Sustainable Architecture in Vorarlberg: Energy Concepts and Construction Systems

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Birkhäuser Basel, Mar 9, 2011 - Architecture - 176 pages
Overthe last thirty years, the small Austrian province of Vorarlberg has made a name for itselfwith its contemporary building culture. Widely considered a unique phenom enon throughout Europe,Vorarlberg has not only established its own regional identity, but also serves as a role model far beyond its own borders. The apparently universal consensus among local architects to use reasonable means and resources is paired with a relentless search for the most sensible, functional, and cost-efficient design solutions. The employment of innovative materials and construction principles, the integration of the latest technologies, and the development of new building products playa particularlyimportant role. Rootedinthe population's ingenuity, this pragmatism, simplicity, and rationality has resulted in a high number of exemplary buildings which almostappearto beanunintended byproduct ofathoughtful andsophisticated problem solving process. Theharmonious collaboration between architects, craftsmen, clients, and the local authorities continues to produce new architecture which is progressive, energy-efficient, andsustainable, and hasearnedVorarlberg awidely admired reputation in the international design community. Although I was raised in southern Germany, only about two hours from Vorarlberg, my introduction and exposure to its people and culture came several years later, ironically after I had moved awayto the United States. Growing up, I was influenced by Swabian diligence and thrift from my German father's side - traits that can be readily found in Vorarlberg due to its geographical proximity. Mymother's Austrian heritage contributed temperament and persistence, and also instilled my close affinity to her home country.

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About the author (2011)

Ulrich Dangel, dipl. Ing. is an architect and an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Texas at Austin.

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