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Designing The Sustainable Supermarket Of The Future

Students at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria learn how to design a sustainable supermarket.

The Austrians take a different approach to higher education. Instead of sending all of their young people off to a cloistered institution to emerge 4 years later with mountains of debt and a Bachelor's degree, they encourage them to learn skills that will help them earn a living and be productive members of society.

The University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria has a Smart Building program that teaches students how to design and build residential and commercial buildings using sustainable materials that maximize energy efficiency. "The course Smart Building offers a holistic approach. Planning and innovation are essential, yet we never forget that the focus is on the user. After all, we build houses for people!" explains Markus Leeb, project manager  for the Smart Building of the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg.

The university partners with SPAR, a large supermarket chain in Austria that builds or remodels 100 supermarkets each year. It wants to find ways to build a sustainable supermarket that complies with the Passivhaus standard, uses modern refrigeration technology with heat recovery, and has LED lighting throughout. A sustainable supermarket uses 50% less energy, making it easier for each building to generate all of the electricity it needs from renewable sources like solar panels and hydroelectric turbines.

This year, 14 teams of students are working with SPAR to integrate innovative ideas under real world conditions. Some of the innovations they are exploring are algae bioreactors that create electricity and heat, a modular supermarket system that is expandable and removable, and construction of a storefront made of Euro pallets. At the end of  each semester, a jury of designers, architects, and sustainability experts rates the projects and chooses a winner of the competition.

"We are proud that we can implement this project together with SPAR. Students plan and develop the building under real conditions – during their education. These are invaluable experiences," said Thomas Reiter, head of the program.

SPAR is an enthusiastic partner in the Smart Building program

 "For many years we are constructing and remodelling markets in a sustainable concept. However, we are constantly looking for new ideas and continue to improve our markets. This makes the cooperation successful. Many interesting and exciting and sustainable projects can be implemented," says Gerald Geiger, engineer and head of construction, energy and technology at SPAR supermarkets.

"We are working together with many distinct professionals and they change with and during construction projects. Students involved in these design projects can be our future professionals. Therefore it is important that we create at an early stage of their education a basic understanding of the needs of supermarket design."

Education with practical relevance. Now there's a novel idea!

The post Designing The Sustainable Supermarket Of The Future appeared first on Green Building Elements.


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