Applying the principles of building physics forms the foundation of the research and development work conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP. In addition to conventional building physics topics such as acoustics, energy efficiency, indoor climate, hygiene & sensor technology, hygrothermics and recycling building materials, the institute also carries out research on a wide range of projects with a high social relevance. Examples include the integrated design of schools and workspaces, improving the environmental friendliness of flying, or exploring ways and means to harness the energy potential of entire cities. Further focal points are the analysis of products, processes and services from an ecological, economic, social and technical point of view and assessing them from a holistic perspective.
Efficient laboratories and testing facilities, as well as the largest known open-air test site at our branch in Holzkirchen, allow us to conduct complex building physics tests. Modern laboratory measurement equipment and calculation methods optimize building products for practical use. We perform analyses in model rooms, on the test field and on the finished object in order to assess the properties of components and complete systems with regard to building physics, both for new buildings and for renovation projects.
Building physics findings are not only used to optimize buildings and structural components; they also inspire developments in plant engineering and extend the application of building physics knowledge to neighboring areas in the automotive and aviation industries. At the same time, close ties to regional industry ensure a strong and steady influx of professional expertise in all the institute’s fields of research.
Fraunhofer IBP runs centers that have been approved by the German building inspection authorities for testing, monitoring and certifying building products and construction types in Germany and Europe. Four of the institute’s test laboratories have been granted flexible accreditation by the German accreditation body Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS) according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. This entitles them to develop new test methods or modify existing ones. The accredited certification center is an independent unit within Fraunhofer IBP and carries out monitoring and certification tasks on various construction products within the scope of German state building regulations and the Building Products Act or Building Products Directive. This applies to products used for windows, thermal insulation, fireplaces and exhaust systems.
Within the department “energy efficiency and indoor climate” Fraunhofer IBP focuses on energy-related issues of buildings and districts, the development of efficient building services systems and on measures to minimize energy demand using renewable energy. Research activities include identifying criteria for user-friendly indoor environments and developing appropriate solutions for indoor climate (in buildings, vehicles and airplanes). The department is concerned with the conception, support and assessment of nearly zero-energy, zero-emission and plus energy buildings (new and existing buildings). Moreover, the researchers focus on developing concepts for energy-efficient cities and communities (up to carbon neutrality) – as well as on evaluating and demonstrating innovative concepts, technologies and systems. These activities include both laboratory and field tests and monitoring of in-situ demonstrations and pilot applications. In addition, the experts develop technologies, evaluation tools and calculation tools for energy-efficient building design, indoor air-conditioning and lighting. Computer-assisted planning tools and information systems for end-users are developed and maintained, just like calculation kernels for software providers.
Fraunhofer IBP is a founding member of INIVE and has joined this network of excellence for the exchange of information on red-hot research outcomes and for working together with other leading organisations in high-level international projects and supporting activities.