The Bildungshaus St. Georg in Bad Traunstein has been run since 1984 as a supra-regional, church education centre with accommodation, seminar and conference facilities under private sponsorship. The primary target audience are groups of seminar guests who are looking for a creative, inspiring atmosphere in an environment close to nature.
The St. Georgshaus had been extended several times since its beginnings, but in order to meet current requirements, it required more space for seminar rooms and comfort rooms. At the property there were several existing buildings, which were used by the education house St.Georg and the parish Bad Traunstein.
In the course of expanding the existing hall (an agricultural outbuilding of the parsonage, which was converted into a parish barn in the 1950s) in the south-eastern part was demolished and instead an L-shaped, two-storey annex, in which the additional seminar rooms, guest rooms and social rooms for the employees were accommodated, was realised in only 9 months construction time.
Despite the volume required by the utilisation concept, the extension of the St. Georgshaus should not be too dominant, as the building is located at a narrow street leading to the main square - the most important square in the town. The bottleneck was not removed, but the building protrudes to prevent the square from "leaking". The new building has clearly moved away from the medieval vicarage on the property. The main access to the Bildungshaus St. Georg was created from the south via the new building wing (incl. barrier-free access to the guest rooms and passenger lift).
Following the extension, the seminar centre now offers a total of 59 guest beds, 39 of which are in the extension wing, whose building envelope has passive house standard. In addition, five seminar rooms (45 to 160m²) are available. The extension was opened in March 2017.
Building ecology and comfort
The parish artist Josef Elter, who played a major role in the development of the Bildungshau in the early 1980s and had a decisive influence on the appearance of Bad Traunstein through the design of fountains, sculptures and ornamental elements, preferred to work with the regional resources of granite and wood. His former studio rooms are now a museum of sculpture and a place for further education.
In response to this special local colouring, wood was used generously both in the exterior area as façade material and in interior finishing. Surprising views and views as well as an excellent daylight supply create lightness and offer a friendly, bright, pleasant atmosphere, which is additionally emphasized by the material wood. Ecologically optimised products, particularly low-emission construction and materials and an adapted ventilation concept also guarantee excellent indoor air quality.
Building services / energy concept
The local district heating plant supplies heat and hot water; the raw materials for this are wood chips and biomass. Heat is dissipated via underfloor convectors in the guest rooms, radiators in the corridor area and panel heating on the ground floor (seminar area). Remote meter reading is possible via a central control technology for the entire complex. Due to the fluctuating requirements of the rooms, these can be switched on or off as required. After activation by the reception when the rooms are occupied, the heat output can be controlled manually. If the rooms are not occupied, the room temperature is reduced to 16°C and the ventilation in the rooms is regulated in the same way (which leads to a significant reduction in energy consumption values). The cloakroom and the workroom in the foyer area will also be supplied by the newly constructed system. In the seminar rooms and in the event hall, ventilation is controlled by motion sensors in the room or CO2 sensors in the exhaust air. The controlled ventilation guarantees a continuous fresh air supply to all rooms and halls that are currently occupied. In the area of the extension, LED technology was used for both indoor and outdoor lighting.
The St. Georgshaus is an important source of inspiration for regional tourism. The diocese of St. Pölten as builder-owner is fulfilling its multiplier and mission mandate to promote a holistic (human) ecological approach in the sense of the papal encyclical on the environment "Laudato Si". The management of Bildungshaus St. Georg GmbH also pro-actively supports companies in selling sustainable products from the region and relies on a seasonal range of drinks and food.
"As a model for sustainable building in the region, the integration of locally available building materials such as stone and wood as well as the integration of local handicraft businesses, which with a few exceptions came from a radius of 20 km, the St. Georg Bildungshaus in Bad Traunstein is not only an ecologically but also socially sustainable showcase project with a long-term effect". Architect Johannes Kislinger (AH3 Architekten). The entire biomass for the district heating plant also comes from the forest management of local farmers, which additionally strengthens the income situation in the community.
For the Kulturverein St. Georgshaus as a support organisation, this project could not have been financed on its own, which is why the state, diocese, parish, community and association worked closely together here. A separate construction company was set up for the project, which shared out the total construction costs: One third is funded by the association and the parish, one third by the state or community and one third by the diocese of St.Pölten.