The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.

Messequartier Graz, Austria

Share this Post:

Messequartier in Graz, Austria.


This housing complex was built to meet the passive house standard. The main focus was to offer a variety of common spaces (like service areas, a nursery, and student and senior housing) in a central location and to have a lot of open spaces. The description that follows describes the multi-family section of the complex.


Project summary

This newly built housing complex is comprised of approximately 21,000 m² net floor area and is the largest example of the collected NZEBs. The multi-family house is built with a thermal building envelope that meets the passive house requirements, including triple glazed windows. The complex is heated by a district heating system, while the domestic hot water (DHW) demand is mainly covered by a 700 m² solar thermal collector field on the roof. Part of the energy concept is a mechanical ventilation system which has a 75% heat recovery. The total final energy use for heating, hot water and ventilation amounts to 30.1 kWh/m².year and includes a 52% renewable energy contribution. It undercuts the current Austrian energy performance requirements by 43%. The applied architectural approach using a combination of common spaces and a swimming pool on the top floor, together with the infrastructure and equipment, results in the residents being highly satisfied with the building.


Construction costs

The building costs were 57 million € for the entire estate which can be recalculated to about 2,700 €/m² of which were partly subsidised by the Styrian government.  


Building size

Net floor area: 21,000 m²


Building envelope

The house consists of a massive construction with insulated brick walls. The roof and the cellar ceiling are made of reinforced concrete, the windows have triple glazing.

Building envelope U-values:

  • Wall: 0.18 W/m².K
  • Window: 0.8 W/m².K
  • Roof/ceiling to the attic: 0.11 W/m².K
  • Cellar ceiling/ground slab: 0.11 W/m².K 


Building service systems

The house is heated by district heating. It has a mechanical ventilation system with a 75% heat recovery. The demand of hot water is partially covered by 700 m² solar thermal panels on the roof.


Renewable energy systems

Solar thermal panels (700 m²) are used for heating the hot water and as support for heating. A heat pump is used for preheating the incoming air of the mechanical ventilation system. 


Building Energy Performance


Final energy use:



Calculation method:

OIB 2007



Monitored in year:



14.4 kWh/m².year


Hot water

15.7 kWh/m².year


  0.0 kWh/m².year


incl. in heating



Electrical appli­ances (household electricity)



30.1 kWh/m².year

Primary energy use:


45.8 kWh/m².year

Primary energy factor of district heating: 1.52

Renewable energy contribution ratio:

About 52% of the total final energy



Award for Architecture and Sustainability

Author(s) information


Wolfgang Jilek

Lessons learnt

The satisfaction of the residents is very high. The infrastructure and the equipment are good and the total combined use of the building is well accepted. The swimming pool with a wellness area on the top floor, which is free to use for all residents, is a large plus.

Award labels

Available link languages

Funding description

Subsidies from the Styrian government, including a bonus for building a passive house and for the klima:aktiv declaration.