Sustainable Metal Building Envelopes

  Research Building Metal construction (sandwich demo house) Copyright: © STB

In recent decades, efficient lightweight metal products and structures have been predominantly used in industrial and commercial construction however this field can also be utilised for the research and development of residential and multi-storey construction of new and existing structures. For this reason, it is necessary to develop and establish standard structures which can be used to develop sustainable lightweight metal building envelopes.

Some examples of research in this field are given below:

  • Light construction as a means of increasing resource efficiency
  • New cross-sections and connections, and their load capacity
  • Optimisation of standard and connection details in lightweight metal construction relating to building physics, energy and cost efficiency
  • Energy rehabilitation of buildings, including residential and office buildings, with lightweight metal construction
  • Design and development of innovative fixing technology
  • Development of integrated roof and external wall construction in lightweight metal for the use of renewable energy sources

In addition to numerical investigations, experimental tests are also carried out e.g. building physics and mechanical properties of products, and the construction of lightweight metal structures.

Various aspects of sustainable construction can be tested under real conditions at the research building "Sandwich CUBE" .

You can find an overview of current and past research projects here.

The ZIM-Network ileM

The technological and expertise network (ileM) was initiated by the teaching and research field “Sustainability in Lightweight Metal Construction”. It was set up on the 1st of January 2016 and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as part of the Zentrales Innovationsporgramm Mittelstand (ZIM).

The main concept of this network is the consideration of the entire lightweight metal construction supply chain; from manufacture to forming and assembly, and renovation and disassembly of components. Above all, finding innovative solutions to improve the energy efficiency and multifunctionality of the building envelope is a central theme of the network. These solutions strengthen the sustainability of the construction industry, both in new and existing buildings. The latest improvements in energy generation and storage can also be applied to lightweight metal construction through these fundamental developments.