Today we visited the University of Applied Sciences in Kuchl, Austria. The university has three specializations- timber construction, forest products technology, and furniture development and interior design. They base their education on the needs of the industry and began studying smart building in 2012. In fact, the room we sat in for our lecture was entirely built in only 3 weeks!
The University has begun to work on passive houses and Austria even won the Solar Decathlon in 2012. The Solar Decathlon is a yearly international competition that challenges 20 teams to design the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Austria won for the house they they built which generates more energy than it consumes. The house has a pre-fabricated wooden frame and can be quickly assembled or disassembled.
On the campus there are also schools for teenage students who are interested in studying wood products. They begin learning at age 14 and are given a lot of independence to create their own projects and use tools and equipment safely and effectively without much supervision. Each term they are required to complete a final project that demonstrates what they learned that term.
The students are also lucky enough to have this incredible view from their campus!