The world – or at least Europe – is filling up, which means that the future lies in making the best use of existing buildings. The integrated design of conversion and refurbishment projects is our core competence as integrated designers.
“Evolution not Revolution” was always a wise approach for humanity and – we are convinced – for the built environment. Hence, if we are to be serious about the criteria of economical, ecological and social sustainability, we must start to design buildings so that they can also be used in a way that optimizes the lifecycles of their various elements. This means that the load-bearing structure must have a longer life than the building envelope and the building services infrastructure must last longer than the interior finishes.
In the case of the buildings which require refurbishment today, these principles are often forgotten. However, the reuse of existing structures offers huge opportunities. On the other hand, this also brings considerable challenges – especially if the building is to be refurbished during ongoing operations.
Our contract volume in the refurbishment sector has risen significantly in recent years. With the revitalization of such prominent building complexes as Marstallplatz, Operncarré, SCS or the University of Innsbruck, we have been able to acquire and then pass on valuable know-how. The use of Integrated Design with BIM Technology has played an essential and highly positive role in this process.
Almost all such projects are accompanied by the expert environmental services of our research company ATP sustain which extend to successful in-use certification. The most sustainable building is that which doesn’t need to be built. The buildings which come closest to this paradigm are those which reuse a maximum of the existing substance.