Vienna International Centre

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