Cutting edge Austrian facility management
Austria committed itself to technological development very early on in the race for global excellence in sustainability. Today Austrian companies are among the best in the world in important technology sectors and niche markets.
Austrian companies are among the best in the world, particularly in the fields of environmental engineering and energy, life sciences, infrastructure and traffic technology, as well as mechanical, automation, and communication technology. Leaders in research and development, they offer products and services characterised by cutting-edge innovation, which enjoy strong worldwide demand. This is why I’ve been researching facility management services in this amazing country.
Austrian facility management
In the field of sustainable building, Austrian technological advances lead the way internationally. Pioneering products and Austrian know-how in this sector are well respected in international markets. The Arab world, where interest in modern energy technologies and energy-saving measures is growing, holds great potential. The project “Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center” is an impressive example of a how a cutting-edge, comprehensive strategy from Austria is being implemented in the United Arab Emirates.
Around the world, buildings account for 40 percent of end-use energy consumption. Starting from the construction materials employed, their production and transportation, through the provision of space heating, cooling, and hot water, and finally lighting and operating a wide variety of electrical equipment, the building sector offers vast potential for saving energy and using energy-efficient technologies that can help to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions.
R & D in Austrian facility management
In the field of sustainable building construction, Austria has invested in research and technological development for years. Pioneering Austrian firms have a wealth of know-how and experience with cutting-edge building technologies, and have been able (frequently in close collaboration with research institutes) to implement pilot projects that attract international attention and to launch new products.
As part of their funding programs, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and the Climate and Energy Fund initiate pioneering R&D activities and projects in this field. In the Arab world, interest in sustainable building technologies is currently growing apace. Even though the Arab countries still have large reserves of fossil fuels, there is increasing need for technologies that save energy, improve energy efficiency, and make use of renewable sources of energy. Previously, electricity was heavily subsidised in these countries, however, as the high cost of such subsidies has an increasing impact on government budgets, interest is now focused on strategies and technologies to conserve resources.
Austrian energy technologies and building innovations have excellent opportunities in these markets. The topics of insulating buildings, multifunctional façade systems, solar heating and cooling, supplying electricity locally by means of photovoltaics, storage technologies, ultraefficient lighting systems, demand-side management, Smart Home solutions, and technologies for conserving refuse and water are particularly relevant.
One cutting-edge flagship project is the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center, implemented in the United Arab Emirates; Vienna architects Chalabi Architekten & Partner managed the project, which demonstrated impressively how a pioneering strategy for a sustainable building can be successfully implemented under extreme climatic conditions.
Many of the technologies and innovations employed there have been developed by Austrian companies, and some of these achieved commercial viability beforehand by means of research work and pilot projects funded within the programs Haus der Zukunft (BMVIT) and Neue Energien 2020 (Climate and Energy Fund).
The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre
Al Ain (United Arab Emirates)
This is a gigantic sustainable tourism project, ordered by the government of Abu Dhabi, in the city of Al Ain. The project includes a 400-hectare wildlife park and resort with hotels, themed safaris, residential areas, and the associated infrastructure.
The first building erected, as part of the master plan was the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center, a museum and research center for desert environments and ecological issues. With pioneering state-of-the-art architecture and technology, this building (total investment cost €56 million) proves that sustainable building concepts can also be implemented in desert locations. The goal was to reduce environmental impact and life-cycle costs significantly through innovative designs and technologies. The technologies used to conserve resources in this project are highly relevant to development in Australia.
Austrian facility management hard at work in Vienna
Here’s the real world view of facility management in a multistory building in Vienna. Because maintenance is an ever present issue as my colleague Gramazon was happy to show me.