Research focus: Qualities & standards in new housing construction
The research focus covers a.o. the following questions: How can housing policy react on societal developments, changing requirements, lifestyles or forms of households with adequate new housing construction? How to define up to date quality standards, e.g. in terms of energy consumption, accoutrement, usability of open spaces etc.? How to assess new developments in the field of construction technology?

Fachenquete zur Wiener Bauordnungsnovelle (2022): Am 9. und 10. November nahmen über 120 interne und externe Expert*innen aus Politik und Verwaltung, Wissenschaft und Forschung sowie aus der Baupraxis an einer Fachenquete zur Wiener Bauordnungsnovelle teil. Dies erfolgte ganz im Sinne der Ursprungsbedeutung des Wortes „Enquete“ an einer groß angelegten Untersuchung, Erhebung und Befragung zu Themen wie „Klimaschutz und Anpassung an den Klimawandel“, „leistbares und qualitätsvolles Wohnen“ und „Verfahrensvereinfachung bzw. -beschleunigung“. more
Fire behavior of façade greening in large scale tests (2021): In recent years, a lot has happened in the promotion of façade greening in Vienna - not least due to the development of fire protection requirements, which on the one hand had the fire protection level of façades in mind, and on the other hand, at least in the same interest, the enabling of maximum greening areas within this scope, more
Das „Große rote G“ wird grün (2021): Urban growth and an increasing sealing of city spaces result in land use and target conflicts and, as a consequence, in the loss of green (and blue) infrastructure. Changing temperatures and precipitation due to climate change as well as their direct and indirect impacts on urban spaces are key challenges in spatial development in Vienna. Securing the micro- and urban climatic services and the biodiversity of greened settle-ments of allotment garden zones (Kleingartengebiete), allotment garden zones for year-round living (Kleingartengebiete für ganzjähriges Wohnen), garden settlement zones (Gartensiedlungsgebiete) as well as residential areas of building class I (Wohngebieten der Bauklasse I) while considering the challenges of climate change is the main objective of this research project. more
PREFAB-Elements in multi-storey new builds (2021): The extensive employment of prefabricated elements as part of a strategy of industrialized and serial building offers a big opportunity for social housing in Vienna: Cutting down on construction costs through increases in performance and higher building rates and output. more
Circular Housing (2021): The increasing demand for raw materials, the finite nature of material resources and the impact of the extraction and use of raw materials on the environment (catchword CO2 emissions) make it clear that resource conservation must receive much more attention in economic and climate policy considerations, than it did in the past. Due to its intense use of raw materials the construction industry plays a key role in achieving resource efficiency. The circular economy aims to decouple value creation from the consumption of finite resources. more
Fire behavior of green facades in large-scale tests (2020): Greening, including facade greening, is necessary to combat climate change in cities. Building on the findings of the study published in 2018, this study investigates the behavior of green facade constructions in the event of fire in order to be able to formulate further simple fire protection rules. more
Lake City Settlement Monitoring (2019): Seestadt Aspern is one of the largest urban development projects in Europe. The project responds to the increasing demand for high quality and affordable housing in a context of urban growth but also to more general tendencies of urban restructuration in the context of late modernity and globalization. The Lake City development project reflects an exceptional example of a complex, long-term and integrated approach to urban planning, relating both to international debates about urban change and local traditions of urban development and housing; a particular focus lies on "new social housing" (social mix, social cohesion) and new approaches to transport/mobility and social participation. more
Developing New Residential Areas in Inner-City Districts (2019): Planning inner-city residential areas on former railway, military and production areas faces complex conditions, but creates attractive residential locations that not only provide good returns, but also add value to the city. In the course of the project we will examine the ways in which new neighborhoods are embedded in their environment and how these relationships can be strengthened. more
Green up your City: The urban climate in Vienna is changing noticeably. The heat is increasing and is affecting people’s health. Heat periods are becoming more frequent and last longer. 14 of the 20 warmest years in Austria since the beginning of the measurements in the middle of the 18th century have been recorded in the past years since 2000. The climate scenarios for Vienna expect further temperature increases in the future. Summer droughts and heavy rainfall events are also expected to increase. Cities and the housing sector in Europe and around the world are preparing for these changes and are trying to mitigate the consequences for the society. more
