Materials and damage arising in building processes

Interdisciplinary failure analysis and expert support

Professional failure analysis saves costs and optimizes building processes

In recent years, not only is the number of legal disputes related to building damage on the increase but procedures are also becoming more and more complex. These are annoying and cause extra work, which the consumer ultimately has to pay for in the form of rising construction costs, rental charges or reduced returns on investment. Avoiding damage right from the start or identifying it quickly and clearly when it happens saves costs and helps to optimize building processes. However, effective research into the causes of building damage calls for adapted assessment procedures and analysis methods in various disciplines. Fraunhofer IBP is in a better position than almost any other institution to do this. Although normed test procedures under standardized general constraints are useful to compare quality, they are invariably of little help when it comes to identifying specific damage. Fraunhofer IBP is unique with its interdisciplinary expertise in natural sciences and engineering, such as classical physics, building physics, acoustics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biology, etc. Teams of experts made up of engineers, physicists, geologists, mineralogists, chemists, process engineers, biologists, mathematicians, architects and IT scientists, are available as competent partners to discuss technical matters at eye level. Cases can be dealt with in the laboratory, in the field or with the aid of simulations.


On-site assessment

An on-site assessment by specially trained experts may become necessary if mold or unpleasant odors are a problem. During the inspection, our scientists identify the causes, such as improper installation or drying a building inadequately, or even the existence of previous contamination in old building stock.


Failure analysis

Our services include assessing damage, as well as planning and carrying out failure analysis measures. In doing so, we work closely with experts and consultants. We use physical as well as chemical and biological methods with the appropriate equipment for the investigations.



At Fraunhofer IBP, the “Hygiene” working group implements microbiological and chemical trace analysis techniques to identify harmful organisms and trace substances. We have a modern trace analysis laboratory at our disposal and use methods that we have developed ourselves, as well as standardized national and international test methods, to clarify hygienic issues.