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A racetrack for sustainable motorsport in Venice

May 26, 2023

Students of FHWien der WKW present the model of an energy self-sufficient racetrack as part of an official “Collateral Event” at the Architecture Biennale 2023. As the only contribution of a German-speaking university in the project “Students as Researchers”, the contribution shows how energy can be sustainably generated for motorsport infrastructure.

Motorsports and the associated racing circus are increasingly confronting their environmentally damaging image. Formula 1, for example, has set itself the goal of reducing the CO2 footprint of its races to zero by 2030 with its “Net Zero Carbon emissions from factory to flag” initiative. In addition, CO2 emissions are also to be reduced to a minimum in the factories, during travel and at the racetracks.

A model in the context of the Biennale

This infrastructural approach is also followed by the concept of the students of the study area Management & Entrepreneurship of FHWien der WKW. Using the example of an Austrian racetrack, a cost-benefit calculation for an energy self-sufficient infrastructure was created as part of the course “Strategic Management”. In addition to the theoretical analysis, a physical model of the grandstand was created, which will be shown until November 26, 2023 as part of the exhibition “Students as Researchers” at the Architecture Biennale in Venice.

When creative practice meets university teaching

The theoretical model is based on the existing infrastructure at the site, as well as biomass and wind energy, and complements these with innovative approaches to solar power generation. Even if only the roof of the grandstand were used for energy generation, the experimental solar technology could reduce the necessary construction costs by 40 percent and double electricity generation. With an additional halving of electricity costs, the project system would pay for itself three times as quickly as today’s photovoltaic systems.

Even though this type of solar energy generation is still in the experimental stage, the model presentation was the only contribution from a German-speaking university to make it into the “Students as Researchers” project in Venice. The exhibition under the motto “Creative Practice and University Education” will run until the end of the Architecture Biennale on November 26, 2023 at the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena.