Sustainable Buildings for Communities: a service package


Since 2006, the Environmental Association of Vorarlberg, the company Spektrum and the Energieinstitut Vorarlberg together provide a service package called “Sustainable: building in the municipality”, which includes nearly 50 samples that have already been implemented. Consultation for a school renovation is a frequent assignment.

This service package is a planning and execution consultation service that supports communities in the sustainable construction and renovation of public buildings.

“Sustainable buildings” are understood as buildings with high energy efficiency (passive house standard), minimized life cycle costs, conservation of natural resources and use of materials from regional cycles. Indoor air quality is for example much more important in educational buildings than in conventional buildings.

With consistent pursuit of these objectives, optimized buildings consume about 80% less energy than a standard building and the indoor air quality lies about 90% above usual values. Despite these excellent results in the field of energy efficiency and ecological building, the additional cost of using this method is just 1-2 %. The additional costs for energy efficiency are tested for their long-term profitability and only used if economically reasonable. Oftentimes, even the maintenance costs are lower than those of standard buildings.

Over the past six years, a lot of communities in Vorarlberg have been supported in implementing nearly 50 projects. In 2011, the service package “Sustainable: Building in the municipality” was awarded the “Binding Prize for Nature and Environmental Protection”.

Sustainable constructions are not a contradiction to being architecturally attractive, yet functional, buildings. Furthermore, a sustainable building does not depend on specific materials.

This is illustrated by a selection of completed buildings, that also highlight energy and ecological characteristics as well as the planning process. All completed buildings are published under

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