Jump to menu Jump to content
Issue #27
Building: e4 Brick House - Austria
© Andi Bruckner



Efficient energy use (energy), affordable cost (economy), renewable energy (ecology), unique quality of living (emotion): Wienerberger’s e4 concept combines these four principles and stands for a holistically-­sustainable building concept that sets the standard for the future and allows planners maximum creativity.

A house that’s good for the environment
The key to energy efficiency is the right combination of building envelope, home and heating technology and the increased use of renewable energy sources, such as solar energy. In Austria, the e4 concept was implemented in the form of the “e4 brick house 2020” with the support of the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT). The Institute’s energy planners have chosen Porotherm bricks as a single-shell exterior wall with no additional insulation. The solid brick building envelope created with this material has a U-value of only 0.12 W/m2K. The high mass per unit area of the brick walls of more than 300 kg/m2 results in an enormous heat storage capacity in the buildings and ensures a pleasant indoor climate all year round.

A house that’s affordable
In building projects, the time factor is especially important for home owners; the longer the construction time, the higher the costs. Wienerberger has developed two product systems that speed up the construction process and eliminate entire work steps, such as the aforementioned additional external insulation. However, the biggest cost savings are achieved by the e4 house with low operating costs through the use of renewable energy. An e4 household spends two-thirds less on heating, hot water and electricity than the average household.

The e4 concept is a carefully considered, high quality solution that both meets immediate market requirements and is also a sustainable solution in the long term.

A house that’s self-sufficient
The e4 brick house 2020 uses innovative solar house technology. Calculated over the entire year, the house generates more energy than it consumes, making it significantly sustainable by saving CO2 emissions. Innovative solar thermal storage systems guarantee the heat supply is spread evenly over the span of several cloudy days and weeks without fossil fuels. At least 50 % of the heat demand for space heating and hot water is covered by the use of solar energy. In the cold months, the rest is generated by other alternative heating systems, such as the wooden boiler used in the Austrian example.

A house that suits its inhabitants
Sustainable construction does not mean compromising on individual design wishes. An e4 house is not a standardised system house. Architects can realise the individual wishes of the home owners without restrictions due to grid dimensions or pre-defined house types. Thanks to the flexible design options, the e4 house meets all aesthetic requirements. In addition, the strict ecological and building biology standards of the building material bricks enable the realisation of environmentally and, above all, healthy buildings, which improve the quality of life of the residents over generations.

The result is an energy-efficient home that exceeds EU building guidelines, significantly reducing CO2 emissions while adhering to the construction budget. The e4 concept is a carefully considered, high quality solution that both meets immediate market requirements and is also a sustainable solution in the long term.