11-18 Growth in Transition

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 TechnologyJosefina 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)

You can download the preliminary programme here. For further information check the official conference website.

11-18 Science in Transition

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.

For further information see invitation and

10-18 | EIT Climate-KIC: Climathon

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:

  • Considering public transportation, they will try to figure out how an interlinked public transportation network could look like in the future.
  • Working on the topic micro climate, they take deeper looks into how climate and air quality data can be made more understandable for citizens.
  • The participants will also work on the topic of photovoltaic and how an efficient usage of renewable energy can be ensured to reduce losses and the need for storage.
  • In the last topic, mobility transformation, the focus lies on how citizens can contribute to a transformation to a climate friendly transport system.

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.”

09-18 | Partnering Day at TU Graz

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).

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08-18 | EURO PhD Summer School on MCDA/MCDM

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.

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07-18 | Guest Researcher Marcella Ruschi Mendes Saade

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.

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06-18 | FoE Sustainable Systems: Buildings and Energy Day

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.

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05-18 | 25th Anniversary OIB

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

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05-18 | Guest-Lectures BIM

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.


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04-18 | CARBAFIN

“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.

Get informed

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04-18 | Lange Nacht der Forschung 2018

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.

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04-18 | IMMO FutureLab

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.

02-18 | Visiting Professor Dr. Damien Trigaux


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).

01-18 | Guest Researcher Tajda P. Obrecht

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.

01-18 | PEF4Buildings, 2nd Stakeholder Workshop @EC, Brussels

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.

01-18 | Working Group Climate Change Centre Austria

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.


Gerfried Jungmeier, Hannes Schwaiger (JOANNEUM RESEARCH); Hanspeter Wieland (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Bernhard Windsperger (Institute for Industrial Ecology); Mathias Kirchner (Austrian Institute of Economic Research); Hanna Schreiber (Environment Agency Austria); Günter Getzinger, Alexander Passer (Graz University of Technology); Karl Steininger (University of Graz)

11-17 | Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria

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.

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11-17 | Inaugural lecture - Assoc.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Alexander Passer, MSc.



 November 30th 2017 | Aula – Graz University of Technology

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 ( - lecture starts at minute 29

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11-17 | IEA EBC Annex 72 Kick-Off meeting

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.

Get more information on IEA EBC Annex 72 here and follow the project on researchgate.

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11-17 | COP23: GABC Building Action Symposium

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.

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11-17 | New office for AGNHB in the Science Tower Graz

Klima-und Energiefonds/APA-Fotoservice/Buchacher

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.

Designed as a living lab, we are proud to share the experience and evaluate the outcome of our joint research project SCP  – a project which was subsidised by Klima- und Energiefonds Austria.

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.


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10-17 | Smart Cities (“Stadt 4.0”) in television documentary “Newton”

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.

There are even two of our projects mentioned: E80^3 (alternative linkand Smart City Project Graz Mitte SCP.

Unfortunately, that episode of Newton is not available at anymore but you can watch it here.

Further literature: smartcities and smartcitygraz and science-tower

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10-17 | IEA - network event

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.

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10-17 | Book launch "IEA EBC ANNEX 57 – Guidline for Construction Product Manufacturers"

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.

Book is available at TU Graz.

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10-17 | 2 ÖGNI convention

The second ÖGNI convention 2017 was held on 18 October at Graz University of Technology, as one of three annually held conventions from the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI) 

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).

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10-17 | New team members

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!

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09-17 | PEF4buildings - Stakeholder-Workshop in Austria

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 meeting was organised by TU Graz on behalf of VITO and KU Leuven under the premises of the Austrian Economic Chamber.

The next international stakeholder meeting will take place in February 2018 in Brussels. Please feel free to contact us.

See also: researchgate 

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09-17 | Master's thesis presentation and examination of Richard Deutsch

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.

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09-17 | Excursion MED Campus Graz

Sustainable construction is more than theory.

Within our joint postgraduate course "Sustainable Construction" (LINK: 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: 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:

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07-17 | PEF4buildings - 1st Stakeholder-Workshop at European Commission, Brussels

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.

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06-17 | New established Scientific Field "Sustainable Construction" at TU Graz

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)

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06-17 | World Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2017, Hong Kong

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! 


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05-17 | IEA EBC Annex 72 - First expert meeting of preparation phase at AUU, Copenhagen

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”.

Link zu:


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05-17 | Guest Lecture Clemens Kielhauser: Research perspective on Infrastructure Information Modeling

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

ETH Zurich

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04-17 | Assessment committee member for a PhD degree at UNICAMP

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.

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03-17 | PEF4Buildings

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.

Link to ResearchGate

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03-17 | Concrete Student Trophy 2017

(c) Zement+Beton Handels- und Werbeges.m.b.H

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!

Link to tender documents and more information

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11-16 | Master thesis Martin Röck

(c) Martin Röck / TUGraz

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. 

11-16 | Visit on the construction site Science Tower

(c) Martin Röck / TUGraz

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.

Smart City Project Graz

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(c) Ruschi Mendes Saade

10-16 | PhD guest student

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.

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09-16 | ÖGNI Convention 2.1

(c) Dorn

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.

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09-16 | IEA EBC Annex Proposal Workshop Zurich, 15.-16.9.2016

(c) Alexander Passer / TU Graz

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 homepage IEA EBC

Link to homepage treeze Ltd.

Link to research project IEA ECBCS Annex 57

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09-16 | Assessment Committee member for a PhD degree at NTNU

(c) Rolf André Bohne / NTNU Trondheim

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.  

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06-16 | Special Session CESB16 Prague

(c) Passer / TU Graz

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.

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06-16 | CESB16 Prague

(c) CESB / TU Prague

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

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06-16 | SBE16 ZRH

(c) go_greener_oz

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

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06-16 | Book launch "Holz im Hochbau"

(c) Anton Pech

Theory and practice

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.     

Book is available at DEGRUYTER

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05-16 | New scientific assistant

(c) Marco Scherz / TU Graz

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.


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04-16 | Guest Lecture Prof. Dr. HABERT : Sustainable Construction & Environmental assessment

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.

(c) TU Graz

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03-16 | Precast-concrete: transparency through environmental product declaration (EPD)

(c) Bau EPD GmbH

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.

Professional cooporation with TU Graz

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). 

Link to the press release 

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03-16 | Sustainable Construction


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).

Target Group

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. 

Duration & Final Degree:

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.

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6 p.m., TU Wien
  • Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 6 p.m., TU Graz

We look forward to your registration at
Further information is available on our website


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.

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03-16 | Outstanding paper award winner at SBE16 Hamburg

(c) TU Graz

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.

Download Conference Paper:  Innovative building technologies and technical equipment towards sustainable construction – a comparative LCA and LCC assessment 

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02-16 | WISBA

(c) TU Graz

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.    

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02-14 | 57th Discussion Forum on Life Cycle Assessment

(c) Discussion Forum LCA

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

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