Vienna sustainability indicators in addition to TQB

Since september 2010 the City of Vienna is a member of the "Austrian Council for Sustainable Construction" (ÖGNB). This joining was requested by the MA 39, Vienna´s testing laboratory for construction products, and it can be seen as a logical consequence of MA 39´s assignment by the development of the energy certificate for buildings. MA 39´s contribution was the formulation of the methodology as well as clear specifications.

Concerning the assessment of the building performance, worldwide there are a multitude of different systems for evaluating the quality of buildings focused either on technical or economical parameters. Furthermore those building certificates include the possibility to evaluate also ecological, economical and social sustainability, although the assignment of the indicators is still under discussion. Especially the efforts in the European Commitee for Standardization (CEN TC 350) define the framework for future building certificates.

Austria - contrary to its germanspeaking neighbors - is in the fortunate position to base on a more than 10 years old tradition in this field. There was a continuous development from the TQ-building certificate via IBO-pass and Mischek-pass to the newest step of development, the procedure of TQB.

MA 39, as mentionend above, wants to represent the City of Vienna in the ÖGNB in a rather active way, and thinks that it is important to set the course for the future now. Therefore MA 39 developed a schema of respectively 10 indicators representing the 6 essential requirements from CPD (mechanical resistance and stability - fire protection - health, hygiene, and the environment - safety in usage - noise protection - energy saving and heat insulation), the 3 pillars of sustainability (ecology, economy, social aspects), and other 10 indicators in the special and connectional feature building culture. So each of the mentioned 10 category groups includes 10 indicators, with a maximum of 10 points for each indicator, that - like in many other certification systemes - results in a maximum of 1000 points per building.

This study intends to lead the development in the direction of an holistic assessment oft he quality of buildings. Let us start the discussion!

It should be acknowledged, that there is no problem if the result of implementing this new building assessment system in Austria is that parallel applications of different certificates are in use. Specially in areas near the border of Austria or by international companies the use of non-austrian assessment systems is common. Anyway the development should lead to a legally binding instrument and only the best of all systems should be pursued.