Success Story

Sustainable university building



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Karl Franzens University (KFU) and Technical University (TU) Graz want to merge their Physics Departments in a new Graz Center of Physics (GCP).  


The new building at the former Vorklinik site on the KFU campus will strive for the highest sustainability qualities and energy efficiency standards, achieve a DGNB Gold building certification and be well integrated into the campus and its environment. Thus, sustainability should be looked at right from the beginning of the planning process and in the architectural competition. 

Our solution

denkstatt first developed the aspired sustainability qualities for the building and its integration with the campus in a series of workshops with representatives from the universities, the city, and Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG). Based on these, a set of sustainability principles including objectives and criteria was developed that became an integral part of the architectural competition. 

For this competition, denkstatt set up an evaluation matrix and evaluated all 29 entries regarding their sustainability qualities. The results were integrated into the overall jury decision. 

Moreover, our experts then worked with the clients and the winning planners in integrating the sustainability qualities in the further planning processes for the building and campus.

Client benefit

Integrating sustainability as an integral objective right from the beginning of the project and in the architectural competition – with sustainability principles being communicated and all entries being evaluated towards sustainability objectives – proved to be a winning formula for one of the largest university construction projects.  

The winning project is an inspiring, compact, open, and well-structured building that achieves the highest levels of environmental, social, and economic sustainability, in particular with regard to energy efficiency, an environment that fosters collaboration and high-quality research, and urban integration into the campus and its surroundings.

Key message:

“The Graz Center of Physics will integrate seamlessly into the existing building infrastructure 

and enhance the whole neighborhood in terms of urban development.”

    – Martin Polaschek, Rector of the University of Graz 

“The design envisages a climate-friendly building that blends in well with its surroundings despite its size. Of particular architectural interest are the two open staircases leading to a large city terrace and the six-story high assembly hall with connecting bridges. The new building will be realized according to BIG’s, particularly high sustainability standards.”  

    – Hans-Peter Weiss, CEO of BIG 

“The Center of Physics in Graz will be a new, modern and sustainable university building.”

    – Heinz Faßmann, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research 

Any questions?

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