smarter together – Sanierungsprojekte in SimmeringOn February 21, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
Climate change, CO2 savings, reduction of energy consumption, energetic renovation of residential buildings, heat consumption in existing buildings. The Smarter Together project deals with these and more topics in order to make Vienna fit for the future. In particular, the existing city districts –
i.e. old buildings, social housing … must be brought up to a technological and environmentally friendly level. The Smarter Together project has shown how broad urban renewal needs to be. A project where the topic of Smart City
and the Smart City Framework Strategy were brought to the existing city for the first time. Because today’s built city is largely
the one that will continue to exist in 20 years. The city does not change completely within a few years – today’s urban structures will continue to exist in the future, and it is therefore very important to look at this stock. We can not achieve all of our climate goals
and smart city goals if we do not go on thinking and developing this currently existing historical city – especially in Vienna. In Vienna we have the strategy that we have to talk to people first of all. And to renew these neighborhoods, we just have to look, “What do people have for ideas,
what do they have for needs, what issues are important to them
for the years to come?” Renovation measures bring a great improvement,
but are also affected in the implementation of by-products such as construction noise and dirt. And they often last not only weeks, but years. It is of course an unpleasant time for the residents. You do not need to talk nicely
and you have to help them deal with it – with this change – and that’s why we’ve taken a lot of time to explain to them very specifically for discussions, educational work, information evenings with the residents: “Why does it have to be rehabilitated, how much does it cost, how is it financed? … and they are often very surprised that what we do comes from an EU project and is subsidized by EU funds and there you can brilliant conversations then often lead, where there is also a big surprise that the EU is interested in something like this in Simmering and that also funded. In the new middle school on the Enkplatz square, Smarter Together has managed by means of a competition of different architects to implement a model that not only creates
a new gym, but also a completely new building. In the future, children from two schools will have four energy rights can do sports. In the beginning, as we have learned, the Smarter Together takes place with our school, we were slightly reserved. The moment we heard that our gym emergency can be solved with the project, we have promised all the support and it is an ingenious project that the EU had made possible. With the exchange of specialists, with the fact that plans have been exchanged, with the fact that technologies – like the zero-energy gymnasium – are shared, that some of them can come here – there have already been two delegates
from other cities here and came to see the current state. And of course the children also asked
and then wanted also to know – actively – how does a solar system work? We have partially integrated this into the physics class or into the experimental math class. They were a little involved in the project
again and again in the planning. We have asked “What do you whish from a new gym?” or also “What do you whish from the new outdoor area?” We did surveyed pupils. These topics are dealt with in social learning, in professional orientation, wherever it is a political, participation necessary.
This “I, as a decision-maker, will later contribute to the fact
that such projects may be realized.” What is special about the construction of the new middle school is that it produces the energy required for heating itself.
But it is completely new for a public building to have the possibility of cooling the rooms in summer. For this, deep drilling had to be carried out in order to lay the lines for the temperature control. These thermal connections into the earth were a huge challenge for the kids who always looked through the fences … What’s going on down there … in that big hole? … ” Because in the beginning it was just a giant hole where then 15 holes have been drilled. They were often so shattering that we noticed it all the way to the main house, where the tables trembled. Those were times, when it was so hot outside
where we often wished we could turn the time even faster. Now the time has passed – the two years are up –
and a lot has happened. We are currently standing on four underground gymnasiums. So that it was possible to create this super open air sports ground on the surface and at the same time there is above a building with 13 new classrooms and technical rooms – thus in the end more than 20 new rooms
for the two schools here on Enkplatz square. Yes, and we have designed the whole building in such a way that in addition to the classrooms, there are also areas for the breaks and so-called multifunctional areas, so that the pupils who spend the whole day here have a very diverse range of opportunities,
areas and spaces that are available to them. There are balconies, terraces. There is a great views of the church
from the Enkplatz square … And we thought: “We would actually like to do a school that is actually colorful. That is not designed as always – with wooden floors and white walls
and a bit of black and then a nice gray in addition … but where we tuned it differently
and that was course also a challenge. Of course, that these colors have to match
with each other and you can not just do it somehow, but it was very important to us, that is very consistent and everything fits together very well. We are standing here on the roof of the school on Enkplatz square and see the difference between a normal building and the zero energy building. Here on the roof we generate the energy that we then consume in the building.
The biggest challenge was finding enough space and using the entire roof for energy production. Actually, all elements are well known
and common elsewhere. Just the idea, to combine them and that you really want to generate as much energy as you need all year round – that’s a new approach. The new gymnasium you see here fulfils as whishes and there is not just one of them, two for the Enkplatz 1 school, two for the Enkplatz 2 school. We stand in all rooms on underfloor heating,
which we don’t even notice – only small guards are attached to the door frame. And we worked on this with a very good team
to ensure the usability on site for the teaching staff. They just have to take care of the educational work.
And they can easily adjust the home technology to their needs. The system is very well equipped, there is a lot of technology in here. However, it is relatively easy to use
for the teaching staff. If a class wants 23 degrees, it sets it to 23 degrees. The others want it a little bit fresher
and set it to 21 degrees. And every teacher can do that himself. Our system is connected to the Department MA34.
