Technical Mock-ups for Validating Integral Façade Design Concepts

Evaluation of thermal comfort
© Fraunhofer IBP
Interior view of a test room featuring the DressMan measuring system for thermal comfort assessment.

The planning of complex façade systems is associated with particular difficulties: on the one hand, a building's façade has to fulfil multiple requirements; on the other hand, there are diverse technical disciplines involved, which need to be coordinated to collaborate in planning and implementation.

Different functions (such as weather protection, energy efficiency and thermal comfort, ventilation, daylight supply, glare control, generation of thermal and electrical energy) need to be merged with the specialist departments involved (e.g. mechanical engineering, metal construction, glazing etc.), thus posing major challenges to both planners and builders.

Quite frequently, innovative façades are unique constructions, which are built without having undergone sufficient practical testing. In fact, about 15 to 25 percent of construction costs for large-scale projects are being invested in façades, often lacking appropriate technical-functional quality assurance.

In order to enhance planners' and builders' security regarding their façade choices, we offer functional model tests using so-called façade mock-ups. These tests facilitate commissioning, since the interaction of individual components was previously tested.

Relying on our competencies, our experience and our test facilities, we are capable of carrying out individual sampling under real conditions.


Our services:

  • Integral assessment of façade solutions, including the interaction of supply systems with regard to energy efficiency, thermal and visual comfort (daylight supply, glare control)
  • Layout of an appropriate test design
  • Selection of suitable procedures/ concepts of measurement
  • Performance and supervision of experiments
  • Data analysis and evaluation
  • Development and validation of models used in thermal and energy simulation
  • Support in developing an optimized integral concept
  • Documentation and publication of results

Benefits of functional mock-ups at a glance:

  • Performance check of new, complex façade developments
  • Improved planning security, validation of dimensioning technical building systems
  • Verification and validation of simulation models and calculation algorithms by measurement
  • Performance check of comfort requirements (thermal, visual comfort)
  • Elimination of potential trouble spots before construction
  • Time and cost savings, prevention of cost-intensive retrofits
  • Avoidance of excessive operating costs
  • Making future office worlds "come alive" before construction
  • Tapping optimization potentials by interdisciplinary research

Reference projects

Industrial projects:

  • CC façade, La Roche AG Basel (CH)
  • Exhaust air façade, AutomationCenter Festo AG, Esslingen
  • Exhaust air façade, new company headquarters of Continental AG, Hanover