Fire behavior of green facades in large-scale tests (2018): Greening measures, in particular facade greening, are becoming increasingly important, especially for large cities such as Vienna. Global climate change is particularly affecting metropolitan areas, as the heat accumulation in the urban area is high due to the sealing of the areas (this in turn is justified by the increasing population density and the associated area requirements). more
Besiedlungsmonitoring Seestadt Aspern: Fein- und Metaanalysen (2017): Nach Abschluss der ersten Besiedelungsphase stellt sich die Frage, wie sich die neu hinzugezogenen Menschen im Stadtteil eingerichtet haben, wie zufrieden sie mit ihrer neuen Wohnung und dem Wohnumfeld sind und wie sie die neu entstehenden sozialen Nachbarschaften erleben. more
Housing Security and Satisfaction (2016): Housing security is a crucial factor for quality of life. It effects individual decisions in house-hunting, satisfaction with the housing situation, wellbeing of residents, and it determines the image of the neighbourhood. more
Lake City (Seestadt Aspern) Settlement Monitoring (2015): The development of the Lake City Aspern is one of the most important and largest European urban development projects. The main objective of the research was to observe the first phase of the settlement process in order to understand the dynamics of the new social fabric also with regard to the production of social cohesion, potential social fractures and socio-spatial challenges. more
Housing satisfaction in the context of security and housing (2015): The post-occupancy evaluation centres on housing satisfaction of residents of the model residential complex “die grüne welle“ with a focus on “housing security“ as formulated in the selection procedure for property developers in Gerasdorfer Straße. more
Housing Requirements of Young Adults in Vienna (2015): more
Housing satisfaction in the Sonnwendviertel (2015): The study examines the housing satisfaction of residents of the subsidized residential buildings at the Viennese Sonnwendviertel in order to gain insights into the associated implementation of social sustainability within the subsidized housing framework, important for future planning of housing space, housing subsidy and district development. more
Ensuring social sustainability in the two-stage housing developers‘ competition –An evaluation of sociological aspects. An interim result. (2014): Thanks to its dynamic growth, Vienna is going to make major investments in the housing sector over the next few years. This means great challenges for the housing policy, but also for infrastructure policy. more
Revison of open space qualities within the realisation process of new living quarters in Vienna. Analysing the examples Eurogate and Nordbahnhof (1. construction phase) (2014): Because of growing residential density in urban regions and a new understanding of public in urban environments, the relevance of open space in multiple storey residential buildings, as integrative part of a city‘s green and open space structure, increases. more
Evaluation of Social Sustainability in Subsidised Housing Construction Projects: In 2009, the model for the assessment of subsidised housing construction projects in Vienna was adapted: The “architecture”, “economy” and “ecology” pillars were complemented by the pillar of “social sustainability“. Four years later, this evaluation examines the impact of this introduction on the basis of nine subsidised housing projects. The goal of the evaluation was to present the priorities of each project in respect to “social sustainability” based on planning documents as well as to perform field inspections of the projects, on the implementation and quality of implementation. more
Housing impacts the city – Communal Housing Politics as a Tool for Shaping the City (2013): With regard to the urban spaces in areas under development, subsidized housing cannot, in and of itself, determine all dimensions of spatial characteristics and configurations, nor the relationship to other urban functions. There is a clear instrumental gap between the specifications for large-scale development (Urban Development Plan, target areas, traffic concept, concepts for open spaces at a large-scale) and the concrete zoning plans and land-use plans. more
Comparative analysis of offered qualities and standards for projects of the "Housing Initiative 2011 - Vienna 22, Aspern Urban Lakeside" and the property developer competition "Vienna 22, aspern + Vienna's Urban Lakeside" (2012): In 2011 the city of Vienna launched the so-called "Housing Initiative 2011" for the promotion of construction of new apartments following especially the price and quality requirements of subsidized housing. more
Evaluation of the Cooperation Programme of Wohnbauinitiative for Seestadt Aspern (2012): Quality should be safeguarded by the cooperation of all participants - thus to a certain extent through self-control based on the companies' interest to have sustainable housing projects in their portfolios. And: Quality should be guaranteed by the active participation in the planning process of an advisory board and external experts. more
