HiPIE-Lab - High Performance Indoor Environment

Are you in the process of developing a new product and would like to know how it will be received by (potential) users and how it will affect their well-being? Our experts can help with our innovative test facility for integral impact research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP.

Nowadays, people spend most of their lives indoors, whether at work or during leisure time. The indoor environment should be designed in a way that ensure – or even promote - health, well-being, and performance. To achieve this, suitable target values must be formulated, and structural and technical solutions developed. Within the framework of the research and development initiative High Performance Indoor Environment (HiPIE), we at Fraunhofer IBP have created a test environment in which ambient conditions can be varied quickly and easily. In this way, we can study human responses such as perception, sensation, experience, and behavior.

In addition, the use of the laboratory makes it possible to evaluate cause-effect relationships in a scientifically sound, rapid, and cost-effective manner. On a freely designable room area of approx. 45 square metres, the building physics environmental conditions such as acoustics, lighting, room climate and air quality can be specifically conditioned. For example, we can create a virtual acoustic environment here by using wave field synthesis to generate a multitude of sound sources to create an almost arbitrary spatial sound scene.

Furthermore, a 3D audio speaker setup or binaural recording and playback systems provide further techniques for simulating acoustic environments. In addition, a controllable daylight partition in front of the windows of the test room not only provides a virtual view out of the window but also allows well-defined investigations of the balance of daylight and lighting systems. Thanks to air conditioning technology, summer heat as well as cold periods can be simulated.

Human health and well-being in connection with new developments and product solutions can be studied in various contexts in our HiPIE laboratory. For example, we have already carried out numerous studies in the fields of work, housing, schools, and hospitals, as well as for the automotive industry. In the context of user testing, we help our customers evaluate how new product solutions affect human well-being and how they are received by users.