Aspern – Vienna’s Urban Lakeside
Siemens is delivering a comprehensive package of smart building technologies for one of Europe’s biggest urban development projects.
The 240-hectare " Aspern – Vienna's Urban Lakeside" is one of Europe’s biggest urban development projects. Now under construction on the site of an abandoned airfield, by 2028 Aspern is scheduled to have around 10,500 apartments, 20,000 jobs, a school campus, an industrial park, and a research center. Already today, there are 2,600 housing units for some 6,100 people, a shopping street, an underground/metro and tram links. The first wave of corporate residents has moved in.
However, Aspern is not just another big real estate development. Behind it all is the Aspern Smart City Research, a joint venture between the city’s utility companies (Wien Energie and Wiener Netze), Wien 3420 (project development), Vienna’s Business Agency and Siemens as the only industrial partner involved in the project.
Heading the list of "The Top 10 Smart Cities on the Planet," Vienna wants to reduce its environmental footprint even further. To measure improvements, however, the city’s current level of energy efficiency must first be determined. This means collecting different types of data from building automation systems and combining it with current and predicted weather information. System optimization is then possible based on this data.
Siemens has assembled a three-part package whose main components include technologies for:
Power management in smart buildings;
Solutions for the low-voltage grid (the electrical distribution system from transformers down to individual buildings and apartments); and
Solutions for managing "big data" that include the establishment of a city data center.
Unlike virtually any other large-scale urban development project, in Aspern all of the elements of these systems – regardless of manufacturer – must be able to communicate with each other and share data. Aspern will have a completely new low-voltage grid equipped with sensors that measure the status in real time. All of this data will be collected in a city data center.
The integration and coordinated control of energy consumption, generation and storage will be handled by a power management system designed to minimize energy use while maximizing cost efficiency. Heating systems and other energy guzzlers, automation systems, and in some cases even appliances, will be outfitted with sensors to track their energy use and efficiency. Selected information, such as consumption forecasts, will be passed on to energy utilities – of course with the consent of the building’s occupants.
In buildings equipped with energy-saving technologies from Aspern’s joint venture, a building management system will coordinate the energy supply from photovoltaic or solar-thermal systems to the building’s heat pumps. Therefore, forecasting, generation, and storage management is necessary. All of this adds up to a huge data integration challenge on the building level since different mixes of energy generation options need to be analyzed.
Among the many unique features of Aspern’s living lab concept, one is that the cost efficiency of its electrical grid will not be based on a classic demand-based system. Instead, it is intended to generate and consume as much electricity as possible locally. This also requires local energy stores. The next level is to interact with the smart low-voltage grid, which allows simpler coordination between buildings and the grid. This approach is much better than the current model where everyone feeds all the solar energy they can't consume themselves into the grid at the same time.
Aspern – Vienna's Urban Lakeside
Size: 240 hectares
Planned capacity: 10,500 apartments, approximately 20,000 inhabitants, 20,000 jobs
Building utilization: residences, offices, shops, training, research, industry
Investment volume: €5.5 billion, construction period running until roughly 2028
Disciplines delivered by Siemens:
Building management system
Demand response/virtual power plant
Energy efficiency projects
Energy efficiency services
Medium voltage systems
Renewable energy systems
Totally Integrated Power