project IEA EBC Annex 57 took place. The members presented in part one the Background of Annex 57 (Tatsuo Oka), EEg-research in Europe (Petr Hajek), Topics and trends in EEG-research (Chan-U Chae), Basic issues (Thomas Lützkendorf), How to calculate EEG (Keizo Yokoyama) and Case study examples (Harpa Birgisdottir). In part two Guidelines for designers (Maria Balouski, Harpa Birgisdottir), for construction product manufactures (Alexander Passer), for policy maker inclusing public procurement (José A. Tenorio) and for education (Petr Hajek) were presented. After the presentations the results were discussed with the auditorium and different stakeholder from research and practice.
The CESB16 conference is an international event dedicated to key issues of sustainable built environment in the Central Europe. Alexander Passer presented the research project +ERS - Plus Energy Network Reininghaus Süd.
Plus-energy houses have until now been frontrunners: they are very often detached houses or buildings in sparsely populated areas. But due to the on-going urban sprawl new solutions must be developed. In the presentation the development of innovation multifunctional neighbourhoods using energetic synergies of building cluster was presented.
Link to homepage: Central Europe towards Sustainable Building
The Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Regional Conference 2016 in Zurich was aimed as a platform for exchange between researchers and practitioners of the construction sector to foster system thinking in the built environment. The inernational scientific commitee selected two papers for an oral presentation.
Buildings account worldwide for 40% of global energy consumption on 30% of GHG emission. Due to the fact that the building stock plays a key role in achieving these targets. Alexander Passer presented an optimal refurbishment strategy in terms of lowest environmental impact through life cycle assessment (LCA). Three facade refurbishment scenarios (none, minimum and energetic high quality) and onsite energy generation (solar thermal and photovoltaic panel (PV)) were evaluated.
Individual user and stakeholder interests in the context of project requirements and goals often lead to trade-offs; especially during the early design stage of a building. Helmuth Kreiner presented a new systemic approach linking building assessment and network analysis based on the Austrian building assessment system (ÖGNI/DGNB) and using a reference project of a public office building in Austria.
Link to homepage: Sustainable Built Environment Conference
Wood and derived timber products are fascinating due to there fine surface, flexible applications and especially there sustainability over the completely life cycle. Planner and employer need established knowledge, because defective design and bad workmanship could have expensive consequences. The book "Holz im Hochbau" is a user guide for planner, engineers, timber construction companies and students and contains all basically structure issues: new and approved practice, basic material and products, building physics, dimensioning, achievement, processing, tender and economy. It gives a broad base of knowledge and supplies with rules of thumbs, charts and many pictures the practical employment.
The Working Group Sustainability Assessment is growing steadily and welcomes Marco Scherz as a new PhD candidate. In the course of his master thesis he dealt with the topic Implementing sustainable construction - an empirical case study. His master thesis was part of the research project UNAB - Sustainable Designprocess & Integrated Facades and was supported by the Institute for Construction Management and Economics and the Institute of Technology and Testing of Construction Materials. Marco aroused his passion for sustainable constructions during his master´s degree Construction Management and Civil Engineering Sciences.
We wish Marco all the best for his professional career.
Cement is responsible of more than 7% of the total CO2 emissions coming from human activities and the tremendous cement demand in developing countries urge us to find alternative to traditional Portland cement.
In this lecture, we will assess the environmental impact of traditional and alternativ.
We will particularly have a look at innovative binders such as geopolymers or magnesium cement.
Vienna, March 29th, 2016. The Bau EPD GmbH published the new enviornmental product declaration „Frischbeton für vorgefertigte Betonerzeugnisse“ for the Austrian concrete and precast association. The declaration is the result of a three year research work with the TU Graz and a trendsetting step for the local industry.
Under the scientific leadership of the Working Group Sustainability Assessment it was accomplished to define a standard concrete for precaste-concrete products in consideration of all environmental factors. So it is possible to identify all environmental impacts of the concrete – from extracting the resources to manufacturing in the factory. The published EPD could be used for all Austrian sustainability assessment tools of buildings (ÖGNB, climb:aktiv, ÖGNI).
The aim of this university course, which is conducted by TU Wien and Graz University of Technology, is to generate an awareness of holistic lifecycle-oriented approaches to construction based on the three-pillar model of sustainability. This means that graduates will be in a position to implement the principles of ecological, economic and socio-cultural sustainability in project development and design and realisation, as well as in the operation and demolition of building structures.
This university course is offered as Master Program (4 semesters) and as Certified Course (2 semesters).
The program is designed for designers and planners from the construction industry (civil engineers, architects, building trades professionals), contracting authorities and investors (real estate investment funds, project developers for major urban authorities, regional and federal real estate companies, building departments of major corporations, retail outlet chains), Building certification auditors.
