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    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. 


    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





    Concept and Design:



    Disclaimer: Despite careful control of the contents, we do not assume any liability for the contents of external links. The operators of the linked pages are solely responsible for the content of their pages. Contributions marked by name in the discussion areas reflect the opinion of the author. The authors are solely responsible for the content of the contributions.



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Initial situation and objectives

For building planning in urban areas, early and integral planning support is necessary for the successful implementation of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). An existing obstacle is the lack of tools and easy-to-use rules for planning support, especially for non-PV specialists in the early planning stage. The aim of the VITALITY project is to develop design rules and parameter ranges of technically meaningful planning for exemplary use cases with urban context. Furthermore, the influence of BIPV on other planning parameters of buildings (such as thermal comfort, electrical yield) will be investigated. The usability or relevance for BIM systems plays an essential role. According to the definition of the climate targets of the European Union 2009, 2011 and 2015 the widespread use of building-integrated photovoltaics is inevitable. Likewise, the European Building Directive requires the mandatory use of BIPV or other active energy-generating measures. These developments call for increased efforts to simplify and enable BIPV in the planning process of buildings or in urban planning. Furthermore, the Technology Platform Photovoltaics (TPPV) has named BIPV as a central goal of Austrian research and development in a position paper 2014. There, the integration of BIPV planning in new building planning is mentioned as a major point as an opportunity for Austrian BIPV development.



VITALITY provides an important step towards achieving these requirements and goals. It aims to enable tools for integral planning. VITALITY generates numerical but simplified rules that allow a refined BIPV planning already in the design process. In the project, design criteria are analysed and standardisation is investigated and transferred into simplified models. Prototypical buildings are parametrically planned, thermally and light technically simulated and examined with regard to thermal, electrical and BIPV planning. The planning interfaces and the planning information flow are examined and the relevance for BIM systems is mapped.



As a result, design rules are developed from the simplified models and the parametric simulation. They are optimized at an early stage of planning for the requirements of flexibility of the planner and accuracy of the yield prognosis for BIPV.



February 2017 - January 2019



AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (Konsortialführung)

Technical University of Graz, Institute of buildings and energy - IGE, Austria

EURAC European Academy of Bozen, Institute for Renewable Energy, Italy

Teamgmi Ingenieurbüro GmbH, Austria

Lund University, LTH, Architecture and Built Environment, Energy and Building Design, Sweden

ATB-Becker e.U., Austria



Copyright © 2020 Institute of Buildings and Energy, TU Graz