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Smart Building: energy saving, green and sustainable

Students present ideas for the supermarket of the future

Smart ideas, innovative concepts and a building project under real conditions. This year fourteen teams of students are developing innovative concepts for a SPAR supermarket in Taufkirchen an der Pram. Taufkirchen an der Pram is situated in Innviertel an Austrian region part of Upper Austria. SPAR offers land, planning and expertise. The students work on a real construction project. The goal is a finished plan for a sustainable, prototypical and resource-efficient supermarket of the future. At the end of semester a jury of designers, architects and sustainability experts, rate the projects and choose a winner of the competition.

Presenting their projects: students Irina Brunner (l.) And Lisa-Marie-Eisl with program director Thomas Reiter FH Salzburg, managing director Doris Walter and SPAR project supervisor Gerald Geiger.

A bioreactor with algae that creates electricity and heat. A modular supermarket system that is expandable and removable. A construction and storefront made of Euro pallets. These are just some of the new ideas by the students. Select appropriate and sustainable building materials, integrate the specific requirements of the market and the land in the building design and calculate the energy performance of the premises and explain the building techniques. The individual teams focus on a specific theme, for example on lighting, heating and cooling system, ventilation or infrastructures for electric vehicles.

Innovative concepts: education with practical relevance
"The course Smart Building offers a holistic approach. Planning and innovation are essential, yet we never forget that the focus is on the user, after all, we build houses for people!" explains Markus Leeb, project manager Smart Building of the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg.

The university-industry cooperation can benefit both sides: "We are proud that we can implement this project together with SPAR. Students plan and develop the building under real conditions - during their education. These are invaluable experiences,” said Thomas Reiter, head of the program.

SPAR builds on the students’ new ideas
SPAR Austria builds or remodels 100 supermarkets each year. And many technologies that are used have been extensively tested. These include, for example, sustainable architecture that complies with the passivhaus standard, modern refrigeration technology with heat recovery and LED lighting. These techniques not only save up to 50 percent of the energy but the building can produce, with photovoltaic or hydroelectric turbines, up to 100 percent of its own energy needs.

"For many years we are constructing and remodelling markets in a sustainable concept. However, we are constantly looking for new ideas and continue to improve our markets. This makes the cooperation successful. Many interesting and exciting and sustainable projects can be implemented,” says Gerald Geiger, engineer and head of construction, energy and technology at SPAR supermarkets.

In addition to the current plans of the supermarket in Taufkirchen Gerald Geiger also expects positive effects for the future: "We are working together with many distinct professionals and they change with and during construction projects. Students involved in these design projects can be our future professionals. Therefore it is important that we create in an early stage of their education a basic understanding of the needs of supermarket design."

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