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Centre for Acoustic and Thermal Building Physics

The Centre for Acoustic and Thermal Building Physics (ZfB, part of Faculty B – Civil Engineering, Building Physics and Economics) groups together all research projects in the fields of both building acoustics and sound insulation (both headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Berndt Zeitler) and thermal insulation and moisture protection solutions (both headed by Prof. Dr Andreas Beck).

Building acoustics and sound insulation represent a core area of the IAF’s research into buildings and construction. The unique set of test facilities available at the ZfB’s premises in Stuttgart-Vaihingen are tailored to research into building acoustics and enable scientists to both broaden and intensify their knowledge in the centre’s current areas of focus.

The research carried out by the ZfB’s Acoustics Group goes beyond general building acoustics (i.e. airborne and impact sound). Areas of focus currently include the transmission of structure-borne sound in buildings, noise from building services and other technical equipment, the characterization of sources of structure-borne sound, the sound power of heating and ventilation systems, sound transmission in connection with stairways, sound absorption analysis, component development and optimization, application-specific research, calculation and measuring techniques for structural sound insulation, new products and construction methods in the field of structural sound insulation, footfall-related sound and mechanisms suitable for the prevention of airborne noise linked to multi-layered structures. The group also participates in the drafting of content for inclusion in acoustics norms and guidelines.

In addition to attracting external funds from national funding programmes, the Acoustics Group also carries out a considerable amount of contract research on behalf of industrial companies and associations of construction material manufacturers. The group is an active participant in all leading national and international bodies responsible for standardization in the field of structural sound insulation. It also engages in exchange with building acoustics experts both in Germany and overseas, maintaining strong ties with leading European organizations.

Research in the field of thermal insulation and moisture protection solutions deals with practical construction issues and is carried out by the Thermal Building Physics Group. The group’s main area of focus is the development of innovative construction materials and component systems. Core topics currently include the optimization of membrane and window structures for use within the framework of energy-efficient building refurbishment, the optimization of insulation materials in terms of heat and moisture transfer (e.g. vacuum insulation panels, capillary-active interior insulation and aerogels) and the use of phase change materials for passive room cooling. Headed by Prof. Dr Andreas Beck, the group possesses longstanding experience of project-based research and has an outstanding suite of measuring equipment at its disposal in HFT Stuttgart’s thermal building physics laboratories.