BOKU Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory

Photo © BOKU/Gruber
Photo © BOKU/Gruber
Photo © ATP/Kuball
Photo © ATP/Kuball
ATP architects engineers

The new hydraulic engineering laboratory of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences on Brigittenauer Sporn in Vienna is globally unique. The state-of-the art and sustainable laboratory is the first in which it is possible to carry out practice-oriented full-scale (1:1) model experiments. This will permit extensive research work on today’s hottest topics, including flood protection, environmental protection, river morphology, sediment transport, hydroelectric power, and waterways. The hydraulic engineering laboratory consists of innovative indoor, outdoor, and public labs, in which laboratory channels and models can be operated both in the building itself and in the open. The centerpiece of the laboratory is the “Main Channel,” which is below the level of the Danube and through which up to 10,000 liters of river water can be directed every second, without any need for pumping.

A particular challenge for the planners was the special below-ground works that were required to build the partly underground laboratory. A highly complex system involving reinforced concrete and structural steelwork and timber now supports the building. The laboratory is heated and cooled by geothermal energy distributed by the load-bearing structure and, more specifically, via energy-activated bored piles and concrete core activation in the diaphragm walls.

Following a successful competition (2016), a consortium of ATP architects engineers, Vienna, (architecture and structural engineering) and iC Consulenten (building services and hydraulic steelwork) was commissioned to deliver BIM-supported integrated design services for this ambitious project.

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