Sustainable office complex completely without gas

FM newsroom – office, sustainability, trends. Almost a year ago, the Soravia real estate group started constructing a cutting-edge sustainable office complex in Vienna called ROBIN. The three-building complex is designed in a way that it will maintain a constant temperature using human body warmth for heating. The project is well on its way to the 2024 completion.


Building for a better future 

To limit the consequences of climate change, humanity must significantly reduce its CO2 emissions. The energy requirement for heating and cooling buildings plays a key role: in the EU, more energy is used for heating and cooling than for transport and electricity combined. Developer Soravia’s innovative project, the ROBIN buildings make an intelligent and effective contribution to this goal by becoming the most sustainable workspace in the city.


The project started last year and is set to complete in 2024 providing 7,000 sqm of office space in the district, with room for 300 jobs. The three-structure complex in the Seestadt Aspern district will not require a heating system to maintain a constant temperature of 22-26 degrees Celsius. This feature earns the building a Gold Certificate from the Austrian Society for Sustainable Buildings.

A modern interpretation of proven knowledge

ROBIN is inspired by nature in its structure and functionality. The construction and architecture is a modern interpretation of proven building knowledge that the ancient church builders used to create monumental buildings. At the same time, the buildings imitate natural ventilation systems, such as those found in termite mounds, which not only optimize air quality and indoor temperature but can also last for thousands of years.

Completely without gas

Thanks to the high energy efficiency, the natural building materials from the region and the long-lasting substance, ROBIN minimizes the CO2 footprint of its users. The buildings do not cause any CO2 emissions during heating and cooling (during system-related operation) and the total CO2 emissions during operation are 40% lower than with conventional buildings. This also means only half the operating and energy costs.


The main idea for heating the complex is to use and retain human body heat, as well as the energy emitted by electrical devices. A single human body emits around 80 to 90 watts of energy and electrical devices like lamps and computers also emit heat. This along with the buildings’ 80-centimetre-thick brick walls and triple-glazed windows make for extreme levels of energy retention securing a constant comfortable temperature.

State-of-the-art sensor technology

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 – The Mayor reports. The rooms are ventilated and cooled via the sensor-controlled ventilation sashes of the windows. Special triple sensors permanently measure the room temperature, the CO2 content of the air and the humidity and open or close the windows automatically.


Long-term sustainability

Because of the buildings’ sturdy structure of thick bricks and relative technological simplicity, the life cycle costs are significantly more favourable over a period of 50 years than with conventional office buildings – the developer states. It would be around 30% cheaper in its entire life cycle, compared to conventional buildings according to The Mayor.





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