We develop inorganic building materials for the future

Fraunhofer IBP is your competent partner when it comes to building with innovative, sustainable materials in an energy-efficient and resource-saving way.

We develop the building materials of the future

Since time immemorial, people have been using building materials to construct buildings and other structures such as bridges or dams. While in earlier times, wood and natural stone and clay were used for building, today it is materials such as cement, concrete, brick and plasterboard made from natural raw materials that predominate.

In order to keep pace with man’s desire to construct ever-larger and more imposing buildings, as well as with the need to build in a way that is both energy-efficient and saves on resources, today’s building materials have to be constantly improved and new, innovative ones developed. As experts in inorganic materials and recycling, we see ourselves as a competent partner in both applied and fundamental research & development relating to mineral-based (i.e. primarily inorganic) building materials.

We conduct extensive research on building materials, from concrete through aerated concrete and lightweight building materials right up to geopolymers and RC building materials

Our knowledge and expertise range from mass building materials like concrete and cement through special building materials such as aerated concrete and other lightweight building materials right up to cement-free building materials like geopolymers or geopolymer concrete. Another focus is on the development of innovative, sustainable recycled (RC) building materials consisting predominantly or entirely of secondary raw materials, an essential field of work if the construction industry is to become sustainable and carbon-neutral in the future.

Last but not least, we can also learn from the past as we develop new building materials - for example, from Roman concretes that have survived the centuries almost unscathed.

At our Holzkirchen branch, apart from a building materials laboratory, we also have a solid-state analytical, thermal, optical and preparative laboratory. To conduct research on aerated concrete, we have our own pilot plant with a saturated steam autoclave similar to those used in industry.



Second to water, concrete is the most widely-used material worldwide in terms of volume. Concrete used to be a simple three-material mix of cement, aggregates and water. These days, however, it is a high-tech building material that also contains air, admixtures and additives. With our experience, expertise and technical equipment, we have what it needs to handle this complex material.


Aerated concrete

Aerated concrete, also known as gas concrete, is a lightweight, inorganic building material with excellent thermal insulation properties that is ideal for building durable structures. We have both the know-how and the necessary technical capabilities to produce aerated concrete on a pre-industrial scale.


Lightweight materials

Lightweight materials are building materials with a bulk density of less than 2000 kilograms per cubic meter. These low bulk densities are achieved by using porous aggregates or by foaming the material. We have extensive knowledge and experience in this area, too.


Historical building materials

Many historical building materials - such as ancient Roman concrete - are incredibly hardwearing and, in some cases, far superior to today’s materials. But what makes them so durable? Can these properties be transferred to new building materials? An interdisciplinary team from the field of conservation and materials science is exploring this topic.


RC building materials

In order to produce high-quality RC building materials, efficient processing methods are called for. These make it possible to recover the required secondary raw materials in the necessary quality. The scientists at Fraunhofer IBP are breaking new ground: they are pursuing so-called “multiple-loop” approaches - coupled with the idea of developing new material cycles.



Geopolymers, or alkali activated binders, are still relatively unexplored binding agents which possess great potential as building materials of the future. Based on our research and development work, the aim is to establish these cement-free binders in the building industry in the long term. Our experts are working hard towards this goal, contributing their extensive know-how.