70 years of BUWOG – that’s also 70 years of change and innovation. And today, that means quite concretely a “smart” home in a variety of ways, in an apartment whose innovations offer residents greater quality of housing and life, security and ecological as well as economic sustainability. The future of housing is to be more climate-friendly, less congested and more liveable. 70 years after its foundation, BUWOG stands more than ever for technical progress that places the focus on people and nature.
Smart home: mobile apps and connected building services
With the buzzword “smart home”, many think first of digital technologies and the interconnection of devices and infrastructures. A large number of these are actively in use at BUWOG in Austria and Germany. These include applications such as the BUWOG HOME app, which tenants can use to report and track necessary repairs and with which utility bills are provided digitally or personal data is managed. Another example are digitally connected front doors and lifts, such as those used by BUWOG in the 52° Nord development in Berlin. There the smartphone becomes an intercom system and a digital front door key via an app. And the lift can also be sent by mobile phone directly to the appropriate floor for residents’ guests.
Climate friendly: geothermal power, energy centres, photovoltaics
For BUWOG, however, a smart home means much more: the use of modern technologies is intended to make the residents’ energy supply more efficient, sustainable and green. On numerous rooftops in Germany and Austria, housing specialist BUWOG is already using photovoltaic systems that generate climate-neutral electricity from solar energy. In combined heat and power units, decentralised, development-specific energy centres, such as the one in Berlin’s 52° Nord development, also generate electricity and heat simultaneously through a highly efficient cogeneration process. The energy stored in the fuel is therefore exploited in a particularly effective and climate-friendly manner. When biogas from organic waste is available as fuel, the CO2 balance is reduced again to an even greater extent.
In addition to solar and wind power, geothermal energy is another inexhaustible and renewable energy source. BUWOG is currently using this energy source in Vienna’s new MARINA TOWER housing development on the banks of the Danube. In the layers of earth near the surface, there is a nearly constant temperature of approximately 10 degrees Celsius down to a depth of about 100 metres. This geothermal energy is used in the MARINA TOWER in Vienna’s 2nd district with the help of advanced technical processes – both for cooling in summer and for generating heat in winter.
Innovations from research and science
In order to enhance its innovative potential, BUWOG also seeks cooperation with partners from research and science, innovative start-ups, non-profit associations and the public sector. For example, BUWOG regularly initiates events, such as the first Smart City in-house exhibition, where start-ups and innovators presented approaches and solutions for efficient and sustainable construction at the company’s Berlin headquarters.
Only recently, BUWOG held a congress at the city campus of the University for Sustainable Development in Eberswalde. The topic: wood construction for taking another step in the direction of a more sustainable construction industry. BUWOG has already successfully developed a number of wood and wood-hybrid residential buildings and has acquired appreciable experience, for example, with the BUWOG KOMPASSHAUS buildings in the 52° Nord development in Berlin-Grünau and in Vienna’s Baranygasse in the 22nd district.
Since 2020, BUWOG has also been involved as a new member of Open District Hub e.V. Among other things, the non-profit association and its members have put joint research projects to the practical test, such as innovative solutions for sector coupling in residential districts. The concept does not consider the electricity, heat and mobility sectors separate from one another. Instead, the aim is the holistic development of ecological and economic solutions for smart, sustainable developments.
Resource-friendly and sustainable building
BUWOG took a pioneering step towards a progressive and sustainable construction industry this year by joining the Madaster platform. Madaster is a central and global materials register in which materials used in buildings and infrastructures are documented and archived. The documentation of building materials thus forms a basis for comprehensive recycling and circular project development, as the raw materials used can be identified and then recycled even after 30 or 50 years.
In the interest of this, BUWOG has already set a positive example with the construction of its new Austrian company headquarters: a former data processing centre at Vienna’s Rathausstraße 1 was dismantled piece by piece to make room for the new office building. Some of the materials were put to effective use or even reused in the new building. Furniture and interior fittings from the former eighties building could also be reused.
Whether it’s digital raw material documentation, efficient energy systems or smart lift control: BUWOG is still very much at the forefront of innovation in its 70th year.