The interdisciplinary research center “Sustainable Building” is engaged in the planning, design and construction of urban and rural structures, buildings, and open spaces for an energy and resource efficient as well as environmentally friendly future.

The constructed environment mirrors our society, affects major part of our life and influences the quality of life. Buildings provide living and work space and shelter from the outdoor climate. The intermediate spaces and landscapes are used for recreational purposes and mobility. Industrial, commercial, and social infrastructure is embedded in the urban and rural structures. The number of apartments has doubled in Austria in the last 50 years.

With regard to the environment and security of the supply of energy, goods and services, the living environment has to be designed in an energy and resource-saving as well as in a climate and environment conserving manner. Urban concentration, new forms of mobility, mixed use, redesign of open spaces, renovation of buildings and energy efficiency are key issues of the future. They can be implemented by integral planning using either already known or new technologies.

Energy efficient new and renovated buildings and the increased use of renewable energy carriers are important aspects in this context. Buildings are responsible for 37% of the end use energy demand and 14% of greenhouse gas emissions in Austria. In accordance with the European Union greenhouse goals for 2050 the energy demand could be reduced by 50% whereas 90% of the residual energy demand could be covered by renewable energy carriers.

The research center “Sustainable Building“ at the University of Innsbruck develops solutions on a district level (urban and regional planning, design of public spaces, energy and water supply, waste water management, mobility, goods transport) as well as on building level (building design, building physics, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, renewable energy use, life cycle analysis and assessment). High-quality architecture that respects social as well as economical aspects helps to achieve a high social acceptance of the solutions.

Sustainable planning and building requires interdisciplinary collaboration of university faculties and institutions, experts, policy and industry. The research center meets these challenges and develops solutions for a sustainable constructed environment.


Assoz.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Pfluger
Energy Efficient Buildings Section

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