European Federation of Foundation Contractors

Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Germany, Bauer JV Lehrter

Austria – Our VÖBU year 2020 was a tough one!

Dear EFFC members, dear interested parties!

Our VÖBU year 2020 was a tough one!

On 2nd November 2020, we were shocked by the horrific terrorist attack that occurred only about 250m away from the VÖBU office (Austrian Association of Drilling, Well Construction and Special Foundation Contractors) in the 1st district of Vienna. It really hit close to home – especially because our team frequently eats lunch or goes for drinks in the restaurants and bars that were targeted.

All began with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the first lockdown in March. Subsequent cancellations and postponements of our courses and seminars followed. Additionally, VÖBU had to deal with legislative changes and new ordinances in conjunction with COVID measures – however we refused to give up.

Unfortunately, we had to pull the emergency brake regarding the ÖGT / FAIR 2021 in the beginning of September – and postpone the VÖBU FAIR (the Austrian Geotechnical Trade Fair) to 27th and 28th January 2022. However, we are grateful that all exhibitors have chosen to pre-reserve their exhibition stands for the VÖBU FAIR 2022!

In September and October things finally took a turn for the better: in compliance with all legal requirements, we were able to hold two seminars with about 90 participants each. AND it was apparent just how ‘hungry’ the geotechnical industry was for “face-to-face” training!

Drilling master course NEW from 2021/2022: After more than 25 years, the drilling master course was re-evaluated and revised: out of 37 pre-registrations, 28 course participants passed the entrance exam! Despite the ongoing lockdowns the course started on 7th January 2021 – with the first five teaching weeks constituting the basic module.  Of course, our seminars were held according to all legal and health-related measures, including:

  • A COVID – safety measures plan (developed by authorised COVID-agent Pirkner)
  • Weekly COVID rapid tests for course participants
  • Seat assignments with appropriate spacing
  • Mask requirement in the entire administration building
  • Special health security measures during lunch breaks and meetings
  • Regular breaks to air the lecture hall

The participants are grateful that the course can take place – and that they can attend it safely and in person.

We adapted our COURSE and SEMINAR PROGRAM 2021 to the prevailing situation and yet made it as interesting as possible – with, among other things, smaller seminars and events (e.g. the STaVo – “Special Foundation ante meridiem”) – spread all over Austria. We are aware that the 14 seminars and courses we are planning must be designed as flexibly as possible to the prevailing COVID pandemic. But as the proverb says: hope is last to die.

We are currently working intensively on the 5th edition of the VÖBU drilling manual – THE reference work for all planners and executors in the fields of drilling technology, well construction and special foundation work. This specialist reference work has grown to 37 chapters with a total of approx. 1,100 pages and will be launched in 2021 in the form of a BOOK, individual CHAPTERS or as an ONLINE VERSION. With a layout refresh and an additional six new chapters, we want to keep the Austrian geotechnical industry up to date.

Stay HEALTHY and remain full of confidence that 2021 will be very different from 2020.

With good CAUSE!

Best regards,

Thomas Pirkner


By the way:  our website is now also available in ENGLISH!  www.voebu.at

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