Students Envision Spar Austria’s ‘Supermarket Of The Future’

By Donna Ahern
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Students Envision Spar Austria’s ‘Supermarket Of The Future’

Spar Austria is working with students from the Salzburg Technical College to envision and develop an energy self-sufficient supermarket of the future. The retailer has run a competition for students of the college’s Smart Building study programme, and provided the students with energy data and retail planning knowledge from its existing Eurospar store in Straßwalchen.

Visiting the Straßwalchen store, the students learnt about the building’s existing technologies and energy systems. This experience was factored into their project plans for the supermarket of the future. “

Real life projects are an essential part of the education process,” said Thomas Reiter, head of the study programme. “The cooperation with Spar has been an extremely valuable experience for our students.”


First prize for the most compelling project was awarded to Nadine Huber and Alexander Seiwald. In their supermarket of the future plan, the two winners trialled adapting the store to the natural environment with the facade of the building being made from re-usable parts.

Their concept uses solar energy, specifically Rawlemon solar crystal balls, to generate the energy needed for the store. The crystal balls are integrated into the façade of the building and the energy generated is used for the store’s lighting, heating, ovens and refrigeration systems.


The collaboration with Salzburg Technical College is advantageous for Spar Austria’s approach to store renovation. One hundred stores are launched or renovated every year throughout Austria, and built according to construction guidelines which are certified by the Austrian Association for Sustainable Real Estate Industry (ÖGNI).

This means that every newly developed or modernised Spar store receives the ÖGNI Gold Certificate and features environmentally friendly architecture, modern heating and cooling technology and LED lighting. Compared with conventional stores, these new buildings save approximately 50% of energy and partly produce electricity themselves through solar-powered systems.

"Fresh Ideas"

Gerald Geiger, head of construction, energy and technology of Spar Austria, commented on this approach, “For many years now, we have used a comprehensive sustainability concept for the construction and conversion of our stores,” said Geiger.

“We are always looking for fresh ideas to improve our stores and thanks to our cooperation with the Salzburg Technical College, we are achieving this goal. We have seen many interesting and exciting projects that are sustainable and feasible in practice.”


Spar Austria recently posted a gross sales turnover of €6.42 billion in full year 2016, an increase of 5.3% on the previous financial year.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Donncha Mac Cóil. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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