Wir Inhauser – Comprehensive refurbishment of social-housing

Salzburg, Austria Construction and Development, Environment and Resource efficiency, Land use, Local social sustainability, Relations to stakeholders, Target groups of housing
Responsible Housing Award


The residential housing estate Friedrich-Inhauser-Straße will be used to carry out a comprehensive renovation and redensification effort, which will include an upgrade from 75 to 99 residential units. The complex, built in the 1980s, will also be given an innovative energy- and mobility concept. Further important project-pillars are barrier-free design and a accompanying social-scientific process with inhabitants affected by the refurbishment. Every household has a guaranteed option to come back, if they choose to do so.


The residential complex Friedrich-Inhauser Straße was built in 1985. Because of the years that have passed, the energetic condition of the complex is below average. Therefore the heating costs for the tenants of the 75 apartments are very high. The lack of barrier-free access, poor lighting and the urgent need to renovate balconies, roofs and moisture insulation make a comprehensive modernisation effort neccessary. There is an increased motivation to refurbish the existing buildings, as there are some very similar housing estates in the city of Salzburg that could be considered for such an approach in the future. The knowledge gained from the implementation is continuously evaluated and discussed with politicians, administrators, scientists and public funding bodies. The project results are essential components of an ongoing urban refurbishment offensive put forward by the city of Salzburg.

Issues tackled

The overall goal of the comprehensive refurbishment is to reduce the carbon imprint of the residential complex by implementing a multitude of sustainability concepts: an energy concept with a waste heat pump and heat recovery from sewage water, a reduction of private car use through a targeted mobility concept as well as the use of innovative and ecological building materials. The achievement of the goal will also be supported by redensification efforts (from 75 to 99 units), which helps reducing land consumption.

Actors involved

  • SIR (Salzburger Institute for Regional Planning and Housing) - Consortium Lead
  • Heimat Österreich (Limited-profit housing association)
  • Stadt Salzburg (City planning department of Salzburg City)
  • StadtLandBerg (Sociologist Dr. Rosemarie Fuchshofer)
  • Fachhochschule Salzburg (University of applied Sciences)

Actions carried out

  • Constitution of the Consortium and Planning Phase (2018-2019)
  • Quality Control Measures, Submission and "Gold"-Award for Planning Phase (2018-2019)
  • Negotiations, Adaptions and Last Changes for Building Permit (2019)
  • Start of Construction, "Corona"-Adaptions and Submission for Mobility Award (2019-2020)
  • Film Project about all Aspects of the comprehensive Refurbishment (2020-2021)


After one year of planning and optimization, the project is currently under construction. Very concrete results can be distilled, especially from the successful social-scientific process of settlement: The aim was to find a consensual solution with all tenants, an adequate housing supply for the duration of the refurbishment in an intermediate quarter and, if desired, a comeback agreement into the refurbished property. These points could be carried out without being affected by legal complaints or negative media reports. The ongoing optimisations for the structural implementation are based on the klimaaktiv gold standard. As an example, a solution using environmentally friendly insulating materials (cellulose in combination with plaster base boards) is being promoted for the construction of the exterior walls. Additionally various car sharing models were outlined for the mobility concept. An “open model” (external provider of the mobility point) is deemed suitable in the project area. Advantages of such a system are legal securities for the developer, who in return provides premises and parking spaces for the mobility point, as well as the possibility of future scalability to an overall urban concept without isolated solutions (and thus higher long term chances of success).

Why it works

The project combines several aspects of a state-of-the-art refurbmishment. Often refurbishment endeavors only tackle one or two specific issues. Energy efficiancy is often the main focus. As important as this is, a comprehensive project should also include a modern mobility concept (including high quality bike infrastructure and equipment, car-sharing options, cargo-bike options and more), an adequate social process (if inhabitants have to move during the renovation, the need to be heavily supported in finding an intermediate place to live, and be given a guarantee to come back) as well as innovative new technical systems (such as heat recovery). A combination with a redensification effort requires quality green space adaptions and further inhabitant communication.