In the Spotlight: TU Univercity 2015
Building for the future
2010 saw the implementation stage of the project TU Univercity 2015: the new "Lehartrakt" chemistry building and the redeveloped unit at Gumpendorferstraße 1a (building BH) were officially opened and are now in use. Two further projects were also started on the Getreidemarkt and the foundation stone for the Science Center laboratory facility at the Arsenal was laid.
Moving in and research
The "Lehartrakt“, the new hi-tech research and teaching building, was finished and equipped at the end of September after almost three years of construction. The ultra-modern laboratories and offices were ready for the 100 scientists and 700 students of Technical Chemistry in time for the start of the 2010/2011 winter semester. The completion of the new building, using low energy construction techniques, spelled the end of the interim arrangements that some institutes of the Faculty of Technical Chemistry have had to make do with since the demolition of the old laboratory building in 2001.
It cost around 40 million euro to construct the Lehartrakt building. 21,000 m3 of soil was excavated, and 10,300 m3 of concrete and 1,100 tonnes of steel were used in the construction. The construction work covered around 12,000 m2 of net floor space and included the building of around 7,000 m2 of facade surfaces, the installation of 339,000 m of cabling, and fitting of 30,000 m of ventilation ducts, all using low energy construction techniques. 60% of the building is home to laboratories that are at the cutting edge of technology. The new building is an important boost for the science and research facility in Vienna and the expansion of TU Vienna in the Austrian capital.
Keep on movin‘
The government renovation funding for universities has stretched beyond the construction of new the Lehartrakt building: using these resources, supplemented by the maintenance reserve funds of the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft/BIG (Austrian Federal Real Estate Company) and Vienna University of Technology's own funds, the next few years will see the urgently needed renovation of the chemistry block and the complete refitting of other areas that is long overdue. In addition to the "Winkelbau" (building BB) on the corner of the Gumpendorferstraße and Getreidemarkt, where the complete refitting of the Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics has already begun, the "Hoftrakt" (building BD/mechanical engineering block), next to the historic scenery storage depot of Gottfried Semper, has also been undergoing comprehensive renovation work since November in order to improve the laboratory and office areas of the Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Further work is planned for the "Neubau" chemistry facility (building BI) and the "Geniegebäude" (building BZ), and the complete renovation of the "Lückenbau" (building BE) is currently being finalised.
A new beginning for the "Science Center"
In November, Federal Minister for Science and Research, Beatrix Karl, Rector of the Vienna University of Technology, Peter Skalicky, and Head of the BIG, Christoph Stadlhuber, gathered to see the start of operations at the new laboratory facility of Vienna University of Technology. BIG will also be constructing the new "Science Center" at the Arsenal site over the next few years. The first phase will see three existing buildings adapted for the purposes of Vienna University of Technology:
- The Panzerhalle – building 227 – will house 5,500 m2 of laboratories for the Institute for Powertrains and Automotive Technology. In future this is where vehicle emission measurements will be carried out using engine test rigs, and ultra-modern and alternative fuels will be researched.
- Building 221 – the Siemens hall – will be home to the laboratories for the Institute for Energy Systems and Thermodynamics as well as housing manufacturing and high performance laser technology in an area of around 7,500 m2. In future, the facility will be used for researching modern methods for the use of solar power, testing tools by machining or distortion and developing new tools.
- The Institute for Testing and Research (TVFA) will have its new home in building 214. The TVFA is a full sister organisation of Vienna University of Technology and carries out material tests. There will also be laboratories for the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer located here. Furthermore Level II of the "Vienna Scientific Cluster", the fastest scientific computer in Austria, will be housed in building 214. This project is the result of a collaboration between Vienna University of Technology, the University of Vienna and the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences. A total of 7,000 m2 are planned to be dedicated to this.
The Arsenal is an ideal location for a large laboratory, as it offers plenty of space and will be easily accessible with the planned U2 underground line extension. The 93,000 m2 site will provide Vienna University of Technology with ample room for research and development. By mid-2012 almost 40 million Euro will have been invested in the first development phase (by BIG and Vienna University of Technology).
More architectural developments at Karlsplatz
In 2008 building regulations in Vienna became stricter. Consequently the projected costs for the complete renovation of the main building of Vienna University of Technology at Karlsplatz rose to such a level that they could no longer be funded using the resources provided by the Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF). Many of the necessary measures for the long awaited renovation work have been delayed in recent years, but some cannot be postponed any longer. The BIG as the landlord, and Vienna University of Technology, as the tenant, are therefore now working on a plan for the gradual implementation of emergency measures with the principal goal of avoiding unnecessary costs. Parallel to this, a plan is also being developed to enable the gradual partial renovation of the building at a reduced cost.
The main occupants of the Vienna University of Technology main building are the Faculties for Architecture and Planning and Civil Engineering as well as central service units. Problems are caused not only by the poor condition of the building but also by the fact that the building now accommodates 13 percent more staff than five years ago as well as twice as many students in the Faculty of Architecture. Even though the faculty has received an additional 2,100 m2 in the last six years – of which 1,500 were for student facilities – some of the working conditions are still unacceptable. This should be improved, in the coming years at least, by the effective reorganisation of the space. Nevertheless there is not room for everyone in the main building. The students' full-time working areas will be transferred to the new laboratory site at the Arsenal, where they will have more space.
E-bikes for staff and studentsSince October there have been five e-bikes available to staff and students together with an electric charging station. This offer has been made possible through a collaboration with Wien Energie. Active environmental protection is not just a pretty phrase for Vienna University of Technology; it is lived out every day. The e-bikes are charged exclusively using "green" energy from our very own photovoltaic unit.
In summer 2010, Vienna University of Technology collaborated with the cultural institutions on the Karlsplatz. Thanks to its existing structural and technical infrastructure, the Vienna University of Technology main building was able to be used as a venue for cultural and artistic activities. At the beginning of May, Hof 1 on the Karlsplatz hosted concerts as part of the 1st Vienna Pop Festival and in June classical concerts were performed. This diverse interaction with the city's residents and the neighboring art and cultural institutions is a significant plus for the TU Univercity 2015 project.