Building physics

With our scientific expertise in heat and moisture protection, architectural and acoustics as well as fluid flow analysis, we develop solutions to assure the quality of our built environment, thus making a contribution to a sustainable and resource-efficient building culture.

We carry out research projects to investigate the performance of the built environment from various perspectives such as energy use, thermal protection, hydrodynamic behavior of the airflow in different elements, and sound control.  We also optimize existing constructions, e.g. by making refurbishment ideas to improve the building's sustainability and energy efficiency.

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Service portfolio

We conduct scientific investigations of practical issues

  • Research projects commissioned by companies and institutions
  • Technology developments tailored to the size of the company (from micro-enterprises to industrial companies)
  • Support in applying for research funding from national and international funding organisations (including Innosuisse, FOEN, SFOE)
  • Testing services for sound insulation and component vibrations
  • Testing services for the physical properties of components and materials
  • Testing services for physical methods of building data acquisition
  • Building physics consulting, simulation calculations and expert appraisals
  • Detailed performance analysis using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations.

We are heavily involved in teaching and continuing education. We supervise students’ projects and theses. We also frequently engage master’s students as assistants in research projects. In this way, we contribute to training the experts of the future.

We have connections with the following academic programmes and courses of continuing education:

We aim to transfer all non-confidential research into practice. To this end, we hold events and lectures, write specialist articles, conduct tours, organise workshops, and present our results at trade fairs.

Areas of expertise

Besides our areas of technical expertise, we are distinguished by our close connections to the industry, to institutions, associations and international research networks.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Fluid mechanics
  • Energy efficiency
  • Resilient infrastructures
  • Heat and moisture protection
  • Architectural and room acoustics

Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture IHTA

Building physics is one of the key areas of focus of the Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture IHTA. At the IHTA we focus on innovative, resource-saving and energy-efficient buildings. We support you from the design to the constructional implementation to construction in existing buildings. Other key areas of focus:


We have access to laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment for the handling of service and development orders, including:

  • Lightweight test rig (BFH-AHB and EMPA, Dübendorf)
  • Noise measurement set for performing building acoustics measurements (airborne and impact sound)
  • Sound intensity measurements
  • Vibration measuring set for performing vibration analyses
  • Blower-door measuring devices for measuring the air-tightness of buildings, leak detection and joint permeability of building components
  • Thermal imaging camera
  • Wood moisture and climate data logger
  • Climate chambers and multiple climate chambers to investigate heat and moisture insulation of building components
  • U-value measurement of components with a protected heating box (Hot Box)
  • Measurement of the thermal conductivity of building materials with a protected plate measuring device
  • 2D and 3D thermal bridge calculations
  • WUFI® (software by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics) to calculate heat and moisture transfers
  • Multidimensional analysis of the airflow in/around the buildings, heat/fire propagation, microclimate/local heat islands, and sound/noise transmission using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations


A wide range of opportunities for cooperation exists. We are pleased to provide information and look forward to hearing from you: