A brief look at the institute's 80 year history


General assembly of the newly founded Association for the Promotion of the Institute of Acoustic and Thermal Technology at the Materials Testing Institute of what was known at that time as the Stuttgart Polytechnic.

May 12, 1929: Entered in the German Register of Associations.

Memorandum on the establishment of the institute by its future Director, Priv.-Doz. Dr.-Ing. H. Reiher, and the association's Chairman, Dr. h.c. R. Heilner, setting out the association's objectives, tasks, required test facilities, equipment and capital costs.

Construction of the new institute in Stuttgart-Weissenhof (on the site of what are now the trade fair grounds).



Building demolished to make way for the Reich Garden Show.


Planning of a new building in Stuttgart-Degerloch in collaboration with other university institutes.

1939 to 1945

Relocation of test facilities and equipment during World War II.


Temporary buildings put to use in Ruit auf den Fildern

Permission granted to operate the Institute of Technical Physics (ITP) of the Stuttgart Polytechnic in the former construction site offices in Stuttgart-Degerloch, in a former air-raid shelter in Sillenbuch and in the Graf Zeppelin research institute (FGZ) in Ruit.


Topping-out ceremony for the newly built institute supported by industry donations in the Degerloch, Oberer Wald area (later known as Königssträssle). Refusal to grant building permit for 25 test cabins in Degerloch. Construction of an open-air test facility on the former airfield in Holzkirchen near Munich. Dipl.-Phys. H. Künzel delegated to head up building experiments in Holzkirchen.


ITP affiliated with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (founded in 1949) to provide "administrative assistance". The "Institute of Technical Physics" is dissolved and incorporated in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.


Inauguration of an administrative and laboratory building in Stuttgart-Degerloch.


Aged 70, Prof. Dr.-Ing. H. Reiher hands over the management of the institute to Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. K. Gösele, the experienced former head of the Acoustics Department. Prof. Dr.-Ing. W. Schüle, who previously headed up the Heat Department, is appointed as Deputy Head of the institute.


Name changed to the "Institute for Building Physics IBP".


Fraunhofer IBP begins publishing its "Neue Forschungsergebnisse kurz gefasst" ("Summary of new research results"), which still appears regularly today.


Prof. K. Gösele retires and hands over the management of the institute to Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. F. P. Mechel.


Farewell party held in Holzkirchen for Prof. W. Schüle, aged 65.


Cooperation agreement reached between the Gips-Schüle Foundation, Stuttgart, and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to set up a department for new building materials and components at Fraunhofer IBP. Named after the Schüle family’s gypsum mill business (‘Gips’ is the German word for gypsum) which was based in the town of Bad Cannstatt, the Gips-Schüle Foundation manages the estate left by the Schüle siblings on their death.


Dipl.-Ing. Architekt K. Bertsch becomes the head of the new Gips-Schüle Department and the Deputy Head of the institute.

Work begins on construction of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's new Institute Center for four institutes in Stuttgart-Vaihingen based on a design by the architect W. Meidele.


Fraunhofer IBP moves into the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s combined office and lecture hall building. Inauguration of the new 3,600 m2 laboratory and pilot plant facilities with the very latest equipment.  

An open-day event is held to inaugurate the new Fraunhofer IBP.


Inauguration of a separate Gips-Schüle Building funded by the Gips-Schüle Foundation with "small-scale" pilot plant facilities for conducting experiments on new building materials and systems.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. K. Gertis – the former head of the Theoretical Department in Holzkirchen and a full professor at the University of Essen since 1976 – is appointed to Fraunhofer IBP's management team to take charge of work on heat and indoor climate control issues. He is simultaneously appointed to the newly created Chair of Building Physics at the University of Stuttgart.


New laboratories are required to conduct extensive research projects on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Research and Technology in the field of the preservation of historical buildings and the conservation of building structures. The department of moisture engineering moves from Stuttgart to the Holzkirchen site, where a new office and laboratory building is constructed.


February 15: Prof. Reiher dies aged 94.

A Fraunhofer IBP convention to mark the institute's 60th anniversary is held on the University premises and accompanied by an exhibition of products made by industry partners.


Prof. Dr. rer.nat. habil. F. P. Mechel retires and hands over overall management of Fraunhofer IBP to Prof. Gertis.


Dr.-Ing. H. Künzel, the Deputy Head of the institute in Holzkirchen, enters retirement. Management of the outdoor testing site is conducted jointly by Dr.-Ing. K. Kiessl, Dr. rer.nat. E. Mayer and Dr.-Ing. H. Werner.
K. Kiessl becomes the Deputy Head of the institute in Holzkirchen.


Dipl.-Ing. K. Bertsch retires and hands over the management of the Gips-Schüle Department to Dipl.-Phys. N. König.


With a background at the Bauakademie Berlin, Prof. Dr.-Ing. W. Fasold is appointed to head up the Department of Room Acoustics and becomes the Deputy Head of the institute's operations in Stuttgart.


Prof. Fasold enters retirement and hands over the position of Deputy Director to Prof. Dr.-Ing. H. Fuchs, who heads up the Department of Room Acoustics/Technical Acoustics (RA/TA).


The cooperation agreement with the Gips-Schüle Foundation is renewed and approval is granted for the funding of a new extension for the Gips-Schüle Department.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. W. Schüle dies on October 7, aged 84.



Picture on left: Building Physics Congress held in 1998
Picture on right: International Building Physics Congress and Building Physics

Symposium held at the Stadthalle in Sindelfingen to mark Prof. Gertis’s 60th birthday together with an industry exhibition, a traditional local fair at Fraunhofer IBP and trips to visit selected building projects.


Triple anniversary at Fraunhofer IBP: 70th anniversary of the institute's founding, 40 years since it became part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and 20 years of cooperation with the Gips-Schüle Foundation, all combined with the inauguration of the new extension. 


Fraunhofer IBP’s Holzkirchen site celebrates its 50th anniversary


Aged 65, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dr. h.c. mult. Dr. E.h. mult. K. Gertis hands over management of the institute to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Phys. K. Sedlbauer, who simultaneously takes up the position of Professor of Building Physics at the University of Stuttgart.



Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. K. Gösele, who headed up Fraunhofer IBP for so many years, dies on January 14, aged 91.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. G. Hauser is appointed as an additional director of the institute and simultaneously appointed to the Chair of Building Physics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

The institute celebrates its 75th anniversary and 25 years of cooperation with the Gips-Schüle Foundation.



Prof. Dr.-Ing. G. Hauser is retiring and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Peter Sedlbauer takes over Chair of Building Physics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Prof. Dr. rer.nat. habil. F. P. Mechel, who headed up Fraunhofer IBP for so many years, dies on May 4, aged 84.

The institute celebrates its 85th anniversary.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. G. Hauser, who headed up Fraunhofer IBP from 2004 to his retirement in year 2014, dies on August 10, aged 67.


Along with the new year comes new leadership at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP. Effective January 1, 2016, Prof. Philip Leistner (by then head of the acoustics department ) has taken on the role of deputy director, where he will be supporting Prof. Klaus Peter Sedlbauer in his leadership duties.

Picture above: Prof. Dr. Philip Leistner
Picture below: Prof. Dr. Klaus Peter Sedlbauer