Finding the answers to issues relating to the heat and moisture balance of building components and buildings by simulation - this made possible by products from the WUFI® family, which have been developed over the last 25 years in the Department of Hygrothermics.
Today, customers in over 175 countries use these products. This proves that the department’s expertise is recognized around the world. However, information and communication technologies are developing fast and opening up new potential. The challenges are changing, too, such as digital collaboration due to the global pandemic. Furthermore, the present social and political environment is making a Green New Deal possible in more than just Europe and North America. All this calls for the development of a new generation of hygrothermal simulations.
Development of a business model
The extent to which value can be added by using cloud-based computing resources for hygrothermal simulations was demonstrated by the HPCwire Editor's Choice Award “Best Use of HPC in the Cloud (Use Case)”. This was awarded to the Department of Hygrothermics in 2019 for their ground-breaking implementation of hygrothermal building simulation with WUFI® Plus in the cloud. This provided the impulse to tackle the development of the next generation of hygrothermal simulation and to evaluate not only the business model and the technology but also the market. This all took place within the scope of the Fraunhofer AHEAD program, which supports the spin-off of Fraunhofer technology to innovative high-tech start-ups.
Next generation of hygrothermal simulation
The Fraunhofer spin-off offers web-based applications for planning sustainable and energy-efficient buildings in a quick and cost-effective way. The basis is a multi-physics simulation model, which allows building physics calculations to be made on different temporal and spatial scales. Through this, buildings can be evaluated from the aspect of energy requirements and certified based on the American passive house method, for example. In addition, detailed predictions can be made about whether a building component will overheat in the summer or be capable of resisting damage in the long term. The input effort is reduced due to the underlying data structure with BIM connection, as well as due to the link to databases for materials, components and installation systems. By using cloud resources, it is possible to shorten simulation times. Projects can be implemented collaboratively across different offices and even national borders.
C3RRO as Fraunhofer spin-off
Thanks to its products and services, the spin-off C3RROlutions GmbH with its brand C3RRO (pronounced ze-ro, meaning: zero) makes a major contribution to a C3RRO carbon future through C3RRO energy buildings with C3RRO problems in terms of sustainability, resilience, comfort, health and air quality. The development is driven by the belief that the health and well-being of occupants can be greatly enhanced by integrating building physics knowledge into the design and operation of buildings. Furthermore, such high quality buildings contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. C3RROlutions GmbH provides the most advanced building physics simulation models and corresponding expertise for simulating building energy, comfort and durability. The agreements on licensing Fraunhofer know-how and on future cooperation are the basis for formulating scientific issues as well as for implementing Fraunhofer research in an application-oriented manner.