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Vienna Airport as the largest, building-spanning virtual simulation model in Austria for infrastructure, buildings and use: in this connection, Vienna Airport and the Vienna University of Technology will examine opportunities to optimise sustainability and energy efficiency at the airport within the context of a research and development contract. Experts of the Vienna University of Technology will set up Vienna Airport as the country’s largest virtual simulation model up until now, and link and analyse all building management data. The objective is to exploit the knowledge gained to plan future projects such as the terminal expansion and the office complex “Office Park 4” in line with energy efficiency standards and optimise the approximately 100 existing buildings. During a press briefing on March 16, 2017, Prof. Johannes Fröhlich, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation at the Vienna University of Technology presented the research project together with Günther Ofner, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG.
“Sustainability has been an important corporate objective of Flughafen Wien AG for many years. We have implemented numerous measures in the field of energy and environmental management, and reduced CO2 emissions by about 27%, electricity consumption by about 15% and our total energy needs by 6.8%. Within the framework of this research project, we want to take advantage of the expertise at the Vienna University of Technology in order to be able to carry out new projects as efficiently, conveniently and at the lowest cost possible”, states Günther Ofner, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG.
Simulation model creates the basis for strategic decisions
The research project will carry out a complex simulation to convert the entire Vienna Airport area into a virtual model city. Information provided by planners, users and building owners will be linked to measurement data and the experiences derived from operating existing buildings.
The enormous dimensions of the virtual city are also new to the Vienna University of Technology. Vienna Airport encompasses about 100 buildings in which 20,000 people work in hotels, offices, shops, terminals, logistics companies and many other areas. Electricity consumption of the airport hub is comparable to that of Klagenfurt. On a long-term basis, the simulation model should also provide insights into the effects of various site development options.
Energy-efficient building operation to ensure the highest level of comfort
The findings gained from the simulations of the virtual airport city will ultimately be used as the basis for strategic decisions. In addition to avoiding planning mistakes which first become noticeable in real-life operations, the goal is sustainably reduce energy consumption and improve the CO2 scorecard. “Thanks to the IT environment for virtual buildings developed by us at the Vienna University of Technology, planners, building owners and users will be able to virtually test and optimise heating, air conditioning, ventilation and IT systems, lighting, comfort, energy consumption, emergency exits and much more in the future with the help of simulations during the entire planning and construction process. For the first time, the IT environment enables those involved to maintain an overview of the situation on a cross subsystem basis and thus to ensure energy-efficient building operations whilst achieving the highest level of comfort”, concludes Prof. Thomas Bednar of the Vienna University of Technology, who will serve as the scientific project manager.
Completely exploit synergies and potential savings
The simulation model of the Vienna University of Technology enables the understanding of interrelationships which often remain undetected or are overlooked during conventional planning and project development. One example is the dimensioning and maintenance of energy and IT networks. Investments in replacing lighting systems of a park garage can pay off, for example by the freeing up of electrical power and related savings in expanding the electricity network for the energy supply of new buildings. Another example: the relatively expensive replacement of windows may make sense if it is no longer necessary to operate a central cooling plant. Synergies will not be optimally leveraged and potential savings will not be completely exploited if network planning, building renovation and the construction of new buildings are carried out independently of one another.
Airport benefits from the scientific expertise of the Vienna University of Technology
The virtual airport city should be completed modelled in about two years. Subsequently an evaluation can take place focusing on how precise the model depicts reality. The Plus-Energy Office High-Rise Building of the Vienna University of Technology at the Getreidemarkt Campus in Vienna’s sixth district shows what the simulations can achieve. It is the first high-rise office building in the world claiming to feed more energy into the electricity network than is needed for building operation and use. This demonstrates that a high level of comfort does not stand in the way of energy efficiency. The building serves as a role model for future buildings at the airport. In return, the university scientists expect the joint research project with Vienna Airport to provide substantial impetus to the further development of their simulation software.
Other project partners: Schöberl & Pöll GmbH, Institute of Building Research & Innovation ZT-GmbH (IBR)
Photos and video: www.tuwien.ac.at
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