Bicycle-friendly Housing Developments (2012): In a time of growing environmental awareness and rising fuel prices, eco5-friendly modes of transport are gaining in importance. It was the goal of the present study to survey and analyse the mobility behaviour and in particular the bicycle usage of the residents of bicyclefriendly housing developments. more
Creating green and open spaces in Housing Construction when Resources are scarce - Social, urban and ecological trends and costs: Increasingly, high quality green and open spaces are considered to be important even in dense high-rise developments. more
Script Open Space - Options and Requirements for Residential Buildings (2010): Script Open Space focuses on landscape design as a potential and a chance for the future of residential building. It is addressed to building developers, public authorities, architects, landscape architects and residents. more
Wood 5 plus (2010): Due to ecological reasons the building material wood gets more and more into the focus of planners these days. On the other hand the use of wood in building structures is limited because of its combustibility. Building regulations allow the use of wood only in buildings with relatively small heights and small dimensions. What options exist to allow for multi-storey timber construction without evading the actual fire security level? more
Passive House Academy (2010): Concepts of lowest energy and passive houses have successfully proven gain of comfort and sustainability. Yet, developers and landlords report observing difficulties with the implementation of these innovative technologies.The Passive House Academy gathers the various experiences articulated by the developers, and initiates a structured transfer of knowledge. more
Vienna sustainability indicators in addition to TQB (2010): Concerning the assessment of the building performance, there exists a multitude of different systems for evaluating the quality of buildings. MA 39 developed a distinct scheme of indicators in order to enable the City of Vienna to set the course for the future now. more
Housing and transportation situation in Vienna (2010): This study investigates the interdependencies between housing policy, settlement structures and mobility in Vienna. In defines factors of quality of urban living environments and their connex to mobility options and traffic volume. more
Open Spaces in Residential Areas - Best Practice (2009): This research is providing new inspiration for the debate on the quality of the open spaces in residential areas, with the situation and quality of open spaces in residential areas of Vienna and other comparable European cities being a key subject. more
Social Sustainability in Residential Building (2009): Till now residential building projects in Vienna have mainly focussed on the ecological and economic criteria of sustainability. The current suggestion is to re-introduce the aspect of 'social sustainability'. The project attempts to find a definition, and investigates the planning, building and utilization phases of residential buildings, for any resulting socially sustainable objectives. more
Vienna Housing Festival (2009): To present the achievements and the innovative power of funded housing in the city and for the discussion of the most recent developments, City Councillor Ludwig has initiated the WIENER WOHNBAU FESTWOCHEN 2008/09 (Vienna Housing Festival). Arranged around two exhibitions on social housing, ten professional events were organised, five of which, with a different focus, were structured, organized and moderated by the SRZ. more
Calculation of energy demand for heating/humidification and cooling/ dehumidification (2009): ÖNORM H 5057:2010 includes a calculation of energy demand of ventilation and air conditioning systems in residential and non-residential buildings. Based on a temperature and an air moisture model it is now possible to calculate these data for any location all over Austria. more
Calculation of energy performance figures based on for residential and non-residential building with low-energy level (2009): Within the project an Excel-tool for estimating the heating demand of low-energy-buildings is developed. Furthermore the project contains a study of the TU Vienna to determine the heat load for proving the heating of air. more
Integration of a heat pump module, the primary energy requirement and CO2-emissions into the Excel-instruction tool (2009): Within the project a prototype of a heat pump module to calculate the energy requirement of the energy supply by means of heat pumps is developed. Main component of the research project is the creation of a temperature model and the programming of the technical functionality of several heat pump types in Excel. more
Sustainability-Monitoring of selected Passive Housing Estates in Vienna (2009): For the first time an interdisciplinary building-monitoring according to the concept of a sustainable development was performed. Do Passive-houses achieve the ambitious planning objectives? more
