We meet – one another in a community of people with different ways of life, cultures and backgrounds.
We meet – one another according to democratic, ecological and solidarity principles.
We talk – according to the principle of consent-oriented decision-making processes that help everyone to have their say.
We talk – in the environment of a non-violent culture of communication and conflict.
We are open – to new lifestyles and offer space for different ideas, decisions and generations.
We are open – to all who live spirituality and to all who have no connection to it.
We share – and live this solidarity in our community and externally.
We share – the things that are important to us: Mindfulness in our dealings with each other and with our environment.
We live sustainably in order to keep our ecological footprint small.
As a community, we want to share more than we own alone.
As a community we support each other in our everyday life.
We all contribute to the community with our capabilities and capacities.
Our individuality is part of this community which we live in.
We are a diverse community of 59 adults and 48 children ranging in age from 2 months to 67 ½ (February 2020) yea1s. Some live alone or in pairs, some are single parents and many live here as a family with 2 adults and up to four children. We have a young refugee family from Afghanistan living with us in a flat supported in part by crowdfunding.
Our pet community includes cats, dogs, turtles and rabbits.
Besides a few “real” Viennese, most of us come from the Austrian provinces, but also from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary, Russia and Argentina.
Many of us earn their living with a socially oriented profession: Adult trainers, educators (including many teachers), psychotherapists and youth workers make up a large part of the professions represented. However, our experts from research, the IT sector, renewable energies, film production, architecture and organisational development are also very helpful for our project. Last but not least, the fine arts are represented by professional and hobby musicians.
What we have in common is the desire for peaceful and productive coexistence, mutual support and a life of mutual mindfulness in harmony with the environment.
We are organized according to sociocratic principles. Most of the ongoing work happens in working groups (WGs)
The domain of this working group is the organisational development of the association and the BROT Pressbaum community according to sociocratic principles. This means implementing sociocracy as a structure, especially in the working group s and the leadership team.
New working groups can be created as needed, old ones can be changed or abolished, other structural changes can be initiated if the community so wishes by consent.
The Green Space working group is responsible for developing and implementing an overall concept for the design and use of the outdoor area. Its responsibilities include the management of the vegetable gardens, the selection and location of planting and the coordination of maintenance measures of the green spaces, as well as the care of the pond.
In addition to the living quarters, the Construction and Design working group takes care of technical outdoor facilities such as car parks and storage boxes, as well as energy supply, cisterns, sewers, waste management and building services. It develops instructions for outdoor space design in the area of the buildings and is the members’ contact for structural changes of the buildings.
This working group is responsible for supporting the successful coexistence of the community. This includes organising community activities, setting the framework and getting involved in general meetings, and taking into account the needs of the different age groups and lifestyles within our community life.
Members of this working group are contact persons for dealing with conflicts. In order to prevent conflicts, the meeting group takes up moods in the group and deals with them in so-called encounter rooms.
Children and Youth
The working group on children and youth is particularly concerned with the interests of the young people. This includes the design of the children’s room in the community building and the playground as well as the establishment and communication of rules for a successful coexistence of young and old. Another important point is the creation of spaces for our young people.
It is important to us as a community that we show solidarity and support in everyday life, not only internally but also externally. The Social Affairs work group dedicates its undertakings to this objective. Another task is supporting the residents of the “Soliwohnung” (solidarity living quarter) on site, but also in their future life (e.g. with official matters).
The working group on public relations organises information events and takes care of the website, Facebook, the phone and mail service. It produces reports and public relations material as needed and issues a newsletter at regular basis.
Targeted networking with other housing projects or groups interested in the topic of communal living is also the responsibility of this working group.
The Finance/Legal working group keeps track of the financial, legal and tax affairs of the housing project. Negotiating credit matters, contracts and insurances is also part of this working group’s area of responsibility, as are internal accounting and budget matters.
The IT infrastructure is a subgroup of this working group.
The Mobility working group coordinates the community mobility in the housing project. It is responsible for the BROT-owned e-car and its internal use, maintenance and accounting.
The Food Coop offers all BROT & Friends ecological, high-quality and largely regional food. The Food Coop works on a non-profit basis and pays attention to the lowest possible packaging and fair rewards for the producers.
The elected management team is the “management body” and acts in the sense of the Austrian Association Act of 2002.
It is responsible for managing the business of the association, serves as a communication hub and provides an overall view of the organisation and organisational development.
In addition to spokespersons, treasurers and secretaries, the management team includes delegates from as many working groups as possible in order to ensure that topics that affect several housing project members are dealt with according to sociocratic standards.
The Community B.R.O.T.-Pressbaum is a member of the “Association Community B.R.O.T.” and the Initiative for Community Building and Living. https://www.inigbw.org/
B.R.O.T.-Pressbaum was initiated by Helmuth Schattovits, initiator of the concept and co-founder of the dormitories of the B.R.O.T. communities. www.brot-verband.at
Ten residential buildings and a community house with a total of 3,030 m² of living space and 270 m² of flexibly usable community rooms were built on a 14,000 m² site on a slope and directly on the edge of the forest.
The community rooms include, for example, a kitchen with a cozy lounge area, a co-working office, children’s play area, a workshop, a studio, a music room and a foodcoop.
The common green space will include fruit and vegetable gardens, a swimming pond, and play areas for young and old. The generous common areas function as meeting places for all generations.
The B.R.O.T.-Pressbaum coop itself acts as the developer. This ensures that the community can directly implement its ideas and visions.
The residential buildings were constructed as sustainable lightweight timber buildings with solid wood ceilings, cellulose insulation and a rear-ventilated façade made of rough-sawn larch wood.
Controlled domestic ventilation with enthalpy heat exchangers in the residential units regulates the room temperature for summer or winter accordingly. With an energy need for heating of approx. 27 kWh/m²a, the lowest energy standard is thus achieved in the buildings.
The cisterns on the property collected rainwater which is provided in a separate circuit for use in the garden and for flushing toilets. Thus, around 500 – 1,000 m³ of drinking water can be saved over the year.
A dedicated biomass local heating network supplies the heating energy and hot water centrally. A 150-kilowatt wood chip boiler and 50 m² solar collectors with 4,000 liter buffer storage are used as heat generators. The wood chips are purchased directly from the surrounding Vienna Forest. This keeps the overall CO2 footprint to a minimum and the added value remains in the region.
The solar thermal system supports the hot water production in summer, so that the biomass boiler has to be run in the unfavorable partial load operation mode as little as possible.
The roofs of the buildings host 6 photovoltaic systems. Over the year, they generate around 75% of the total electricity required.