Interactions between building materials and the environment in focus
Developed and animate environments influence each other in different ways: For example, substances from building materials can leach into the soil and groundwater when rainwater runs off buildings. If temperatures and humidity conditions are suitable, particles settling on surfaces may become a food source for organisms colonizing the exterior of building components. This so-called growth often leads to an unsightly appearance.
The employees in the working area “Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology” study these interactions. On the one hand, their aim is to find solutions to make building materials durable and sustainable to meet requirements. On the other hand, they conduct research on the impact of materials and their constituents on the environment.
In order to further develop them, the biological and chemical properties of building products and materials first need to be better understood. By combining field tests with standardized laboratory procedures, our experts make sure that materials not only withstand laboratory conditions but are also robust enough to cope with normal use. To tackle these tasks, we have a trace analysis laboratory at our disposal, as well as molecular-biological technologies for genetic analysis and an extensive database for identifying and classifying organisms on components.