Tenant's Survey for Timber Construction Projects in Vienna, building site "Mühlweg" (2008): In 2001 the building code of the City of Vienna was modified to make way for the introduction of multi-storey buildings executed as timber as well as mixed timber and timber massive construction. So far scientific research has been primarily focussed on aspects of planning and construction. Until now the satisfaction of inhabitants' living in such timber buildings was not surveyed, on account of the lack of suchlike built housing stock. more
Concept for the development of a software-based evaluation and simulation method for environmentally suitable housing design (2008): The objective of this project was to elaborate the bases and analyse the basic data available for a development concept for a computer-aided evaluation and simulation methodology for designing buildings compatible with recycling and the environment as well as the preparation of a grant application to finance the project from a suitable development programme. more
Architecture Days 2008 (2008): Under the motto "experiencing architecture", the Architecture Days 2008 (Architekturtage 2008) invited all Austrians to excursions, bus tours, events, open studios, discussions, film screenings, and festivities. more
"Property Developer Competitions" as an instrument of social housing subsidies in Vienna - procedural and substantive evaluation (2008): The instrument "Property Developer Competition", introduced in Vienna in 1995 represents a publicly tendered procedure to identify project teams offering optimized realization concepts for advertized building sites as well as realizing such projects by the way of property acquisition and use of housing subsidies. more
Flexibility in the living area - new challenges, innovative solutions (2008): People and lifestyles are changing permanently - work, income, partners, family-modes and therefore housing needs. That's why new challenges for developers in the area of flexibility appear. The goal of the study was to analyse user needs, possible solutions and new challenges. more
Viennese Typologies. New housing typologies for new forms of living as basics for future housing in Vienna (2008): Due to the expected growth of Vienna, there will be the need for new housing typologies and for new organisation models as well as for new ways of describing qualities like flexibility, changeability, temporary use, gender aspects, divisibility, social sustainability etc. more
Supporting Cycle Economy in the Residential Building Industry of Vienna (2007):: The study was aiming to tackle relevant aspects for the promotion of cyclic economy within the construction industry. This includes an overview of the actual situation and the evaluation of transfer possibilities according to the guidelines of the City of Vienna. more
Feasibility Analysis of Seven-Storied Timber Houses (2007): The objective of the research project was to find solutions for the construction of a seven-storied timber house in compliance with construction regulations in Vienna. The legal basis for this analysis is the draft of the new building regulations of the City of Vienna which draw from directives of the Austrian Institute of Construction Engineering OIB. more
Passive Houses in Austria - Sustainability Monitoring of Students' Hostel Molkereistraße, Vienna (2007): ustria has a diversified know-how concerning sustainable buildings and the highest rate of passive houses per resident. The students' hostel Molkereistraße in Vienna was the largest passive house worldwide, when it was opened in September 2005. The facility performance evaluation gave evidence for an extremely high user satisfaction and a very good energy and climate protection performance. more
Enough Light? (2007): External corridors have a long history in the Viennese housing tradition. Improved quality and availability of material made a full glazing of such access balconies possible. How such fully glazed access balconies in the local urban landscape of Vienna actually improve or reduce comfort is the central question of this potential study. more
Energy efficiency, diversity of use and design in housing / in relation to office building and mixed functions (2007): The aim of this study was to describe the current directions of development in the areas of theory and practice in subsidised housing, in particular with regard to energy efficiency, diversity of use and design, and to present for discussion recommendations for future programming. more
Handbook "Secure Constructing and Living" (2007): The aim of this research project was to explore neighbourhoods and their production of space and to describe the social processes of neighbourhoods and their function as social control agencies. more
Satisfaction and qualities of living conditions in the estates „Kabelwerk“ and „Wiesenstadt“ (2007): It was the aim of the study to survey the satisfaction with the living conditions among the residents of both housing estates, with a special focus on the appreciation of the flat, the estate and the living environment. In the case of the Kabelwerk, the process of apartment allocation was of particular interest. (German only!) more