Master Program: 4 semesters, part-time, modular, 90 ECTS
Master of Engineering (MEng) granted by TU Wien and the Technical University of Graz
Certified Course: 2 semesters, part-time, modular, 42 ECTS
Joint Certificate granted by TU Wien and the Technical University of Graz
Language of instruction: German
Study Locations: Vienna and Graz
Next Program Start: November 10, 2016
Application Deadline: September 23, 2016
Applications received before June 30, 2016 are eligible for a 10% Early Bird Bonus on the total tuition fee.
Get informed at the next info sessions in Vienna or Graz. The Academic Directors and the Program Management will introduce the program and be ready to answer your questions.
The sessions will be held in German.
Language of Instruction: German
Study Locations: Vienna and Graz
Language of Instruction: German
Study Locations: Vienna and Graz
Applications received before June 30, 2016 are eligible for a 10% Early Bird Bonus on the total tuition fee
Get informed at the next info sessions in Vienna or Graz. The Academic Directors and the Program Management will introduce the program and be ready to answer your questions. The sessions will be held in German.
Get informed at the next info sessions in Vienna or Graz. The Academic Directors and the Program Management will introduce the program and be ready to answer your questions. The sessions will be held in German.
The SBE16 Hamburg was successfully finished after several days of intensive scientific exchange. 600 representatives from science and practice, from 31 countries, presented their ideas and results on integration of sustainability aspects into the design, construction and operation of buildings as well as neighborhood and city development.One of the emphasis of the program was the development and testing of planning and evaluation tools which support sustainable neighborhood development. The need to involve all relevant actors was particularly stressed. The discussion was led about whether and how the implementation of the climate protection goals can be achieved by means of sustainable construction. The results of the surveys taken by the participants are available on the website of the conference. They show interesting experiences in the field of integration of sustainability issues in education of architects, engineers and executives for the housing and real estate industry.Many visitors took the opportunity to get informed about concrete projects and examples of neighborhood development in Hamburg. After evaluating, all results were recorded and incorporated into the preparation of the World Conference WSBE17 HongKong.
WISBA is the Wienerberger Sustainable Building Academy organized and funded by Wienerberger for students of architecture, environmental engineering and civil engineering. In its third year WISBA 2015 is cooperating with universities from Austria (TU Graz, TU Wien), Belgium (VUB, KU Leuven), Hungary (Budapest University of Economics and Engineering), Italy (University of PISA), Poland (Politechnika Warsaw) and Switzerland (ETH Zurich). Within the WISBA program the students work in international and interdisciplinary teams on projects in the field of sustainable building solutions. Goal of the program is to provide highly talented students with an additional education in sustainable building – a key topic for Wienerberger. In 2013 Wienerberger startet WISBA with 12 students. In total 60 students worked on a broad range of topics reaching from sustainability assessment methods to specific sustainability challenges such as overheating of buildings in summer. The WISBA start conference is hosted every year at a different university (TU Graz, 2013; TU München, 2014; ETH Zurich, 2015) – followed by several workshops. From September until December 2015 24 students from 6 countries work in project teams on two research topics based on the case study of Building 2226 by architects Baumschlager Eberle under the academic mentorship of distinguished experts in sustainability and construction. The goal of WISBA 2015 is to conceptualize low-tech brick buildings that focus on two future scenarios – climate change and change of usage – all under consideration of the three sustainability dimensions – ecology, society and economy. At the start conference at ETH Zurich students were introduced into the case study of Building 2226 under the supervision of their mentors. At further workshops in Leuven, Warsaw, Budapest and Pisa students continue their work which will be presented at the result conference in December in Vienna.
Buildings are an important consumer of energy and an important source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the last decade buildings and their environmental impacts are getting more and more attention. Analytical tools are being developed, environmental information based on environmental product declarations is being standardised and several sustainability and environmental tools and labelling schemes are being used in Switzerland. The discussion forum will provide an overview on different tools, information and labelling schemes, highlighting common aspects and main differences. The application of life cycle based information in the planning process is presented from the perspectives of building owners, practitioners and industry. The situation in neighbouring countries is described and the influence of the European Union’s construction products' regulation on the current landscape of environmental tools and labels is discussed. Results from recent research projects are shown. Needs and expectations from the viewpoint of building owners, planners and architects, and suppliers, respectively will be discussed. The goal of the discussion forum is to support informed decisions about the most appropriate environmental information and labelling schemes for the coming decade.
Link to homepage: Discussion Forum on Life Cycle Assessment
Arbeitsgruppe Nachhaltiges Bauen