Summer School shares Austria’s passion for the passive house


For years, Austria has developed and delivered passive house technology across a wide-range of environments including homes, offices, public buildings, hotels, student accommodation – and even industrial centres.

Now, as UK architectural, construction and property professionals seek out more information on the subject, a summer school in Vienna is providing an opportunity to both study and live in this type of environment.

‘The ‘Green Building Solutions’ summer school (GBS) is organised by the OeAD-Housing Office, which offers passive house accommodation for students across Austria, together with the city’s BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences.

As well as providing an insight into ecological building and passive houses, (Passivhaus in German) the course offers students a unique experience to see first-hand how Vienna has evolved into a global leader in environmental construction – and how the city’s collaborative approach is embracing the ‘Smart Cities’ concept.

Günther Jedliczka, CEO of the OeAD-Housing Office, said: “Austria is a pioneer in Passivhaus technology, with a considerable amount of the country’s property already built to this standard and the highest density of Passivhaus construction in Europe.

“The standard provides energy efficient building solutions, delivering comfortable living without energy intensive heating or cooling systems and fresh air without temperature loss.

“The investment in this type of property is quickly evened out by a reduction in operating costs, while inhabitants are protected from rising energy prices and a dependence on fossil fuels.

“As a result, these benefits offer considerable opportunities for specialised architects and construction professionals.

“The requirement for new skills in planning and execution can be handled through advanced training and the GBS programme provides an opportunity to step into this building standard of the future.”

The holistic nature of the course is designed to appeal to a broad range of construction and property professionals – both students and those in post – who are looking to broaden their knowledge of sustainability. This includes, but is not limited to, architects, construction managers, project managers, building engineers and surveyors.

‘Green Building Solutions’ takes place from July 25 until August 16. The cost of the course is €2490 for professionals and €2000 for students. The price includes all accommodation, which is based in OeAD’s passive house student properties in Vienna.

The OeAD-Housing Office – which won the Austrian Climate Protection Award in 2013 and the Environmental Award of the City of Vienna in March this year – operates the Green Building Solutions course under a not-for-profit arrangement.

Training is provided entirely in English and is delivered by a consortium of six Austrian universities, together with technical colleges, experts and alliances.

The course runs for three weeks.

It ends with a collaborative project, where participants pool together their learning and experiences from the course to design a ‘green’ building.

The summer school has been conceived as a modular university course, with seven ECTS points awarded after successful completion.

Subject to availability, the closing date for bookings is 15 June, 2015. To find out more log onto