Site visits & Social activities

Site visits but also social activities are important parts of Green.Building.Solutions. Find below the locations we visited during the last courses to gain an insight how different buildings in passive house standard look like, how they work and function. Vienna as the capital of energy efficient buildings offers a great variety to learn how ecological and sustainable architecture and building works in practise. Additionally, during the course you are living in one of the energy-efficient dormitories of OeAD student housing.

Aspern Seestadt: AspernIQ, GreenHouse, PopUp dorms and more
Daylight Labs, Danube University Krems
ENERGYbase and AIT laboratories
District Heating & Cooling Plant
LISI House (Winner of Solar Decathlon) in Blaue Lagune

Social Activities

Getting the people together and networking is the aim of social activities that are offered during the 3 weeks for our participants. Is it the tasting of typical Austrian wine together with dinner at the Heurigen or learning how to dance the generally known typical Viennese Waltz – group activities are always a lot of fun and brings you closer to the culture of Austria.

– Viennese Waltzing Night
– Schönbrunn Palace
– Architectural City Tour through Vienna

aspern Vienna’s Urban Lakeside

Over the next 20 years, one of the biggest European urban development projects will emerge in Vienna’s 22nd municipal district – aspern Vienna’s Urban Lakeside. The dimensions of this new city quarter are truly impressive: the city of the 21st century is evolving on an area as big as the 7th and 8th municipal districts of Vienna combined and will offer space for 20,000 residents as well as 20,000 workplaces.

Aspern differs from other urban development concepts above all because of its multifaceted mixed-use approach created over several years by Wien 3420 Aspern Development AG, the company charged with developing the Urban Lakeside. aspern will accommodate “The Full Life”. It will be a location that has everything modern people need in their private life, working environment and business activities: a business district and spacious commercial and industrial areas adjoining a science, research and education quarter, high-quality flats with individual appointments as well as leisure and cultural facilities.

Seize the opportunity to become part of aspern by contributing your ideas and skills.


ENERGYbase is the showcase project of a new generation of office properties. With the construction of this trend-setting Competence Center for Renewable Energy, the Vienna Business Agency sets new standards in the development of energy optimized office properties.

Innovative office design and engineering technologies also make ENERGYbase an international cutting-edge project when it comes to ensuring energy efficiency, the use of renewable energies and workplace quality.

Under the special guidance of one of our renowned lecturers you will be introduced and guided through this innovative building.

District Heating & Cooling Plant

The District Heating Plant Spittelau is Austria’s biggest district heating system.

It is situated in the 9th Vienna district, Spittelau, on the riverbank of the “Donaukanal” and is run by the “Fernwärme Wien GmbH”.

This location was chosen in order to provide the new “AKH” (Allgemeines Krankenhaus), the University Hospital Vienna, which is only 2 km far away from the plant with community heating.

Nowadays the heating plant in Spittelau treats annually 250,000 tons of domestic waste and produces about 40,000 MWh electricity and 470,000 MWh community heating. This abundance allows the heating of 60,000 households in Vienna annually. Moreover the District Plant Spittelau is continuously adjusted to the newest technology and is equipped with the most modern emission purification system.

After the serious fire in 1987 Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed a new façade. So that the former functional building was transformed into a unique artwork which is a perfect example of a harmonious symbiosis between technics, ecology and art. Today the District Heating Plant Spittelau is no longer only the precious provider of community heating but also a great tourist attraction.

Architectural City Tour through Vienna

“Vienna is old, Vienna is new” and presents an amazing variety of architectural styles ranging from medieval Gothic elements to the pompous Baroque buildings, the neoclassicism trend,  the “golden” Art Nouveau and the today architecture with its most modern creations.

So one can admire the little Romanesque church “St. Ruprecht” as well as the Imperial Palace (Hofburg), no doubt the most representative example of Vienna’s characteristic variety of architecture styles: his construction began in the 13th century and ended about 1900. The whole complex stretches on an areal of 240,000 m² and was till 1918 the centre of the immense empire of the Habsburg Dynasty. And the “Hofburg” was also the residence of the imperial family and the court during the winter while the Palace of Schönbrunn was the summer residence of the emperors which is said to be the most splendid palace in Europe.

