Demand for zero-energy building and wood construction creates business opportunities in Austria
The population of the Austrian capital Vienna is growing by over 20,000 people per year so it faces a strong need to develop new housing and urban areas. According to new regulations that will come into effect in 2018-2020, all new structures, additions and refurbishments in Vienna will have to conform to cost-optimised, zero-energy building standards. An estimated 120,000 new dwellings will be constructed in Vienna by the year 2025, which creates great business potential for Finnish companies with expertise related to sustainable housing construction.
Austria is a leading country for the construction of passive, low-energy buildings and sustainable wooden houses. For example, there is focus on sustainability and energy efficiency at Seestadt Aspern, which is one of Europe’s biggest urban development projects. The decades-long project is currently under development and will create a new urban area for 20,000 people in Vienna. Wood construction will also be in the spotlight in Austria this year when work will start on the 24-storey landmark HoHo building that will be the world’s tallest wood high-rise.
Strengths of the Finnish offering
Austria has a long wood construction tradition but it is far behind Finland when it comes to the automatization and digitalization in the construction industry. Finnish companies are ahead of their Central European competitors in terms of expertise in BIM (Building information modelling) and in the R&D for city planning and public spaces. Digital urban planning solutions are not yet common in the region.
Consequently, there are excellent market opportunities in Austria for Finnish companies that specialise in BIM, digital urban planning solutions and indoor air quality, for example. Potential clients include construction companies, architecture and engineering offices, urban, landscape and masterplanning companies, construction physics and energy consulting companies, and research organisations.
Next steps for success
The BauZ! congress on sustainable housing will be held in Vienna on 15-17 February 2017. Organised by the Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Buildings, the congress will focus on developments in new construction and city planning. Finland will be the focus country of the congress so this will be a unique opportunity to present the best of the Finnish offering to all the major players in the field.
Finpro can also assist Finnish companies in arranging meetings with decision-makers, construction companies and architectural and engineering offices as a first step to finding partners in the Austrian market. Austrian construction companies have already expressed strong interest in meeting with Finnish companies, with BIM as a good starting point for discussions. Research organisation IBO (Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building) is also very interested in cooperation and information exchange with Finnish parties.