Lower Austria’s green building know-how showcased in China
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For the first time since its launch, the 23th International Passive House Conference left the German-speaking region and moved to the Chinese city of Gaobeidian for three days. With 350 international congress participants from 50 countries, 800 participants from China and more than 35,000 visitors, the conference set a new record. And with 21 out of 103 sessions, the Austrian delegation gave the highest number of presentations, reflecting the pioneering role which the country plays in the passive house and energy efficiency sector.
The speakers included our colleague Martin Huber from the Green Building Cluster of Lower Austria, who was invited to present several best practice examples in this field. With 1,430,000 square metres, Austria boasts the largest documented passive house area worldwide and Lower Austria is one of the Austrian provinces featuring the highest number of passive houses in the public sector. Therefore, it was not a surprise that the “Austrian Workshop” and “Deep retrofits in Europe” drew lots of interest from conference participants.
Martin Huber’s presentations focused on the success story surrounding the implementation of the passive house standard for state buildings in Lower Austria, which was first introduced in 2007. The projects included the Lab Building East at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria as well as the Karl Landsteiner Private University, among others.
Gaobeidian provided the perfect setting for the event since it is currently building a passive house complex which will be the largest energy-efficient housing estate in the world with a living space of around one million square metres. Currently, China’s passive houses cover an area of around one million square metres, which is expected to be expanded to one billion square metres. Many pioneer projects in the country involve passive house experts from Austria, such as Chöberl & Pöll, Arch. Reinberg, Arch. Tribus and the University of Innsbruck.
Photo: G. Lang