Campus Getreidemarkt

Plus-energy-office high-rise building

As part of its fundamental considerations with regard to updating its buildings on Getreidemarkt, TU Wien came up with new and innovative ways of going about the general renovation of the tower. In keeping with the basic concept of the TU UniverCity project, it is not simply a case of introducing structural measures, but rather much more about developing a flagship project – a sustainable approach that has been developed and influenced by TU experts. 

The main project is paving the way towards cost-effective energy-plus office buildings. In doing so, it demonstrates the technical feasibility of an energy-plus office building and the applicability of the findings from the 'ÖNORM-Plus-Energie' standard redesign project. The researchers at the centre for building physics and sound insulation (Institute of Building Construction and Technology) came up with the basic concepts and guidelines behind the structural measures. 

Intentions and objectives 

Passive-house and energy-plus standards have not yet made their mark on office building. Energy-plus buildings have high requirements for all of the systems and components used in each area of the building. 

As part of the overall renovation package provided by the Austrian government for modernising universities, the area of the building used as an office and, to some extent, as a laboratory, for both administrative and general university applications was renovated into an plus-energy-office high-rise building. 

The fundamental objective of the project was to achieve the energy-plus standard in terms of having a primary, on-site energy source. This also included covering the energy consumption of all of the technical building facilities, office equipment, servers, kitchens, lighting and standby modes through the use of the photovoltaic system integrated into the façade. The aim is to achieve a high level of reproducibility for all types of office building in the future, including energy-plus buildings. 

The basic structure for the new pent roof with photovoltaic elements was built by the end of 2013. What was once the old ventilation station on the 11th floor had become a state-of-the-art function room ('TUtheSky') with a capacity of around 180 people. Similarly, the installation of windows and the photovoltaic façade was well on the way by the end of the year.

Once the restoration and extensive modernisation work was complete, the institutes of the Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering made their move into the tower. Having incorporated the Mechanical Engineering library, the Technical Chemistry library returned via the auditorium and the third floor has been used by the Getreidemarkt 'Dekanatszentrum' dean's office ever since. 


Following its complete renovation and modernisation, the tower block on Getreidemarkt was inaugurated on 6 November 2014. It is the world’s first office tower (with a net floor space of 13,500 m² over 11 storeys for around 800 TU employees) that not only incorporates the structural elements, but also operations and usage (by computers and other energy consumers including coffee machines) into the energy balance. TU Wien is proving that compliance with the energy-plus standard is even possible for extremely complex projects. 

Austria’s largest photovoltaic system to be integrated into a building or façade (totalling 2200 m² across the façade and roof) is proving to be an innovative way of generating energy. Equally original are the technologies used to save up to 93% of the original energy consumption, such as server waste heat utilisation to heat the building, an automatic night ventilation system for the building core, and energy recovery from the lift system. 

The plus-energy-office high-rise building is an unprecedented form of research and construction project implemented by TU Wien in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (bmwfw) and the BIG. As part of the 'Building of the future Plus' initiative, the façade in particular was funded by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency), KPC (Kommunalkredit Public Consulting GmbH) and the municipal authorities of the city of Vienna (MA 20 – energy planning). 

Once the tower on Getreidemarkt was occupied, this marked an important chapter in bringing together the Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. This then opens up the possibility for all other faculties to come together at the respective, main city-centre locations. 


  • Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management – Klimaaktiv Gold award
  • Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology – Building of the future
  • Austrian State Prize for Environmental and Energy Technology ('Research and innovation' category')

Plus-energy-office high-rise building

© David Alexander

© David Alexander

Plus-energy-office high-rise building

© David Alexander

© David Alexander

2014: Activating the Plus-energy-office high-rise building: (f.l.t.r) BIG-CEO Hans-Peter Weiss, TU-Rector Sabine Seidler, Federal Minister Alois Stöger, Thomas Bednar (scientific projectmanager)

© TU Wien | Foto Matthias Heisler

© TU Wien | Foto Matthias Heisler


The building in front of the chemistry block was once the home of the main auditorium and the library for the Faculty of Technical Chemistry. The first phase in the overall renovation of the BA building involved modernising the main auditorium back in 2012. 

