Resource-friendly and cost-efficient designs can also be realised for commercial structures, as shown by an administration and warehouse building in Niklasdorf (Steiermark, Austria). This modular construction made of wood and built to passive-house standard, is also a pilot project of the 'eco²building' system supported by the EU.Architects: Poppe Prehal Architekten, Steyr Structural engineering design: Obermayr Holzkonstruktion Gesellschaft, Schwanenstadt, Austria
The system combines a highly insulated envelope, a high standard of execution and efficient building services with short planning and realisation periods. The new construction meets the specifications for the plot as well as the requirements of the client, a fair trade company. There are two large storage areas on the ground and first floors with a total area of 2,200 m². The space allocation plan also includes a sales area for arts and crafts products and food, as well as office space. The structure is composed of glued-laminated timber girders with inserted glulam supports. The frame construction of prefabricated wall and roof elements is covered with chipboard on the inside. A homogeneous façade is created using planed larch boarding. Although the construction of the building was slightly more expensive than that of a conventional commercial building, it only requires 10% of the usual heating and cooling energy, i.e. the operating costs are significantly lower, and an energy rating figure of 13.7 kWh/m²a was measured in 2009. The overall concept includes: a wood chip heating system, a demand-controlled ventilation system with heat recovery, and life cycle analysis based on material, energy and resource consumption.
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