Against the predominant background of global warming, rapidly diminishing energy resources, exponential population growth, increasing geopolitical instabilities resulting from the uncertainty of the future energy supply situation together with the fact that buildings are responsible for at least 40% of the world's energy consumption, good architecture is not possible without a good energy concept. Buildings represent a large part of what is probably one of the biggest problems of our society - namely the fair distribution of the resources available to us. Architecture can therefore be a major part of the solution. Never before has this discipline been offered a comparable opportunity to play such a central role in the history of mankind. Good architecture is always a concrete expression of the cultural values, priorities and hopes of a society. But now it can also provide the physical answer to this existential challenge. By definition, sustainable development cannot be accompanied by a simultaneous loss of architectural quality in our built environment. A building with little architectural quality and a good energy concept therefore makes no real contribution to a sustainable future. Research and teaching at the IGE focuses on maximizing the energy performance of buildings and cities and developing architectural and urban design projects that are inherently highly energy efficient by optimizing their shape and structure. 

  • TEAM

    Head of Institute

    Consultation hour acc. to agreement


    Consultation hour: Wednesday, 11:00 - 12:00






    Student assistant



    Office hours:

    Monday - Friday, 09:00 - 12:00



    Consultation hour: Friday, 11:00 - 12:00


    Project Assistant/Lecturer


    Student assistant



    Consultation hour: Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:00




    Student assistant



    Architecture is not only responsible for a large proportion of the world's energy consumption - architecture is energy. A line on paper that represents an architectural intention often implies decades or centuries of associated energy and material flows. At the Institute for Buildings and Energy (IGE),  energy-efficient architecture is understood as a triad of minimized energy consumption, optimal indoor climate and excellent spatial qualities - both at the urban and individual building level.


    The experience and the accumulated know-how from the practice of the consulting firm Energy Design Cody through collaborations with architectural offices such as Coop Himmelb(l)au, OMA, Miralles Tagliabue, Delugan Meissl, MVRDV, to name but a few, flow back into basic research but also into the teaching activities at the institute via lectures and impulse lectures, so that students benefit directly from this experience and knowledge.


    Since 2010, the concept has been to prepare a special topic of focus for the coming academic year with the aim of focussing attention in teaching and research on a specific topic for a limited period of time and to exploit synergies between the various activities. At the end of the year, the results of the teaching and research activities are summarized in a brochure and presented to all members of the faculty together with the chosen topic for the coming academic year.





    Technical University of Graz

    Institute of Buildings and Energy

    Rechbauerstrasse 12 / II

    8010 Graz



    Tel +43(0)316/873-4751

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    Institut für Gebäude und Energie

    Rechbauerstrasse 12/II

    8010 Graz





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High Tech / Low Tech

Prof. Brian Cody







An interesting question we are currently dealing with is "High Tech or Low Tech?" and which of these approaches is the better way to achieve our energy efficiency and sustainability goals. A well-founded discourse on this question has not yet taken place in the scientific community. In the discipline of architecture, discussions are conducted along purely stylistic lines. Nevertheless, in recent years, a clear tendency - albeit more emotional than intellectual - towards the preference for a low-tech approach can be discerned, both among researching and practising architects and among students. This development is both fascinating and - in an age of such massive technological development and such dependence on technology in everyday life - somehow disturbing. Is this tendency even a direct consequence of the increasing dependence? Why is "low-tech" in architecture "in"? Are we dealing with a kind of marketing hype for a new style? Is it because the approach seems to be able to match the stylistic language of the respective architectural goals? Nobody wants a low-tech mobile phone, a low-tech car, a low-tech computer. Why a low-tech building? When is a building high-tech? The question is less simple than it first appears. In order to have a meaningful discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of a high-tech or low-tech approach, we first need precise definitions for it or at least an understanding of what these terms can mean. We are currently developing a methodology that will allow a rough classification of buildings into high-tech, low-tech, or intermediate categories based on the extent and degree of technical sophistication of the technologies used in a building.



July 2013 - ongoing



Cody. B.: „Technology, Architecture and Sustainability. Theorie der Technik in Architektur und Städtebau“, in: Wolkenkuckucksheim - Internationale Zeitschrift für Theorie der Architektur, Vol.19, Issue 33(2014), S.237-247.



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