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Passive house and Plus-Energy technology sprawling

June 16, 2015

Ever more building owners in Austria apply energetically high efficient technologies

All over Austria, photovoltaic power generation became almost a standard for new buildings and Austria has more passive houses per inhabitant than most other countries.

Latest and towering example is Vienna University of Technology, a highrise building providing small surface for power generation, but large spaces that consume energy. Thus, considerable energy savings of 90 % were necessary to become a passive house. Insulation according to the Austrian passive house standard contributed a large proportion, the building itself produces energy out of solar panels on the roof and facades, but also through energy recovery from elevators braking energy and waste heat from the IT-infrastructure. Computer clients were equipped with low energy processors and 9300 other power consuming components were optimized, ranging from tea boilers to high performance computing systems.

Plus-Energy describes buildings with highly efficient concepts for energy saving which at the same time produce more energy than needed for their operations. This technology is spreading out all over Austria and allows to reduce operational cost to a fraction. Electric energy is produced in-house through photovoltaics, there is no conventional heating for the winter season. Instead of, a large isolated water basin acts like a giant thermos, giving heat during winter and serving as a puffer for excess heat from indoor roof and wall cooling in summer time. Only small portions of external energy are required, thus allowing huge amounts of savings for energy cost without lowering sights in terms of comfort and architecture.