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Reference projects

ÖBB freight terminal, Wolfurt
Austria's first certified freight terminal!

In Wolfurt, Vorarlberg, Austria's first freight terminal is currently being built, the planning and execution of which will be accompanied and quality-assured by TQB (Total Quality Building) and EU GreenBuilding certification. Planner: ostertag architects, Completion: under construction, IBO: Building physics, TQB assessment, EU GreenBuilding

EU GreenBuildingÖGNB/TQBBuilding physics calculations

Construction of the buildings began in 2016 and the entire facility is scheduled for completion by 2018. For ÖBB as the client, it is not only important to expand the existing freight terminal, but also to pay special attention to sustainability. The existing tracks will be extended, the handling will be modernised and made more efficient with new cranes, and two new buildings will be constructed: a workshop and the so-called In-Gate - an office building with a handling and disposition area for incoming trucks for logistical handling. The goal is ambitious: The goal is to break the 900-point mark (out of a possible 1000) at TQB!

In from the start

The earlier certifiers are involved in the planning process, the greater the opportunities for setting the course and optimising sustainability. In the Wolfurt project, the IBO was involved as a consultant and certifier almost two years before the first construction work began, which enabled the energy and ecological optimisation to be very detailed and comprehensive.
The TQB catalogue for service buildings served as the basis for the planning optimisation. Since the two buildings are used for very special purposes, new criteria were added and some of the existing ones were adapted. After all, what does sustainability actually mean for a goods terminal, a workshop, an in-gate?

Energy und Energymonitoring

One important point was the energy optimisation of the building. A separate utilisation profile was designed for the energy certificate calculation. By increasing the insulation thickness of the building envelope, optimising the window parameters and installing a ventilation system with heat recovery, it was possible to reduce the energy demand. In addition, attention was paid to the supply of renewable energy sources. The buildings are heated by means of a heat pump system with geothermal use. It is planned that a PV system on the roof will partly cover the electricity demand. The results of the profitability analysis in the course of certification showed the viability of such an investment. The energy efficiency optimisation of the lighting was not limited to the two high-rise buildings, but covered the entire area of the freight terminal. LED luminaires in the outdoor and indoor areas ensure maximum energy efficiency. The new cranes at the freight terminal are operated entirely with renewable energies.
The efficiency of the measures will be reviewed in the first years of operation. Necessary adjustments to the building services systems will also be made during this time. Already in the planning phase, it was precisely defined which measuring points for the heat and power supply are necessary for the subsequent monitoring process. It can therefore be expected that the technical possibilities for saving energy will be fully utilised.


Highlights in the project to minimise the environmental impact are the comprehensive product management, implementation of PVC-free products in various product groups and the use of recycled building materials. The façade is made of aluminium with a high recycled content; where possible, recycled material is added to the aggregates of the reinforced concrete. In the comprehensive product management, which already begins in the planning phase and accompanies the construction work, sets of criteria with limit values for environmentally harmful and harmful substances (formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, carcinogenic substances, etc.) are applied for certain building product groups.
In principle, the increase in capacity at the freight terminal offers a positive contribution to environmental protection, as the volume of trucks for long-distance transport is reduced.
For the resulting noise emissions in neighbouring areas, a separate criteria grid could be designed for certification. In the actual project, measures on the property side of the neighbouring buildings serve to reduce the noise immission there. In addition, a special control system for the gantry cranes allows for a "moderate" positioning of the containers with lower noise emissions.


The controlled ventilation system creates a pleasant indoor climate in the office areas of the In-Gate and the workshop. Depending on the CO2 content of the indoor air, the ventilation system is controlled as needed. The workshop area is excellently supplied with daylight through generous window areas and skylights. An optimal lighting concept was developed for the workplaces. Daylight-deflecting louvres allow brightness into the room and at the same time protect against overheating in summer. In the course of product management, it is ensured that the products used in the room are environmentally friendly and do not harm health - an optimal room climate is ensured.


With the certification of the Wolfurt freight terminal, important groundwork was laid for the certification of further building construction projects in the railway sector and comparable uses. Building certification and project planning as well as execution intertwine and require mutual development and cross-fertilisation.


March 2016

Simulation ÖBB freight terminal, Wolfurt
© ostertag architects