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building permit

In Austria, building projects are governed by the various regional legislations and are subject to notification or approval. If building notification is sufficient, the project must be officially notified to the building authority at least eight weeks prior to the start of construction. In order to obtain a building permit, an application must be submitted to the building authority. The following table indicates as of what size and output a building permit is required in order to build a PV system in the various federal states.

Table 1: Building permit requirements by federal state
Federal state
Building permit required for PV system
Salzburg yes, unless the PV system is parallel to or is integrated flush into the roof surface
Burgenland as of an output of 10 kWp
Lower Austria
as of an output of 20 kWp
Carinthia as of an area of 16 m²
Tirol as of an area of 20 m²
Styria as of an area of 40 m²
Upper Austria, Vlbg., Vienna if the building is substantially modified

The building permit contains all information for the planner/builder to take into account when building the system. The requirements of the building permit are based on the relevant standards and directives. Thus, if done correctly, the building permit ensures that the standards are observed.

Example of building permit in Vienna

In Vienna, a building permit is absolutely mandatory for constructing a building or façade with integrated PV. The building-integrated system, as part of the façade, is approved in the course of obtaining a building permit for the building. The PV system is part of the application to the building control authority (MA 37 for Vienna). MA 37 decides which areas of law are also involved (e.g. structural stability or environmental measures) and contacts the appropriate authorities.

MA 19 draws up an architectural expert opinion, an attestation, that must be positive in order to obtain a building permit. It is advisable to contact MA 19 as soon as you start planning. Consultation is offered in order to clarify any outstanding questions prior to submission. If MA 19 requests an expert opinion from MA 37 prior to the building application, it is sent directly to MA 37 within two days if all the necessary documents are submitted.

If MA 19 has already agreed, this saves time on obtaining the building permit. The more mature a project is submitted, the faster a building permit can be issued and the greater the probability of actually obtaining one. If all the necessary documents have been furnished, the building permit is usually issued within four or five weeks.

Figure 1: Roof integration of a PV system, Natural History Museum, Vienna

Source: H. Fechner et al.

Last page update: 07.03.2011