Acceptance of Digital Technologies in the Area of Housing - A comparative Status Quo-Analysis of Equipment, Utilisation and Demand in Social and Council Housing (2006): Modern Living is inevitably influenced by technology. Digitalisation and networking incorporates technological intelligence and the increased involvement of complexity into home environments. To handle the complexity of modern digital products new user skills are required. Due to the personal disposition of different skills, the growing social diversity leads to different intensity of use. more
Open Spaces in Subsidised Housing (2006): The study delivers a qualitative analysis of selected open space designs in subsidised housing from the past ten years. It basically asks which design approaches, which landscape images, but also which organisational constraints have proven themselves as sustainable in daily life and which have not. At the centre of this study lies the appropriation of open spaces by the inhabitants and by visitors. more
Prefab houses: Passive now! Exhibition on a student competition (2006): For an area, to be developed according to the model of “Neue Siedlerbewegung”, a settlement should be designed in the form of condensed low-rise buildings with a degree of prefabrication. It was the aim of the competition to meet these specification by means of integral planning. (German only!) more
Timber Construction Project "Mühlweg" - Scientific Attendance of the Planning Process (2006): The city of Vienna has initiated a new focal point in public housing by promoting timber constrution and timber/massive construction through advertising a competition amongst property developers. Holzforschung Austria was assigned to assure a high standard of quality of these pilot schemes. more
Planning and Building according to the needs of teenagers - Enhancing the quality of residential areas (2005): In April 2005 an interdisciplinary experts' team was commissioned to work out recommendations on how to meet the needs of teenagers in urban design and housing policy. They were also asked for precise guidelines on how to implement the recommendations. more
10 Years of Developers' Competition - Changes in Housing (2004): This study wants to show the changes housing in Vienna has undergone during the last 20 years. The emphasis is put on the changes due to the general quality improvement in housing promotion resulting from the developers' competition that has been introduced in 1995. more
Timber Construction Project "Mühlweg" - Scientific Monitoring of Production (2006): By amendment of 2001 the building code of Vienna was modified to make way for the establishment of multistory buildings carried out as timber construction. The city municipality has provided three lots in the 21st district in the course of a competition among building developers in order to encourage this building method in an urban context. Holzforschung Austria was assigned to support the three winning teams during the production period. more
RUMBA Monitoring (2005-2007): RUMBA wants to improve the framework for environment-friendly construction site management under market conditions. This framework includes legislation, standards, guidelines and regulations, calls for tender, contracts, subsidies, issues pertaining to the location of building logistics centres as well as questions of efficiency, costs, technology and organisation. more
Qualitative decision criteria for living in an urban area (2004-2006): The study wants to give a foresight to the upcoming 20 years. What will be the residents’ demands regarding the nature of their urban dwellings? What groups of the urban population will require what housing models in the various urban areas? (German only!) more
City Lifestyles - Methods and Models for Lifestyle-Oriented Housing Planning (2004): The study describes new possible methods and instruments for planning and research in the area of housing. A mixture of new social science methods and traditional marketing tools is suggested. more
New housing qualities and planning strategies for urban development projects – the case of the “Aspern airfield” area (2004): The study raises the question, to what extent future large-scale urban development projects will require specific housing-related qualities, exceeding the current (and continuously increased) housing standards. (German only!) more
"Congress of Healthy Indoorair- Indoorpollution - Prevention and Decontamination" (2004): The first international congress on healthy indoor-air in Austria took place on the 12th and 13th February 2004 in the new fair grounds MessezentrumWienNeu. New possibilities in public house-building to make prevention's for minimising pollutants were presented. more
"Turn On" Architecture Festival (2012): Once again the concept and general structure of the event Design Concepts and Mediation of Architecture with particular consideration of subsidized housing projects, continued the idea of the former years. Following the tradition of the festival fifteen lectures on Saturday represented the carefully curated program of "Turn On". more