A Multiple-Case Study of Passive House Retrofits of School Buildings in Austria

  • Xavier Dequaire


Strong increases in energy efficiency in buildings is central to reducing energy consumption and costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, tackling climate change, and at the same time, improving energy security. The concept of “nearly zero energy buildings” gives an indication of what is considered achievable, and this has now been widely demonstrated for new buildings of all kinds. However, the large number of buildings that have already been built emphasises the need to carry out extensive energy efficiency upgrades of the existing building stock in order to the “nearly zero energy” concept to achieve its real societal importance. This article highlights retrofits of large buildings using Austrian schools as examples, which have been chosen to illustrate reductions of more than 80 % in heat demand. Key issues are addressed through a multiple-case study of four school retrofits in Austria. All four buildings demonstrate the achievement of the energy efficiency level of the Passivhaus standard for new buildings. They present a paradigm for this form of upgrades and thus validate the Passivhaus standard.


Energy Efficiency Energy Building School Building Heat Demand Night Cool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Special thanks to Günter Lang and Gerald Gaigg for their help in organising the study tour in Austria and for their knowledgeable guidance. Irene Prieler, Robert Ehrlich and Oliver Dornstädter, as project partners for the different schools, kindly showed their work during the visits and generously provided added information in the course of this research project. Without their valuable support, the data for this research would have remained unknown to me. Karl Georg Høyer has been a good and close mentor for the scientific methodology and work progression, and Karin Anton a friendly and competent colleague.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NesøyaNorway

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