The goal of climate neutrality at EU and national level also requires additional efforts in the construction sector. Particularly in dense urban areas, it makes sense to optimize buildings not just as individual systems, but as part of a larger district development in order to fully exploit the potential of connected systems. Consequently, renewable energy can be integrated more efficiently into urban structures and the energy grids and storage potentials can be more effectively exploited due to the use of different functions and the load shifting between buildings. Currently, there is still a lack of systemic implementation of individual technologies and consequently of realized examples of Positive‐Energy‐Districts (PEDs). Connecting technical, sociological and economic questions in an integrated manner has rarely been done at the district level.

ZQ3Demo accompanies three innovative districts in order to demonstrate ecologically and economically sustainable solutions for the implementation of Positive‐Energy‐Districts on real examples. The goals of the project are (1) to promote the replication of PEDs through (2) the implementation of Positive‐Energy‐Districts as pilots with accompanying research, monitoring and operational optimization, (3) the further development of technical system solutions with regard to architecture, building energy systems and energy networks at district level, (4) the increase of the acceptance of PEDs through active involvement of users and targeted communication and information strategies.

Two demo districts and as well as one follower district  including all actors relevant for the implementation are participating in the project. Due to the diversity of the participating neighborhoods in terms of function (living, working, education), degree of implementation (concept, submission and construction stage) and financing (privately financed, not‐for‐profitfinanced), the project takes into account different framework conditions resulting in widely transferable results and thus supporting high replication. Cross‐district collaboration among stakeholders enables shared learning and a broad knowledge base in the context of PEDs.

ZQ3Demo delivers concrete solutions from the perspectives of the key actors: The planners, for sustainable systems, architecture and technology concepts. The users,
for a high quality of life at a low cost. The developers, who, beyond the actual technical realization, need adequate legislative framework conditions and business
models, so that PEDs can be implemented in different applications and under various financing frameworks.

The implementation in the districts provides the real‐life pilots, that are so urgently needed for the construction sector. Within the project, the districts will be validated
through monitoring and accompanying research. The results and gained know‐how will be processed in Key Findings to provide a sound data and knowledge base for
future Positive‐Energy‐District developments.

The Institute of Chemical and Energy Engineering of BOKU focusses on the implementation of weather forecast-based residential controllers in several flats (15 flats) to enable the most grid-serving and predictive heating operation possible. Different scenarios will be tested: comfort optimization, cost optimization and optimization of the CO2 footprint. For questions about this research project, please contact DI Dr. Magdalena Wolf.

The project ZQ3-Demo is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and carried out with several partners from the field of research, planning, architecture and financing.