Vienna International Centre – Sustainable Development

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The Vienna International  Center (VIC or Uno City) is located in the 22. District in Vienna. The United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) is one of the UN’s four headquarters alongside New York, Geneva, and Nairobi. The UNOV includes the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); the International Commissions for Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR); the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA); the Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL); the Organization for Industrial Development (UNIDO) and the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). On 1. January 1980 the UN office in the VIC began its operation. The VIC was designed by the Austrian architect Johann Staber and the construction was supervised by Erich Jaros. VIC covers 230.000 square meters and its Y-shaped towers (A-G) are between 48 to 120 m high, count 109 floors and are connected by 60 elevators. The building volume of the VIC Main Complex is about 1.050.000 cubic meter.It hosts 5000 offices, ca. 5000 people from 110 nationalities and flags more than 190. The VIC building belongs to BIG (Bundesimmobilien GmbH, Austria) and is rented out to the UN organizations for 1 USD annually. Erich Jaros is VIC legend: he was formerly a consultant at IAEA supervising the construction of the VIC, then employed by UNIDO working as chief of the Building Management Service (BMS) until his retirement in 1994. Erich enjoyed his job at the VIC, but suffered under disappointments too mostly connected with the administration’s lack of understanding of BMS’s money savings ideas: they did not listen to him. For about 15 years, the author of this postings, contacted Erich to initiate a pilot project regarding energy saving, renewable energy, waste- and waste water management, utilization of water, a decrease of any form of pollution, usage of natural light, eco-friendly material, etc.   With the support of BMS employees and technical and economic experts, Erich and I developed a concept to increase the energy efficiency as it offers the fastest and easiest entry into resource productivity. A short-term energy saving of more than 20% and long-term a Factor 5 could have been achieved.  Erich submitted the project to the UN in New York but unfortunately received a negative reply. Certainly, the responsible organizations like the UNO office and the BIG implemented necessary measures, so the buildings are now perhaps more sustainable and intelligent (smart) as before, but the author misses the annual Sustainability Report to allow comparisons with the past and with other large buildings, and to achieve some of the 17 SDGs.

Roland Leithenmayr, 13. December 2016

One thought on “Vienna International Centre – Sustainable Development

    N.N. responded:
    16/02/2017 at 12:54 am

    There is a reaction to above posting: intentionally or at random? In the “Making It” Number 22 magazine, Mr. Diego Masera (interviewed by Zhong Xingfei) praises Vienna for his executive planning on sustainability. In Masera’s opinion the VIC’s buildings must constantly be refurbished and modernized. Several measures include energy-efficiencies upgrades, the replacement of facade window glazing and installation of energy efficient lighting, light sensors and new elevator motors. Masera is proud utilizing 100% renewable energy and that the VIC has reduced its carbon emission by 56% in the last three three years; the energy performance at 177kwH/m² per year is lower than the average energy intensity of nonresidential building in Austria. Masera’s intention is to improve the functionality of the escalators (smart elevator cabins) and that the total complex of the VAIC should become barrier-free. Probably the BMS will develop an APP to assist visitors and conference participants to locate meeting rooms, medical services and security through their smart- phones. Further measures shall be taken such as transform the VIC in a “green building”, to encourage “green transportation” and “green conferencing”. A big screen shall be installed in the Rotunda to demonstrate the energy performance of the building and presenting green tips for the staff.
    VIC should together with owner of the building BIG apply the Real Estate Full 84 Indicator Results – Sustainability – What Matters – Report
    Nevertheless, an annual sustainability report should be provided to the public applying standard indicators like provided by EPRA, European Public Real Estate Associate, see link below.


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