Blog / construction progress

We took advantage of the latest meetings with the architects at the EC in April to get an update from Caty and Ronald about the current status of the moreEC project and a peek behind-the-scenes of the construction in preparation.

Architects in the EC

Architects meeting at the EC. From left: Markus Beck (project manager, general planning & building), Ronald Knack (architectural advisor of Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation), Jens Janisch (project coordinator of DWBF), Caty Hartung (DWBF board of directors), Günter Prechter (project manager, architecture), Thomas Spiegel (head of architecture, architect office partner), Gergely Porkoláb (DWBF board of directors). More pictures from the meeting below.

Project status – awaiting building permission

When we launched the moreEC project, we wanted to start building already in the spring of 2012. In the autumn of 2011, a class action against the city of Immenstadt (Popularklage) slowed down the process. As long as the case remains in court, the building permission cannot be granted. We are expecting to hear the court’s decision in the upcoming weeks, followed by the building permission decision.

As always, we try to see the situation in a meaningful way—we are using the time well to negotiate with construction companies and to look at the plans in greater depth to find better and more economic solutions before the construction starts.


What has happened since the last update at the beginning of 2012

  • We applied for the building permission.
  • Caty and Ronald have had approximately 10 meetings with the architects and more with other people involved. There is a meeting every 2-3 weeks.
  • We are making the plans even more precise, with small but important refinements.


Construction updates

There are several new ideas and decisions implemented in the plans since the last update:

  • The residential building will follow the “passive house” high energy efficiency standard, with a high-degree of insulation and little need for heating.
  • We will use a wood-chip heating system (hackschnitzel heizung) with our own wood.
  • There will be a ventilation system in the large gompa for keeping the air fresh (not air-conditioning).
  • Walls and doors in the residential building will have a high standard of soundproofing—which, although a bit more expensive, is important for privacy.
  • There is now one 80-square-meter dormitory planned for the residential house.
  • There will be a private bathroom in each house unit, not only common bathrooms.
  • Originally we planned to do part of the barn renovation for the large gompa ourselves—namely changing out the bad wood and other small preparations.  Our sangha construction professionals decided that this project is too large to do ourselves, and the plan is on hold until we find another solution.

We are also thinking about turning the so-called “second house” into a residence for 3 families (one per floor), once the new housing is built. The conditions for families at the EC are not adequate at the moment, and with this plan families could live more independently in conditions likely even better than in the new building. In such a case, the lamas would stay in the north wing of the new building and in the villa, as they do at present.


Discovering a “modern Buddhist architecture”

Lama Ole and Caty have engaged in direct dialog with the architects to find an expression of a “modern Buddhist architecture” for the future. Many aspects come into play, especially choices of materials and colors as well as the design of spaces and arrangement of statues and thangkas.



  • The ground of the cow stable is planned to be removed after the Summer Course (to be announced).
  • The detailed plans of the buildings will be presented at the Summer Course.
  • The barn will be used during the Summer Course for different meetings and workshops, for example, the International Diamond Way Meeting (formerly called International Center Meeting).
  • The bidding process for construction suppliers will start in the autumn of 2012 (no need to send offers until then).


Architect meeting pictures

Pictures from one of the around 10 meetings so far this year with the moreEC architects (Dietrich I Untertrifaller) and construction project managers.



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Mr.Gnaiger presents the new EC plansToday at 5pm, the architects involved in the project (click “Team”) are presenting the latest architectural plans and first visualizations of the planned Europe Center extension in the EC. They will discuss the project with the EC residents, several Diamond Way architects. The international EC keypeople will also access the presentation via closed streaming.

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