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U.S. Building Experts: Very exciting what’s going on in Austria

Building Energy 11 ©


May 6, 2011

“Building Energy ‘11” in Boston with Report from (Upper) Austria

The “amazing use of wood” as a construction material and the “energy focus of architects” impressed U.S. building experts most during their recent stay in Austria. “The focus on energy efficiency could help architects to distinguish themselves from others and add creativity.” A young Austrian architect impressed their U.S. colleagues the most with a simple saying: “In Austria if as an architect you don’t save energy, you are a loser!”

One of the most highly rated sessions at the “Building Energy ’11” Conference in Boston in March 2011 was the briefing of the four expert travelers about their trip to Austria. Andrew Shapiro, Paul Eldrenkamp, Chris Benedict and Thomas Hartman from the “Northeast Sustainable Energy Association” reported at the conference just days after returning from a tour that was co-sponsored by the Austrian government. Their Austrian program included a presentation at the “European Pellet Conference 2011” and a visit to different residential and commercial buildings in the area around Linz.

Austrian architects seem to take future maintenance and energy costs more into consideration when evaluating different building designs and choosing construction materials. The program is only one of the first steps in promoting an exchange of experience. Austrians and Americans can learn from each other’s successes and failures.