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Ludesch established completely sustainable village centre


Ludesch, an Austrian municipality with 3300 inhabitants is situated in the federal state of Vorarlberg. In the past it was know as the country’s "salad bowl" as the market gardening prospered because of the fertile soil and sunny location. As the brilliant commercial situation of the village attracted lots of new inhabitants it became necessary to develop the infrastructure. In doing this, the Ludesch people started to use environmental friendly measures from the 1990s on. This culminated in the construction of a new village centre.

Building details

Building type Administrative and cultural village centre
Baujahr / Nutzfläche / Betriebszeit The building was constructed in 2004/05 with a floor space of 3,135 m². The opening hours are from 07.00h - 24.00h, which are the opening hours of the restaurant.

Ludesch village center

Heating and cooling installed - Five ventilation pumps are used to maintain a comfortable room temperature

ventilation pumps

- Waste heat from the kitchen is used for heating

- Solar thermal heating system: latent storage and use of thermal solar energy by panel on the roof

- Usage of the constant temperature of the groundwater for heating and cooling

Energy usage / carbon emissions The Ludesch village centre was built to the passive house standard. It has an optimal energy profile and the lowest possible CO2 emissions. During the construction phase, an effort was made to use materials that were produced with low energy use.

Project description

Aims The first aim of building the village centre was to establish a social centre for Ludesch. Ludesch originally consisted of a few streets, but it grew into a village as the number of residents increased. Because of the way the village formed, there was no central point for the residents to meet and exchange. In building the village centre, the people responsible saw a chance to change this.

_ In addition, Ludesch committed to sustainable city development in the 90s, so the construction of the village centre had to meet certain sustainability standards in line with this commitment.

_ The third target for the construction of the village centre was to not use more money for the ecological construction than what would be appropriate for a normal building.
Key points


The new building was constructed in accordance with the "Ecological Building Guide" of the Vorarlberger Umweltverband (environmental association). As a consequence, sustainability principles were applied to all aspects of the building.

_ White fir was used as the main material timber because it is extremely weatherproof, very compact and statically resilient. Another advantage of white fir is its local availability, which meant that long transport distances and the associated CO2 emissions were avoided.

_ Several types of environmentally friendly insulation materials were used, including sheep’s wool, hemp instead of mineral wool and cellulose instead of rockwool. PVC-free materials were used in underground works and resin-free concrete was also used.

_ This ambitious project also included sustainable energy production. Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, which produce 16,000 kWh of electricity per year, were installed on the 350m² roof of the new Ludesch village centre.


part of the PV complex


In the village centre there are five ventilation machines that provide temperature control for the whole building. They maintain a constant temperature in every room despite the different uses of the rooms. This was achieved by dividing the complex into four energy zones.

_ Ventilation of building interiors often leads to low air humidity, which can cause headaches, airway problems and a lack of concentration. Therefore, a self-acting air moistener is installed in the ventilation complex to supply all rooms with optimal humidity.

Reasons for including as Shining Example The ambitious aims of the project where acted out to complete satisfaction.

_ This is a unique example of innovation, which shows that the additional costs for the federal state of Vorarlberg associated with constructing a sustainable building were insignificant because of the low operational costs of the building and the high level of external funding secured for the project.

_ Beside the technical aspects the village center has had also great success in satisfying the users’ needs and it is used regularly.

Children visiting the library

Costs & benefits

Cost & funding The overall cots of the building amount to 5.9 Mio. Euro. 1.9 percent of these costs are additional costs for the convertion of the "Ecological Guide". That means 438,590.70 Euro.

The federal state fundet the new building with 1.2 Mio. Euro of so-called "Bedarfszuweisungen".

Furthermore there was funding by the research project "Haus der Zukunft" (building of the future) which contained of 256,000 Euro.

Besides the municipality was able to save 20% purchase tax by founding of "Gemeinde Ludesch Immobilienverwaltungs GmbH und CoKeg". In addition, the rental fees charged by the municipality to businesses who occupy the village centre finance the project so that the municipality only has to payback 15,000 Euros per month.

Benefits The project was awardet the „Energy Globe Vorarlberg“ on 24.10.2005.

Financial benefits

The operating costs of the building were minimised by the special building design.

_ The solar panel generates 11,000 Euro of revenue per year from the feed-in tariff.

_ The local business community in Ludesch also benefited from the project because local firms were hired for the whole building process.

Social benefits

After many years with no communal meeting place, the village now has a new centre that acts as a meeting place for all people. In the centre citizens can sort out their administrative concerns, use the library, attend one of the many leisure activity clubs or have a chat in the comfortable café.

_ People interested in this project are invited to visit the village centre, which helps to publicise this excellent example of a sustainable building.

Partnership details

Partners & roles The people responsible for the building project view all parties concerned in the process as partners. All partners completed their work to the full satisfaction of those in charge of the project, who want to thank all participants for their flawless teamwork.


At the beginning of the project there were difficulties with the scepticism of the village citizens and craftsmen. Therefore all craftsmen where invited to an information event to try and change their sceptical attitudes towards rigorous ecological construction. The evening was very successful and as a result, the craftsmen were able to understand and meet the standards set in the "Ecological Guide".

_ If a similar project is being undertaken, it is recommended that such an information event is held for all participants because although the ecological problems associated with construction are well-known, how to undertake ecologically sound construction is not widely understood.

_ The citizens of Ludesch are no longer sceptical of the ecological construction of the village centre because of the unproblematic building process and the excellent facilities provided by the centre.

To know more

Contact Gebhart Bertsch

Usefull information


= Webseite of Energy Globe

= report of the village center in "Haus der Zukunft"

Visits Study tours are organised by the municipality of Ludesch. iert. Please contact Ms Stefanie Kessler, Tel.: +43 (0)5550 2221 208.

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