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Austria is the land of passive houses, and the City of Vienna is striving to become the world capital of passive houses

Environ ©


November 17, 2011

Ornate palaces, imperial grandeur and echoes of Mozart’s music are not the only things that define Vienna. Green tech and green building are additional strong points of the Austrian capital.

This year’s International Passive House Days were held November 11 – 13 and provided a look into the comfort and advantages of living in a passive house. Event organizers opened the doors to more than 300 buildings throughout Austria – ranging from single family homes to office buildings, kindergartens and schools – in order to highlight the major characteristics of a passive house compared to a conventional home as well as strengthen Austria’s position as leader in the energy-efficient movement.

Energy-efficiency in buildings continues to play a major role in Austria: The EU guideline 2010/31/EU states, among other rules, that as of January 1, 2019 new commercial and institutional buildings must generate the amount of energy that they consume. New residential buildings are required to follow that rule as of January 1, 2021.

To this date, more than 15,000 homes have implemented the passive house standard and an additional 5,000 such apartments are currently in the process of being built. As a result of the current building and future projects, the City of Vienna is establishing itself as the world capital of state-of-the-art passive houses in the area of new residential construction.

This goal can be easily achieved: Not only will Vienna’s population grow to more than 2 million residents by 2035, but the rehabilitation of historic as well as traditional residential urban areas has huge potential for energy-efficient technology.

The passive house concept can reduce energy consumption by 70% by using components like thermal windows, insulation and heat recovery which are key elements of any passive house and at the same time provide a high level of comfort.