The Republic of Austria has confirmed the 20-20-20 goals of the European Union and has consequently set up an energy strategy for Austria for the 2010 implementation initiative. As part of this initiative a number of “Climate and Energy Model Regions” have been founded, one of these is the Climate and Energy Model Region Bucklige Welt-Wechselland. This model region has announced a regional initiative with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020 compared with 2005 emissions.
The real estate sector is the biggest energy consumer and issuer of greenhouse gases, as for setting up, operating and demolishing huge quantities of energy are consumed, this having a direct impact on emission of greenhouse gases. The real estate sector is consequently getting more and more into the focus of national and international legislation. Metrics used for defining political goals are energy consumption as well as emissions of greenhouse gases. As so the real estate sector has earned an important role in Austrian energy politics. To significantly reduce the need for fossil fuels for heating and hot water, a number of measures, like reducing the consumption for heating have to be realized. The potential in this area is extremely high. By means of complete thermal renovation it is possible to realize huge energy savings potentials.
The “Climate and Energy Model Region Bucklige Welt-Wechselland” is located in the southern region of Lower Austria an adjacent to Styria and Burgenland. It consists of 32 communities with a total of 830 km2 and app. 50.000 inhabitants. 23 communities belong to the sub region “Bucklige Welt” and 9 communities to the sub region “Wechselland”.
This study shows the energy savings and CO2 emission reductions in this region by 2020 which could be realized if all one-family houses set up in the period from 1945 to 1980 would undergo a complete thermal renovation. For showing the heating energy savings potential in the region all not renovated houses of this building period are taken into account, representing app. 30% of the total number of buildings in the region. This paper shows the possible reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 if all buildings under consideration would be transformed to low-energy houses (heating energy demand 70kWh/m2/year).
The period 1945 to 1980 has been chosen as based on the prevalent construction methods during these years one-family houses built during this period show the highest savings potential (the average heating energy demand of houses built during this period is 200 kWh/m2/year with an average gross floor area of 129m2). This renovation initiative would have a direct and high impact on the CO2 emission reduction demanded by the regional energy concept and initiative and would thus very positively contribute to sustainable development in this region.
The total number of 6.266 buildings to be renovated with a current average heating energy demand of 200 kWh/m2/year and an average gross floor area of 129m2 result in a total heating energy demand of 161.662.800 kWh and CO2 emission of 52.379 metric tons per year. A complete thermal renovation of these buildings, reducing the heating energy demand to 70 kWh/m2/year (low-energy house level) could bring massive savings which are calculated and shown in detail in this study. Finally the potential contribution of this renovation initiative to environmental protection and climate targets of the Climate and Energy Model Region Bucklige Welt-Wechselland and the impact on quality of life in the region are discussed and shown.
The total heating energy savings of 105.081 MWh per year cause a reduction in CO2 emissions of 34.046 tons per year. This enormous reduction in energy consumption and emission of greenhouse gases can indeed be seen as a substantial contribution to environmental protection and quality of life in the “LEADER Region Bucklige Welt-Wechselland”.
Finally every private household can sustainably contribute to the 20-20-20 climate targets as well as to the regional targets of the “LEADER Region Bucklige Welt-Wechselland” to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 % compared to 2005 in this region by 2020 by doing a thermal renovation of their house.