Today we had a very adventurous day as a group! We ventured for the first time to the TU Wien and managed to find our way to the 6th floor for our first lecture of the morning titled, Sustainable Supply Scenarios and Energy Efficiency in Settlements and Buildings, presented by Gunter Brauner. The lecture highlighted the fact that buildings are only one part of the whole energy strategy for the city. We need Smart investments for Smart buildings. The problem we face the future is to cut down energy consumption and promote renewable energy.

Later in the morning Olivier Pol gave us a detailed introduction into the workings of District Heating Plants, which use solar heat or industrial waste heat. High density makes district heating feasible, for example it will be used in the Aspern Urban lakeside project.

In the afternoon we travelled as a group to the first District Heating and Cooling Plant run by WienEnergie in Spittelau. For the architecture fans among us it was a very interesting experience to see the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser up close and personal.

The building was damaged after a fire in 1987 and Hundertwasser was enlisted to re-design and modernise the power plant. The result is a very bright and playful figurative representation of the inner workings of the plant. The interior of the plant is quite a contrast and upon entering we were shown the thermal waste treatment room where we witnessed the crane transporting waste to the feeding hopper to be incinerated at very high temperatures.

This waste incineration is what drives the power for the district heating, and some group members were even allowed to drive the machine itself!

We all benefitted from the detailed tour of the district heating and cooling plant and were able to learn a lot from seeing how it works firsthand.

We have uploaded our pictures on Facebook for you to see!

text: Sarah Rheinberger, picture: Stefan Sattler