The moment a malfunction occurs or any values fail,
the MA34 can respond and take action accordingly. As a school guard I would recommend
for the buildings that will be built in the future – or planning phases – that the school guard or the teaching staff is involved. Because we are the end user and we will have to work here for 20 years, 25 years. Comprehensive renovation work was also carried out in the residential complex in the Hauffgasse. In addition, thanks to roof toppings, additional 79 modern apartments were built to the 486 existing ones. This project was a very interesting one
for Kelag Energie und Wärme. It was also one of the most complex projects
in terms of project structure. We have implemented many energy efficiency measures especially for Hauffgasse, we have installed a PV system – on several buildings – that supports the hot water supply.
This means that there is in these buildings hot water production from solar power. We are pleased that we as a non-profit cooperative can participate in the great project because we have not only renovated one of our
largest residential complexes, but also implemented an overall concept
– one for the future. On the one hand more energy efficiency
through the use of renewable energies, on the other hand also a new mobility concept
with the offer of three electric vehicles. We started designing the whole thing 1.5 years before starting and looked at what possibilities there are in this innovation where for the first time we can start e-car sharing
in the subsidized housing in Vienna. And of course we also included our tenants. The aim was to form an “Active Group”
– in other words, active residents who would like to use e-car sharing
and who also take on tasks of caring for these cars, for example, and thus drive at a reduced price. For me it is actually a very convincing project and I hope that in the future it will be best practice
in big cities, especially in facilities like here, where there are many people. Because it’s just really awesome. The renovation tasks of the large residential complexes from the 1960s to 1980s, which will soon be very frequent and in large numbers, are only partly a structural and technical task.
That is of course the basis. I have to have the money, it has to be economical. In addition, the people who have lived there for so long are not necessarily very enthusiastic about changes. We at wohnbund: consult are also regularly on site here. We have installed our physical information point here, where we inform the tenants
about the individual renovation stages and also provide advice on certain matters and
complaints and are available and so are an interface between the resident
and the neighbours and implementing project companies then too. An attempt was made to address all
of the fears of the existing population. So do not ignore anyone with his issues, but to take them seriously. Social housing is a highly regarded topic in Vienna. The involvement of people is a very important matter
in the renovation process and this was also wonderfully successful in the municipal building on Lorystraße. The renovation of the municipal building on Lorystraße is something very special. Because the tenants were involved right from the start and were able to have a say in the renovation measures. This was about the color of the facade
to the renewal of the balconies. But also a stairlift was installed, windows were replaced and thus controlled the heating demand. We consciously deal with the process
around the renovation with the residents. Because such a change in their own living environment is very stressful for people and is often associated with a great feeling of discomfort. Imagine when a company restructures,
itself an expensive change management is installed to accompany this change in order to prepare people for the new job profile – the new vision of life. And we see that in the housing it is quite similar. Of course, it is very important for “Wiener Wohnen” that the tenants are involved in the renovations. That’s why we also have an on-site office
for tenants every 14 days, where the tenants can approach us. And often it is meant very well
– in the case was well meant to set up benches, that people can really stop there, sit down. However, where the inhabitants meant, they certainly do not want to, because the bedrooms go there – on this side – and they really want to
maintain this area as a quiet area. And we approached that then in really sensitive way.
We also fighted for the trees, as there was no fire service access built,
but a pressure ventilation system instead. So this tenant care has of course proven itself and we will also take it for future projects and maintain, as this is a thoroughly positive story as this mutual exchange brings Wiener Wohnen something and the tenants of course too. Empty piping in the building will serve future digitization measures such as e.g. fiber optic installation. There is another peculiarity of the municipal building: Three photovoltaic systems are built, which illuminates the general areas of the house, the staircases. And the old gas-powered washing machines are removed and replaced by new, electricity-powered ones. One of the oldest municipal buildings in Simmering in Herbortgasse was also renovated as part of Smarter Together. We bring this municipal building from the 1930s to the energetic standard of the 21st century. This means that the heating requirement
is reduced by 80 percent. We are building eight new apartments that do not seal a square millimetre of floor
because we are building on existing structures and they will be municipal apartments.
This means that we have no time limits, no commissions and no own funds
to pay for the tenants. We renovate the external area, we make a new playground and we make a new courtyard building
with a laundry room. In Smarter Together we renovate buildings.
It is very important to see that we as the city of Vienna, of course, are doing lot, promote,
support the refursbishments. What we need now is that the tenants also participate and actively save energy themselves. Saving energy is sexy.
I think that’s the message we have in Smarter Together. Smarter Together Vienna has delivered its goal. We have upgraded a whole district area here in Simmering and have also brought the people together and therefore a big thank you to “Wiener Wohnen”
and to the “Wohnpartner”. Many thanks to the Smarter Together teams, but a very special thank you to the tenants
for the good cooperation. Because in Simmering we are just Smarter Together.