Sustainable campus: Solar cooling and heating for the refurbished building for the Institute of Chemistry at the University of Graz

Chemiegebaeude der karl-franzens-universitaet in grazThe University of Graz acts in line with the UN 2012: International Year of Sustainable Energy for All . The Chemistry building on the campus, directly on the Sonnenfelsplatz (sunny rock place), will be a modern and attractive laboratory and research facility after its refurbishment. “According to the strategic objective ‘Sustainable Campus’ extra efforts have been put into a environmentally sound construction process and the use of alternative energy sources” said Peter Riedler, Vice Rector for Finance, Resources and Development.


Under the direction of the architects Domenig & Wallner based in Graz, S.O.L.I.D. has designed and planned the solar thermal system with 638 m² of panel area. The system developed by S.O.L.I.D. provides one third of the cooling demand of the laboratories through a thermal driven absorption chiller. During winter the solar yield will be used for space heating. The remainder of solar energy will be used to heat the domestic hot water for the dorms and cafeteria across the street.


The National Facility Management Services, the Ministry of Science and the University of Graz will invest EUR 34 million for the refurbishment. The solar thermal plant will be supported by a grant scheme of the national Climate- and Energy Funds. If all works out well, the chemistry students and researchers will move into their building again in early 2014.