Aquapol Case Study Winery of Klosterneuburg

The winery today

The History of the Building

Vintage yards were built by outside monastries, aristocrats or wealthy citizens in order to run the local vineyards.

The building traces back its origins to the year 1300. In the early 14th century the vineyard has been purchased by the Benedictiners, one of the first monastries dealing with viticulture in this area. They owned the yard until 1433 when they sold it to the Müstinger family. At the end of the 15th century the building was testamentarily left to the choristers of Klosterneuburg who initially used the building for storage.

Over time the building went to ruin more and more; then when the building management needed extra space, a decision has been made to rehabilitate the building at a considerable expense.

Before the Dehydration

The building had a cellar. The masonry was made of natural stone. The 1 m thick ground-touching exterior walls did not have a working vertical insulation. Thereby, ground moisture could continuously penetrate laterally and wet the masonry.

In the basement there was a strong musty smell despite of a natural ventilation, and the plaster was damaged up to the arch ceiling.

In some parts of the exterior walls the moisture levels were 5m high, rising about 2m above the ground level.

Moisture levels before and after Aquapol

Moisture levels BEFORE and AFTER Aquapol

Draining Objectives

The arch cellar should become drier without additional renovation measures on the masonry. The cellar's climate should be improved. These two aims should be achieved without installing costly vertical insulation or drainage from outside. Expensive digging works should be avoided if possible.

One Aquapol device has been installed hidden and protected by an exclusively produced wine barrel which has been hung from the arch ceiling.

Aquapol system hidden inside a barrell

Results - After the Dehydration

A few months after the installation the musty smell has reduced.

At the one-year follow-up measurement the moisture values of some of the free-standing walls (measurement points M2, M3) went significantly below the 5% moisture limit. M3 was initially an extremely damp spot with about 18% moisture content due to rising damp; so the dehydration here was a complete success.

The ground-touching exterior walls with no vertical insulation from outside dried out too. The moisture levels have decreased significantly in all walls concerned (measurement points M1, M4, M5, and M6).

The bottom part of M1 took longer to dry out because here the lateral moisture penetration was the strongest. Also on one of the arches tested [M2], the hygroscopic salts resulting from the draininage had an effect on the readings.

Cellar floor plan

Cellar floor plan with the moisture measurement points

After one year the cellar dehydration has basically been completed. The dehydration progress is shown on the Moisture Content Diagram below.

Moisture content diagram

Renovation works have started several months after the installation. To compensate the evaporation of water from the newly plastered floors an automatic ventilation system that has been installed about 6 months after the installation of the Aquapol system.

Project at a Glance


Canons of Klosterneuburg

Dept of Protection of Historic Buildings

Austrian Office of Federal Monuments

Start Date

6 July 1998

End Date: Building Dry

24 June 1999 (in 1 year)

System of Moisture Measurement

Gravimetric analysis: drilled core samples from the depth of the wall


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