Framework conditions. Scopes within! – Renovation and Redevelopment


“Always act so as to increase the number of choices.” (Heinz von Förster)1: Always build so as to create more choices – while being open to multiple usages, tolerant as to multiple applications and creating a repair-friendly environment, …

BauZ! 2019: Having a conversation about the sustainable further construction and refurbishment of existing building stock. BauZ! is the industry meeting point where investors, planners, trade planners, manufacturers and executing companies link up:

Plenary presentations, embedded in panel talks involving further speakers and exhibitors; the Congress at the Round Tables with more in-depth presentations within a smaller circle of participants; talks in the foyer during the breaks, receptions and a site visit to Vienna-based refurbishment projects.

Four aspects

1 Bringing usage into being!

The investor, property-developer, builder-owner and joint-building-venture perspective (participation of subsequent users as builder-owners). The building as an economic object.

For example: (show pioneering projects!)

  • Affordability as a topical concept in the discourse: cheap building versus land costs
  • Cost explosion (land prices, economic cycle)
  • Trend towards smaller apartments
  • Social housing
  • Quality: cost-benefit analyses for Nearly-Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEB)
  • Typology: new townhouses, flexible, ground-floor zones

Commercial utilization:

  • Apartment ownership or rental models
  • Mix of living/working, co-housing, co-working
  • Repurposing – offices to apartments
  • Tenancy law


  • Refurbishment as engine of neighborhood development; redensification. (Location as overarching criterion – yet each refurbished building, each refurbished road space and free space, and each means of public transport contributes to providing clear recognition also of the surrounding neighborhood.)
  • Micro-quarters – Refurbishment and densification
  • Regulation: urban-development contracts; Austrian Climate Protection Plan #mission2030 – The Climate and Energy Strategy of the Austrian Federal Government

2 Functionality and beauty! – Planning the building

The designers’ perspective: architecture, urban planning, planning of green spaces and free spaces. The building as a functional and esthetic object.

For example: (show pioneering projects!)

  • Location identity
  • Urban redensification
  • Refurbishing for 2050 (EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU); OIB (Austrian Institute for Construction Engineering) document on the definition of the nearly-zero-energy building and for the determination of interim goals in a “National Plan” according to Art. 9 (3) pertaining to 2010/31/EU.
  • 2000-W refurbishment, neighborhood development
  • Where is New Housing headed? (flexibility, resilience, disassembly capacity, social matters)
  • Flexible floor plans – Usage neutrality
  • Facade systems for refurbishment with integrated building engineering
  • Constructions that can be dismantled
  • Greenery – at the building, on the building, within free spaces
  • User needs: Untrammeled corners! Preventing excessive refurbishment! No one minds a little greenery! Kids!
  • Integrated planning: facility managers are on board already in the planning stage and voice their concerns.
  • Digitized planning (BIM) regarding existing building stock (“Digital twin” versus “Digital life partner”: someone I have to come to terms with, and not someone resembling me). Quality of communications among stakeholders along the production chain.
  • Building codes, building-code amendments; protection of monuments; standards

3 The building is calculated in structural-stability and building-physics terms, simulated, and, later on, surveyed in the course of building monitoring.

The perspective of building-physics and building-engineering trade planners. The building as a physical object.

For example: (show pioneering projects!)

  • Comfort (suitability for use in the summer, noise abatement, air humidity, indoor air quality)
  • Energy efficiency of building envelope, energy recovery at the building
  • Building engineering: making use of simplified schemes. Refurbishments as a life-cycle factor.
  • Solar protection – complex area of daylight supply, service life/costs
  • Interior insulation
  • Building monitoring, regulation during building operation, smart-home retrofit
  • Ecological building assessment (catalogues of criteria for refurbishments)

4 The building is being realized – and dismantled later on

The perspective of materials. Aspects contributed by construction-product and components manufacturers, executing companies and building operators: The building as a material object.

For example: (show pioneering projects!)


  • Innovative construction products used for refurbishment
  • Ecologically-sound construction products used for refurbishment
  • Ecological sustainability and disposal; circular economy
  • Raw materials in urban areas / urban mining: waste as secondary raw material: urban structures as potential suppliers of raw materials. Recycling and recovery techniques, raw-material deposits, resource registries for locating potential raw materials as well as innovative product and building design.
  • 2015 EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy devised by the European Commission

Executing companies:

  • Cooperation in the – digitized – construction process

Building operation:

  • Cleaning, maintenance, upkeep of green spaces
  • Damages, ease-of-repair, service lives, low maintenance … (“How much do we actually have to pay?”); e.g. algae infestation on the exterior rendering, chemical cleaning, soil and water-body protection; e.g. leakages in activated building components; e.g. smart home, deliverability of spare parts after several years, with technology progressing rapidly.

1Heinz v. Försters “Ethical Imperative” taken from: Die ZEIT 1998/04, interview conducted by Bernhard Pörksen with H.v. F.