Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Implementation model


A short description of the NBS project

Designed by visionary Austrian artist Friedenreich Hundertwasser and built by architects Joseph Krawina and Peter Pelikan, Hundertwasserhaus is one of the most unusual residential buildings in Austria (52 apartments and 19 patios), one of European pioneer projects in regards to green roofs, “tree tenants”, “humus toilet”. Natural features as a roof covered with earth and grass, large trees growing from inside the rooms with limbs extending from windows, are incorporated in the structure. More than 250 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city. The grass and forest areas of the house amount to more than 100 per cent of the ground plan. What was taken away from nature by the construction of the building was restored on the roofs. For the tree tenant, Hundertwasser has defined a list of points clearly supporting the benefits of integrating trees within building structures themselves: they create oxygen; they improve city climate and well being of dwellers (i.e. reducing the dry-humid and the cold-warm contrast); they act like ‘vacuum cleaners’ swallowing even the finest and poisonous dust; they swallow noise, reducing the echoes of the city noise and creating quietness; they create shelter and protect like curtains from the outside view; they give shadow in the summer but let sunlight through in the winter when the leaves have fallen. Living quality is improved by having a piece of nature of one’s own. The philosophy of the house also relies on humus and small sewage treatment plants with aquatic plants which replace water flush toilets to minimize water waste. Since its construction, this curvaceous and irregular-shaped house has been reviewed by the international press and visited by millions of people, becoming part of Austrias cultural heritage.

NBS Implementation context
Location Austria, Wien (Austria)
Status Project delivered (1983-1985)
Description of the NBS
NBS Scale object (building, etc.)
NBS Impacts scale • Object (building, etc.) • Neighbourhood
Urban density/ Soil consumption High (dense city center, etc.)
Combined with other(s) environmental friendly solution(s)?
if other
NBS Typology
Open the NBS Solution Explorer
NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Other 0
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Other 0
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 0
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0
Stakeholder and Governance
Who Started this initiative? Governments • National government
Contracting Authority
Project manager (leader and main partners): entities names, and know-how involved
Who (else) was involved in the project ? (Inhabitants, local association, etc.)
More detail on the process and the role of the different stakeholders (How did it happen?)
OPTIONAL Considering the actual impacts, who are the primary beneficiaries of the project.
Cluster Governance Model Description
cluster4_societal_resilienceSelfgovernance_grassroots_initiatives -
Global Estimated cost of the project -
Cluster cluster1_public_financing
FM Public financing
Description of the financing mechanism -
Business Model
Class Type Description
Temporal Factor
Expected time for the NBS to be fully effective after its implementation
Expected life time of the intervention
Already feedbacks on the project? In case, the project has already been adapted to new requisites, please explain the modifications brought
Success and limiting factors
Process Enablers
Class Subclass Type Description
Knowledge_driversAwareness • Climate Change -
Governance_driversCo-creation and participation • Involvement of urban government
Process Inhibitors
Class Subclass Type Description
Governance_driversParticipation and awareness • Perception
Economy_driversPerception of the benefits Budget constraints Risk perception• Under appreciation of non-economic benefits • Lack of funding knowledge
What makes this project a pioneer?
Brief description of the innovativeness
Has the project received a prize, an award?
Has the project received a media coverage? (in reviews, in press, etc.)
IM Keywords