The department Energy Efficiency and Indoor Climate (EER) does research and development in the field of energy efficient buildings and construction for home living and the workplace at the IBP branches in Stuttgart, Holzkirchen and Nürnberg. Its focus is on energy-related issues of buildings and districts, the development of efficient energy-supply concepts, on measures to minimize energy demand and on renewable energy. Research activities include identifying criteria for user-friendly indoor environments and developing appropriate solutions for indoor climate – not only in buildings, but also in vehicles and airplanes. On the one hand, the department addresses the relation between climate impact and perceived levels of thermal comfort. On the other hand, research concentrates on how to provide optimum indoor climate conditions with less resource use.
EER scientists develop, supervise and evaluate nearly-zero energy buildings, zero-emission and energy-surplus buildings (for new buildings and for retrofitting existing buildings). Besides, the researchers focus on developing concepts for energy efficient cities and communities (up to CO2 neutrality). In addition, the department creates energy-efficient concepts with a range of applications, from small communities to entire cities. At the district level, innovative energy concepts are designed (in the range of plus-energy buildings and beyond), which comprise the implementation of energy efficiency measures in combination with the integration of renewable energy for generating heat, cold, and electricity. With the aim of optimizing energy utilization, principles of exergy are also applied in this context, for instance when assessing the use of energy.
In addition, the department's researchers deal with issues in urban climatology, e.g. avoiding so-called 'heat islands' and ensuring adequate daylight and fresh air supply as well as street lighting.
Further important areas include the evaluation and demonstration of innovative developments, concepts and technologies. Here, EER covers a wide range of services, from performing laboratory and field tests up to accompanying in-situ demonstration projects and pilot applications. These include own IBP developments as well as assessing developments of our partners and clients.
The department's scientists create innovative solutions for lighting and building services systems for indoor and outdoor spaces, advise clients on specific questions and conduct assessments. Here, a particular focus is on methods for designing and controlling technical building systems including lighting and shading systems. The comprehensive range of analyses provided by the department includes laboratory measurements to be performed in various unique measuring and testing facilities (such as VERU, MEGA, flight lab, IATC, DressMAN, test school house, goniophotometer), test group studies on thermal and visual comfort, and building simulations. Building constructions, building components, building materials and system components for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and energy systems can be examined at the EER Holzkirchen branch, where tests at a 1:1 scale are possible under real-life climate conditions, based on realistic usage scenarios.
Further, EER scientists create assessment tools and calculation tools for energy-efficient building design, indoor air-conditioning and lighting in buildings and vehicle cabins. Computer-assisted planning tools and information systems are created for end users; calculation kernels are developed and maintained for software companies.
The prediction models used by EER are based on experimental data and have been developed at the Fraunhofer IBP. Among other features, these models support flow simulations and thermal comfort analyses. Besides conducting energy-related analyses, building simulation also allows for statements to be made with regard to the damage-free performance of the space-enclosing building systems. The focus is also on air flow patterns in interior spaces and large halls and on the temperature behaviour of buildings in summer.
The department coordinates national and international demonstration and standardization projects as well as guidance committees. EER staff members support and develop concepts for national and international studies and transfer projects of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the European Union, the German government, the federal states, municipalities and industry companies. The portfolio is rounded off by providing education seminars and assessing research, funding, and transfer programmes of public and private project management organisations.
Clients of the EER department include international manufacturing companies, planners or developers from the public, the commercial or the private sector. Our constant aim is jointly transforming recent findings into marketable innovations, products and services.