The measurement technology specialist Anton Paar in Graz has grown strongly in recent years. the company headquarters in Graz-Straßgang is being expanded. On April 25, 2022, the ground-breaking ceremony marked the start of construction of a 60 million technology center with up to 1,000 workplaces. The completion of the technology center is planned for the end of 2023.
Since 2010, the company's headcount has tripled to over 3,600 employees worldwide. At the site in Graz alone, there are currently around 1,400 employees. The strong growth also required corresponding construction measures, which is why planning for the new technology center began back in 2014. "However, a development plan obligation and restrictions on the height of the building delayed the project by years," explains Dominik Santner, COO and head of the construction project.
To make room for the new building, the three oldest buildings on the site had to be demolished in March and April 2022. With a gross floor area of 26,800 m2 , the building will be the largest at the site. All business units as well as the central research and development department will be housed in the new technology center. "650 employees will move into the new building in 2024. With the construction, we have not only created more space for growth, but the building is also technologically state-of-the-art," says Dominik Santner, referring to the solar thermal ice energy storage system.
For about 40% of the cooling and heating needs, this ice energy storage system is used with heat pumps: It is an underground basin with a diameter of 19 and a depth of six meters - this corresponds to a water volume of about 1.7 million liters. Before the summer, the water is frozen. The melting heat and then the cold water are used to cool the building. Heat pumps are used to transfer the heat from the building to the storage tank, which is then heated over the course of several months. At the beginning of the cold season, the storage tank is then warmed up and can be used to heat the building in the winter until it freezes again at the end of the winter. The innovative implementation costs around three million euros more than conventional heating/cooling systems. In addition, photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are being installed on the roof of the building.