New regulations for high-rise buildings in Vienna

The City of Vienna has revised its urban development plan (STEP 2025) and adapted it to current requirements and developments to which also belongs the concept for high-rise buildings. This concept includes strategies for planning and assessing high-rise building projects.

Wind and its effects on open spaces (squares, entrance areas, passageways, balconies etc.) is now of higher importance than before. Wind action must from now on be proved for all buildings taller than 35 m – namely early in the concept phase. This is the second phase of the procedure, following the brainstorming phase and preceding the design stage as well as the implementation phase of the high-rise building. Proof of wind action is part of quality assurance methods and was formally decided by the city government.

The early consideration of wind action has the great advantage of enabling the straightforward adaptation of plans in an interactive process – in case the initial analysis of the wind situation shows that due to the new high-rise building unpleasant wind conditions must be expected on the open areas around it.

As soon as the draft is completed, wind action is examined in a wind comfort study. Should results turn out to be negative, measures for a reduction of disadvantages of the project and its surroundings are to be presented. If a competition takes place, the wind effect in each concept is used to assess the object’s quality.

Simon Tschannett, managing director of Weatherpark, sees big advantages for all parties in the new concept: „Thanks to these regulations quality of high-rise buildings in Vienna will further increase. Residents and users are no longer annoyed by unpleasant wind conditions, so they feel comfortable and the new building is accepted to a higher extent. Proprietors on the other hand profit from better usability of the real estate.”

Links to the City of Vienna: