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Vienna presents carbon-free education campus

Vienna presents carbon-free education campus

Renewable energy will be produced on-site and it will power the entire facility

Vienna is opening a new educational campus called Lieselotte Nahsen-Schmidt in Seestadt. Said campus will have a comprehensive renewable electrical and heating system, making it a showcase project for the whole sector of educational architecture in the carbon-neutral future of Europe.

On 22 July, Vice Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr, City Councilor for Climate Change Jürgen Czernohorszky and municipal councillors Nicole Berger-Krotsch and Stefan Gara presented the heart of the project - concrete core activation and geothermal heat and cooling system.

The educational infrastructure of the future

The education campus in Seestadt is now complete. It houses a kindergarten, elementary school, new middle school and special education facilities. The building can serve up to 1,100 children and young people starting from the fall of 2021.

Thanks to innovative conceptual design, renewable sources of energy will cover the entire consumption of the campus. The core components of the energy concept include a passive house building envelope, the concrete core activation (of the false ceilings), heat pumps, geothermal probes/geothermal storage, solar power and ventilation with highly efficient heat recovery.

How will the building work

One of the more interesting concepts at play in the building’s climate system is concrete core activation. This is when warm/cool air is passed through holes within concrete slabs to heat them up directly before the air reaches the rooms. The heat will be dispersed in the buildings through the heat pump, which is fed with solar energy from the building roof.

a peak on the insideA peak on the inside of the building, Source: City of Vienna

The ground underneath the campus will serve as an energy source for heating in the winter while in the summer, it will take advantage of the concrete core activation, to dissipate the heat into the ground. This is a highly efficient and carbon-free cooling system, where the concrete’s high mass is turned into a heat store.

Meanwhile, thanks to the insulated and airtight shell, the building can keep its temperature constant, even if there is no renewable source of energy for several days (e.g., solar during winter). This high energy retention rate helps the building compensate for its volatile and unreliable power source. At the same time, it will consume very little amounts of energy.

Vice Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr was quoted in a press release, saying: “We want to make Vienna the most climate-friendly city in Europe, and that is where projects like this play a very important role.

With ideas and drive, it is possible to achieve this very important goal and also to raise the education we offer to a new level.

City Councillor for Climate Change Jürgen Czernohorszky added: “The Lieselotte Hansen-Schmidt education campus is an outstanding example of how climate protection and climate adaptation go hand in hand with innovative concepts.

Clean electricity and clean heat and cold protect the climate and ensure a pleasant room temperature for the children and the teachers. Clever energy solutions like here in Seestadt show that we have long had the knowledge and the means to drive the energy transition.

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