The lecture theatre used to be extremely steep, which meant that the work involved installing a ceiling in the lower area to level out the auditorium, so to speak. In the meantime, lectures were held in the Kuppelsaal and Prechtlsaal auditoria at the Karlsplatz campus, complete with video streaming (via LectureTube) as required to reach a wider audience. Right on time at the start of the 2013/14 winter semester, both lecture theatres were back open for teaching. The renovated and modernised lecture theatre at TU Wien can now hold up to 515 people, making it the largest on campus. It also includes three specially designated places for those with disabilities (which can be accessed by the Getreidemarkt entrance/second row). In addition to the structural upgrade, the lecture theatre was even kitted out with an air conditioning system, which is also connected to the plus-energy-office high-rise building. What’s more, the media technology was upgraded, the emergency exits and safety equipment were updated in line with statutory requirements, and the sanitary facilities were made more modern.

Beneath the updated auditorium is where the new 'practical lecture theatre' came into being with a capacity of 240 people. It is primarily used by the Faculty of Technical Chemistry as a lecture theatre for experiments and demonstrations. 

The chemistry library was founded back in 1973, when it was located in the former chemistry block above the auditorium. In 2014, it merged with large parts of the institute library for the Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering to form the specialist library for chemistry and mechanical engineering. 

Since 2014 and the complete renovation of the BA building, this has returned to its former location and now includes specialist literature on chemistry, chemical technology, mechanical engineering and related subjects areas (with the exception of bachelor’s and master’s theses, dissertations, and post-doctoral theses for chemistry, as well as other, rarely used books and newspapers, which can all be found in the main library at Resselgasse 4; a small selection can be found at the chemistry institutes). To meet the requirements of a modern university library, it had more space available with a flexible room structure. This made it possible to build a small, 'Compactus' reading room and a parent-child area in addition to what was once a huge reading room (above the auditorium) on the second floor. 

Built in 1927 as a chemistry building, the BB Winkelbau building underwent its most recent renovation around 50 years ago. For this reason, the building was subject to a complete and comprehensive renovation. 

All wall, ceiling and floor structures, every window and door construction, and the entire building technology were taken apart on each floor and updated from scratch. As part of this process, it made sense to completely redesign the office and laboratory areas within the building. The laboratory equipment was entirely redeveloped in collaboration with its users, while the research laboratories on every floor and the student laboratories on the fifth floor were upgraded to offer the ideal technical conditions. 

The relocation (back from the BA tower building) of the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics marked the end of the complete renovation of the BB building at the start of 2012 – right on schedule.

At the start of the 2010/2011 winter semester, after three years of construction, the new 'Lehartrakt' chemistry building was completed as the first milestone in the 'TU Univercity 2015' project for the future. With around 12,000 m2 of net floor space and low-energy construction techniques, around 100 scientists and 700 or so students in the Faculty of Technical Chemistry can enjoy state-of-the-art laboratories and office space. 

21,000 m3 of soil was excavated, and 10,300 m3 of concrete and 1100 tonnes of steel were used in the construction. On top of all this, 7000 m2 of façade surfaces were installed along with 339 km of cable and 30,000 linear metres of air ducts. 60% of the building is now home to laboratories at the cutting edge of technology. 

The 'green Lehartrakt' at TU Wien is where researchers and students devote their time to studying pioneering topics such as the development of new special polymers for 3D printers, the synthesis of inorganic-organic hybrid materials for smart coatings, surface and catalysis research, or the development of electroceramics for use in microelectronics.

The complete renovation and renewal work on the BD and BE buildings marks the start of the functional integration of all sites of the Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. 

The existing, coffin-lid-style construction on the seventh floor was demolished in autumn 2010 and replaced with a lightweight steel design. This resulted in two, well-lit art and seminar rooms instead of the dark building technology and storage areas. 

In addition to the energy technology, the entire safety and building technology was upgraded and brought in line with the latest requirements. 

