The educational initiative Green.Building.Solutions. aims at knowledge transfer from experts to students in the field of sustainable and ecological architecture. Future changemakers bring the know-how back in their home countries and become important multipliers of sustainable technologies.
G.B.S. was founded 2011 in Vienna in response to the growing interest in resources, energy-efficiency and ecological building and planning. This is not only a controversial topic in times of climate change and resource scarcity but also a major topic for students of architecture, planning and engineering concerning their future professions. The conventional way of building houses is not taking into account the sustainable development principles of social, economic and ecological sustainability – an approach that is inevitably important these days. Regions like Lower Austria and Vienna have a lot to share regarding green solutions in the building sector and passive house planning; therefore visiting best-practice examples does not only introduce the region and its character & culture but is also a practical approach learning how to change techniques and behavior.
Every year around 50 students and professionals are invited to take part in the short study program. During the summer school students are encouraged to design a real building project of Vienna, which is then introduced to representatives of Vienna’s city for a potential realization of the concepts. Every single project strives to meet the Energy Plus standard incorporating on-site renewable energy generation and use (e.g. photovoltaic panels, solar thermal, heat pumps, etc.), sustainable building material and highly energy-efficient construction while creating social environments. While the design solution was to keep affordability in mind, the building should offer flexible use in sense of a holistic approach of sustainability. There was for example to design a building under the topic ‘new neighborhoods and integrative living’, which resulted in a combination of new immigrants (accepted refugees and asylum seekers) living together with Austrians.
Excursions to VinziRast and to the former office building of Kurierhaus in the seventh district in Vienna, hosting around 600 refugees during the refugee’s crises, offer an insight into the actual migration situation in Vienna. Additionally, students get to know local best-practice buildings like Aspern Urban Lakeside, Waste treatment plant Spittelau and the Light Lab at Danube University in Krems (see group picture).
As the initiative G.B.S. aims to spread knowledge all over the world without restrictions – a scholarship program was implemented. Students, who cannot afford participation are eligible to take part for a reduced fee. Furthermore, there are events offered like discussions and talks as well as movie nights together with our second summer program ‘Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems’ that are free to join. Day tickets are available for specific days.
Behind the initiative of the G.B.S. stands the OeAD-Housing Office, which actual business is to accommodate students in energy efficient passive houses. As a non-profit organization, we are constantly working on innovative and energy-efficient construction projects like the flexible pop-up dorms and GreenHouse in ‘Aspern Urban Lakeside’ or a complete wooden building in Styria called MineRoom.
Education and awareness raising are our contributions to make a change in our world. We do not only try to implement our ideologies but also enhance mankind to join in making a difference in future.
Please feel free to contact us, as we are open to new ideas, input and feedback that might serve the development of sustainability, awareness rising and getting the people into the boat.