Strolling along the “Ring”, the magnificent boulevard encircling the inner city where once the old city wall stood, you discover an amazing number of splendid buildings among others: the “Parliament” (Greek style), the City Hall (Flemish Style), the “Burg” (State Theatre) and the “Oper” (neoclassistic style), to the famous “Imperial-Royal Post Office Saving Bank” built by Otto Wagner (Art Nouveau).

In the Centre of the city stands proudly Vienna’s landmark St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a major Gothic edifice whose medieval structure and spires reflect into the Haas-House’s façade, a modern building which is in contrast to the historic buildings in the city centre.

With so many jewels of different architectural styles it is no wonder that Vienna’s historic centre is part of the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage.

Another architecture style which shapes the character of the city is “Art Nouveau”. The most representative witness for this style is the “Secession” building. 1897 a few artists broke up with established Viennese Artists who they considered too conservative and created a new organisation with its own art and own motto “To the Age its Art – to Art, its Freedom”. One of the most eminent architects  of “Art Nouveau” in Vienna is Otto Wagner. He built e.g. the “Court Pavilion in Hietzing” (City Railway Station) for the exclusive use of the Emperor, the “Steinhof Church”, the Majolika House, the City Railway Station at Karlsplatz.

Furthermore worth mentioning is the incomparable art created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. This well-known Austrian artist didn’t respect the common art norms. The facades of his houses are colored, the floors uneven, grass on the roof, eg. the “Hundertwasser-Krawinahaus” or the District Heating Plant Spittelau, both in Vienna.

The next step is Vienna’s contemporary architecture which is always spectacular. The annual Pritzker Architecture Prize is the architectural equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Previous winners Hans Hollein, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel have all created architectural landmarks in Vienna, including the Gasometer, the Haas-Haus, the apartment building at the Spittelauer Lände, and the Pilotengasse residential estate. Moreover Vienna plays a leading role in building “Passive Houses” which are well-known for their attractive ecological character.

Viennese Waltzing Night

One, two, three, one, two three, … so easy is waltzing! At least is seems very easy.

Waltzing developed from the “Ländler” to a ballroom dance at the second half of the 18th century. After having received unpopular criticism because the dancers’ bodies were too close together, it became a real national passion due to the compositions of Josef Lanner, Johann Strauss father and son at the beginning of the 19th century.

Everyone who comes to Vienna encounters the charm of waltzing and its music and the Viennese youth take lessons in dance school as kids in other countries sign up for football.

Especially for you we have organised a waltzing evening with a professional instructor. After a few uncertain steps you will swirl in no time across the dance floor, as light as a leaf in the wind, waltzing with the ¾ time music of “The Blue Danube” of Johann Strauss. This world wide known composition of Johann Strauss opens annually the brilliant “Opernball” which is attended by many VIP’s from all over the world.

Schönbrunn Palace

The famous “Schloss Schönbrunn” (Schönbrunn Palace) is part of a large entity in Baroque style. Besides the Palace itself the site of Schönbrunn consists in a marvelous Park in French style, the Gloriette, the Zoo and the Palm House.

Schönbrunn is said to be one of the most wonderful Baroque palaces in Europe. It was the summer residence of the emperors and especially of the Empress Sisi. So it is also here that the three Sisi’s films with Romy Schneider were shot in the mid-20th century. Its interior is pompously decorated and furnished in Rococo style and reflects the art of living of the Viennese court.

The Vienna Zoo is the oldest zoo in the world (1752) and today it is one of the best and most modern zoos in the world. It is very proud of being the first place worldwide where the first panda baby naturally conceived in zoo was born.

The Palm House with its 2,500 m² and 4,900 m² of glass is the widest in Europe. In the summer one can admire here largest water lily in the world (leaf diameter of 1.20 meters)

As one can see “Schönbrunn” is an area of superlatives and is therefore part of the UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage.

Vienna State Opera

The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) was the first house to be built on the new “Ring” after the demolition of the old City Wall in the mid-19th century in the Neo-Renaissance style. In the interior most decorations are made of marble as the stair case to the first floor what enhances the splendor of the building.

The Vienna Opera House is famous not only for its well-known conductors and directors as Gustav Mahler and Herbert von Karajan. But also for the fabulous “Opernball” which takes place each year at the end of the “Fasching” (carnival). This luxurious event is visited by very important persons from around the world and watched on TV by millions of people.

Another inventive activity is worth mentioning. This very conservative house performs in a tent on its roof operas especially for children. A good way of sensitizing young generations to this art which can sometimes appear to be very austere.