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Press release

Offices made of wood: PORR starts first building phase of LeopoldQuartier in Vienna

Vienna, 17.04.2024 – The foundation stone has just been laid in Vienna’s urban development area LeopoldQuartier and now it’s full steam ahead: PORR is erecting a trailblazing ten-storey office building in timber-hybrid construction on behalf of project developer UBM Development. It will involve 2,800 m3 of timber, sustainably saving 2,800 tonnes of CO2.

“LeopoldQuartier is a particularly impressive example of what it looks like to build for the needs of a modern city”, says PORR CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss. “The timber-hybrid construction method reduces emissions long term and conserves raw materials. PORR is playing a key role in this with the construction of the first building phase”.

Europe’s first timber-hybrid urban quarter is being built on almost three hectares of land on the Danube Canal in Vienna. Thomas G. Winkler, CEO of UBM Development AG, says: “Wood is the building material of the 21st century. And Vienna is at the forefront with LeopoldQuartier”. As general contractor for the first phase – LeopoldQuartier OFFICE – PORR is realising a green lighthouse project on behalf of UBM Development: The office building offers around 22,000 m2 of usable space on ten floors as well as 127 parking spaces.

Playing to wood’s strengths

The special thing about it is that the load bearing structure of the  office building is being erected using a timber-hybrid construction method with timber elements from the 1st floor upwards to the 9th floor. Timber hybrid means that the building materials wood, reinforced concrete and steel are used based on their strengths and advantages.

A total of approx. 2,800 m3 of timber will be used in the new office building. “That means this trailblazing building will bind 2,800 tonnes of CO2 long term”, says Strauss. This includes 17,000 m2 of timber-concrete composite floors made of massive cross-laminated timber with concrete on top and approximately 700 glulam supports.

Sustainable energy concept

The energy concept is sustainable as well: The entire LeopoldQuartier project is supplied by 200 geothermal probes and three well systems, also provided by PORR, in addition to photovoltaics and heating/cooling elements in the offices. DGNB Gold certification is planned for the LeopoldQuartier OFFICE.

The construction presents a number of structural challenges, including the serial construction of the LeopoldQuartier and the cramped inner-city location. These require precise synchronisation of the design and build process and just-in-time supply to the construction site. In order to ensure that these important processes run smoothly, methods from LEAN design, LEAN construction and LEAN logistics are being used. The PORR subsidiary pde Integrale Planung, which plays a key role in the timber construction engineering for the OFFICE and the structural engineering for the entire LeopoldQuartier, is responsible for managing the LEAN processes.

Relay race and fundraising at ceremony for laying foundation stone

The first two timber elements for LeopoldQuartier were brought to Vienna in an exceptionally environmentally friendly way during the laying of the foundation stone: In a relay race from the Carinthian Drau Valley to Vienna’s Danube Canal, 24 employees from PORR, UBM and the two timber producers Theurl and Hasslacher brought the timber to the construction site: On foot and by bike. The wooden elements were placed in a ceramic time capsule made by “Werkstatt 2” of the charity Lebenshilfe Wien to serve as symbolic “foundation stones”. In a joint fundraising campaign, the companies then donated a total of EUR 10,600 to “Werkstatt 2” – EUR 10 for each kilometre covered.

Facts and figures at a glance:

Project type: Timber construction – timber-hybrid office building
Scope of services: General contractor, geothermal energy, structural planning and timber construction engineering
Client: UBM Development
Contractor: PORR Bau GmbH and pde Integrale Planung
Time frame: Start of 2024 to winter 2025 (general contractor works)

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Melanie Manner Press spokeswoman