Automation for student study hall: The new SmallCAN building automation system was tested under realistic conditions in two buildings.
© TU Braunschweig, Institut für Gebäude- und Solartechnik IGS

Building automation
Cost-effective decentralised fieldbus system tested

SmallCAN can be used to considerably simplify the automated operation of buildings. In terms of its basic structure, the simple and flexibly extendable fieldbus system has its origins in the automotive sector and requires very little power itself.

Example of a solar-active, grid-connected energy supply for a new housing estate
© Andrea Kroth

Heat grid for pilot project in the neighbourhood
Energy-plus housing scheme with a solar-active, grid-connected energy supply

The project is accompanying the first construction phase of an energy-plus housing scheme being constructed in Berlin Adlershof, whose clients have combined together to form the Newton GbR building venture. Three four-storey residential buildings are being built in this construction phase.

Densified rental housing requires special refurbishment concepts for efficient heating systems
© Michael Gaida,

Low-exergy concepts for existing buildings
Heat pumps for the refurbishment of apartment buildings

Solutions for the use of low-exergy systems are being developed for the heat supply of existing multi-family houses. The subject of investigation are electric and gas heat pumps as well as heat transfer and ventilation systems.

HiL test stand at the Hermann-Rietschel-Institut of the TU Berlin
© TU Berlin

Network integration of local heat sources
Low-exergy transmission pipes for storing and distributing heat

Development of a LowEx multi-line network capable of integrating different local energy sources (solar thermal, geothermal energy) at different temperature levels.

Example of a building with PCM wall elements and PCM cooling ceilings.
© ZAE Bayern / Petra Hoeglmeier

Phase change materials in buildings
Performance of heat storage systems with PCMs

Phase change materials (PCMs) are only used sporadically in construction, although various products and systems have been available on the market for several years now. The PCM Demo II research project therefore intends to test and scientifically evaluate the practicality of PCMs in buildings.

The historic Margarethenhöhe workers' housing estate in Essen in an aerial view from the southeast (2009).
© Wikipedia, Gemeinfrei

Innovations in the historic city quarter
District concept enables energy efficiency in listed buildings

The listed settlement Margarethenhöhe in Essen is a historic residential quarter. Many buildings have remained almost unchanged since the construction period. Researchers are now investigating how the energy efficiency of the settlement can be significantly increased beyond the measures taken so far

 Symbol image diagram
© James Thew -

Energy balancing of buildings
EnerCalC – Simplified Energy Balances Based on DIN V 18599

The energy balancing of buildings in accordance with DIN V 18599 has been frequently criticized because of its complexity and resulting time-consuming application. The Excel-based EnerCalC tool, which was developed in 2011 as a learning tool.

Example of office and administrative buildings.
© Mike Mareen -

New administration building
Building ensemble utilises ground as a heating and cooling source

Foundation piles with absorber arrays extract heat from the ground in winter and serve as a cooling source in summer. Thermally activated concrete storage masses support pleasant room temperatures.

District heating pipeline (left) and Solar thermal field (right)
© T. Urbanek, TU Chemnitz

Simulation of network hydraulics
Feeding renewable energy optimally into district heating networks

In this project, researchers want to find out how an increasing number of decentralised heat generators affect the network hydraulics and thermal cycling of existing district heating networks, and whether heat storage systems need to be retrofitted.

Example of a building with PCM wall elements and PCM cooling ceilings.
© ZAE Bayern / Petra Hoeglmeier

PCMs in cooling ceilings and heat stores
Flexible use: PCMs in cooling ceilings and heat stores

Phase change materials (PCMs) are of interest for many applications in constructions, as they can be used for cooling, heating, and storing heat. However, to date they have only been used in a limited number of offices and residential buildings. Researchers have studied the reasons for this.

Energy-optimised new-build scheme
© Mike Mareen -

Energy-optimised new-build scheme
Office building as an investor scheme is heated without emissions

Energy-saving contracting helps the new building provide zero-emission heating.

Entrance area of ​​the Willibald-Gluck-Gymnasium
© Berschneider + Berschneider, Architekten BDA + Innenarchitekten BDIA. Foto: Petra Kellner

New low-energy school building
Smart Green Tower becomes an energy producer

The Smart Green Tower is being built in the city of Freiburg. The 51 m high residential and commercial building will have a building envelope made of photovoltaic modules. Depending on the solar radiation, more energy is generated via the photovoltaic system than can be directly consumed.