All teaching spaces benefited from modernised structural and building technology, not to mention new facilities and media. 

The complete renovation work was completed with the installation of easy-access lift systems and restoration of the stairwells to include fire protection measures and a change of lighting. 

The newly renovated mechanical engineering block (BD) and BE building (at Gumpendorferstraße 7) were inaugurated on 7 October 2011 in the presence of the former Federal Minister Karlheinz Töchterle, Rector Sabine Seidler, and CEO of BIG Wolfgang Gleissner. The renovated lecture theatres, seminar rooms and IT laboratories are now available to all students and staff in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, bringing its temporary relocation to the Getreidemarkt area to an end. 

Once everyone had returned from the interim lecture theatres and seminar rooms (in the former chemistry block) to the plus-energy-office high-rise building (BA), the newly empty rooms were then renovated and adapted in 2014. Partition walls were created for the office units, and both the building technology and IT were adapted. The areas are currently occupied by those within the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering who had previously been relocated. Once the Institute for Lightweight Design and Structural Biomechanics had moved in, the Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering no longer required the space it used to have at Gußhausstraße 27–29.

As a (preliminary) final milestone for the Getreidemarkt campus, a new laboratory building was created for the Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. The general renovation work on the 'old Tonne building' had already been completed years before. 

The new Labortrakt (BF) is home to state-of-the-art mechanical engineering laboratories in line with TU’s key research area of 'materials and matter'. The new building boasts two basements complete with light channels, making them ideal for use as laboratories, and four upper floors connected via the existing Hoftrakt (BD). An additional technology floor, which will contain the countless service systems for the laboratory equipment, sits right at the top.

As soon as the structural work is completed on the buildings in the Science Center – particularly building 227, MAGNA hall and building 221, the next phase of the project will begin. 

The building measures involved creating an accessible, barrier-free entrance, complete with a foyer area and a new lift system. The metrological laboratories and front-facing office area – opposite the 'Winkelbau' (BB building) – are planned in the two halves of the building. The mezzanine is home to the biotechnical student laboratory along with a student common room and preparation area. 

The BH building is home to the research fields associated with the Institute of Chemical Engineering, such as Biochemical Engineering, and Gene Technology and Applied Biochemistry from the key research area of 'Bioscience Technology' within the Faculty of Technical Chemistry. 

The summer months of 2011 saw the renovation of the BI building, which was once the 'new chemistry building'. The air conditioning and cooling water supply systems were either installed or upgraded on every floor. Surfaces such as walls, ceilings and floors were partially upgraded and the rooms were fitted with energy-efficient lighting systems and daylight-dependent controls. 

The tight turnaround time meant that the work had to be carried out alongside students and colleagues going about their work. Once the modernisation was complete, the building became home to institutes for the research areas of mechanical process engineering and air pollution control technology, thermal process engineering and simulation, and chemical process engineering and fluidised bed technology. 

After finalising the building measures and the relocation process, the building was then renamed as 'Loschmidt Trakt'.

Renovation work on the listed Geniegebäude building started in the summer of 2011. This involved creating new rooms for the Student Council of Technical Chemistry on the ground floor, and new laboratory spaces on the second floor. On a structural level, the historical casement windows underwent a full renovation and the cellar drainage was finally completed, having been started 15 years ago. 

Once the work was completed in the middle of 2012, parts of the Institute of Chemical Engineering relocated from the BA building to the newly adapted spaces in the Geniegebäude. The Plant and Food Science research team looks at biological resources such as plants, plant-based products and organic raw materials, their use in food and food products, and particular aspects of food chemistry, food technology and archaeometry. 


BA – CheMaB specialist library

BB – Winkelbau

BC – Lehartrakt

BD – Hoftrakt und BE – Lückenbau

BH – Gumpendorferstraße 1a

BH – Gumpendorferstraße 1a - Restoration of a Laboratory

BH – Gumpendorferstraße 1a - Laboratory

BH – Gumpendorferstraße 1a - Staircase

BI – Loschmidt Trakt

BZ – Geniegebäude