The new complex will have 80-centimetre thick brick walls, Source: Patricia Bagienski-Grandits via Soravia

Vienna office complex will use human body warmth for heating

Vienna office complex will use human body warmth for heating

The buildings are designed in such a way that they will not require a heating system, maintaining a constant temperature

Yesterday, the Soravia real estate group started constructing a cutting-edge sustainable office complex in Vienna’s innovative Seestadt Aspern district. The three-structure complex named ‘Robin’ will not require a heating system as it will maintain a constant temperature of 22 degrees Celsius.

The project is set to complete in 2024 and will have 7,000 square metres of office space in the district, with room for 300 jobs. The buildings will not need any energy for heating, earning it a Gold Certificate from the Austrian Society for Sustainable Buildings.

Using body heat

The main idea for heating the Robin complex is to use and retain human body heat, as well as the energy emitted by electrical devices. According to a statement by the developer, this will happen through the buildings’ 80-centimetre-thick brick walls and triple-glazed windows making for extreme levels of energy retention.

Furthermore, people will be the main source of energy, as a single human body emits around 80 to 90 watts of energy, while electrical devices like lamps and commuters also emit heat. According to the developer, this would lead to a constant temperature of 22 to 26 degrees. However, the buildings will have a cooling system, that is supposed to be in use during peak summer heat days. Yet, the cooling system is integrated into the Robin structure in a way that will use minimal energy. 

Long-term sustainability

Because of the buildings’ sturdy structure of thick bricks and relative technological simplicity, it offers a lot when it comes to long-term durability and sustainability. According to the developer, it would also be around 30% cheaper in its entire life cycle, compared to conventional buildings.

At the same time, it solves one of the biggest problems the EU faces currently and will have to solve in the next 30-ish years. Around 51% of the energy consumption in the bloc goes towards heating and cooling. Solving that resource drain is one of the sustainable solutions cities will have to consider going forward.



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