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World's first Passive House office tower in Vienna, Austria certified

July 22, 2013

New standards for energy efficiency in office buildings

Vienna. High levels of energy efficiency are all the more important when it comes to high-rise buildings. For the first time ever, an office tower in Vienna has achieved the “Passive House” energy standard. The certificate was presented in July 2013 by Susanne Theumer of the Passive House Institute on the 20th floor of the building with a prime view of the old city. The glazed facade of the building on the bank of the Donaukanal ("Danube Canal") rises almost 212 feet (80 m) high. The building, characterized by superior indoor air quality and minimal energy consumption, is home to 900 employees of the Austrian Raiffeisen-Holding Group.

The building’s energy concept is compelling: energy is provided by a photovoltaic system as well as a combined heat, cooling and power plant. Even the waste heat from the data center is re-used; cooling partly takes place via the Donaukanal. The decisive factor for achieving the Passive House Standard was the radically increased efficiency of the facade, the building component connections, the mechanical systems – and even the coffee machine. In combination with optimized shading equipment, the heating and cooling demand was reduced by 80% compared with conventional high-rise buildings. For quality assurance reasons, certification of buildings takes place in accordance with the criteria set out by the Passive House Institute. The globally recognized seal indicates compliance with the Passive House Standard. The Passive House Institute has been represented in Austria with its branch office in Innsbruck since 2010.

The Vienna Region is setting the pace, not only with its beacon projects, but also with the number of completed buildings. The "Eurogate" district, an area entirely consisting of Passive House buildings, stands as a shining example. Upon completion of the first construction phase, 7,000 occupants in 800 apartments will be able to benefit from the advantages of this energy-efficient construction method. The international guests also viewed one of five Passive House student hostels, developed by the Viennese company OeAD-GmbH. A total of 15,000 students from all over the world have already had the opportunity to experience what modern and sustainable living means during their stays in Austria.

A photo gallery can be found at this link: