Design Tools

Tightened requirements on energy efficiency and newly introduced evaluation methods have led to an increased demand for calculation tools for assessing the lighting and energy performance of buildings and districts, both nationally and internationally. With its working group 'Design Tools', the department has accompanied this process for several years, by developing and maintaining a comprehensive set of diverse computer-assisted tools. The group's activities include on the one hand developing and implementing new calculation algorithms to describe complex physical interrelations. On the other hand, the group creates information tools and advising tools. The tools are applied in practical planning routines and for assessing specific issues of energy performance and light technology. Work focuses on solutions in connection with German standard DIN V 18599, providing advisory and information tools for planners and decision makers, and on developing simulation tools. As the software systems are based on individual components, new application programmes for special clients' requirements can be created fast and at moderate expense.

Besides, the working group 'Design Tools' performs computer-assisted simulations of indoor environments and simulates complex thermodynamic systems in order to improve the indoor climate for human beings and technical systems. Based on problem-relevant factors of indoor climate and their interactions, model-based predictions and analyses are conducted to optimise the indoor environment in buildings, aircraft and vehicle cabins according to the users' needs and specific usage requirements. The working group uses the options of combining model development, experiments and simulations to acquire systems awareness, following the principle of a scale-adaptive approach.

A new focus of the working group 'Design Tools' is the development of digital models of buildings or spaces (BIM). This is to demonstrate how the future holistic assessment of previously individual planning tasks and solutions will be performed and how the results can be communicated to the planners.

© Fraunhofer IBP


The working group simulates complex thermodynamic systems to optimize the indoor climate for people and technical equipment. Computer based models and tools are used to simulate and evaluate indoor climate conditions with respect to thermal comfort, energy efficiency, humidity, CO2 and pollutant concentration. Based on the relevant climate factors and their effective interrelations model-based forecasts and analyzes are carried out to optimize the indoor climate in building construction, aircrafts and vehicle cabins according to usage and user requirements. The solution-specific, energy simulation models are calibrated by measurement in laboratories and test facilities of the Fraunhofer IBP and validated for particular industrial applications. The working group uses a combination of model development, simulation and experiment to full capacity in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the system under examination. Through parameterization and variation different solutions are developed and analyzed in order to achieve an optimum system design. In doing so not only available products on the market are used, but rather tailored solutions, methods and tools are developed wherever required.