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The Competence Center supports the development of new components and systems. This includes, for example, the use of new materials, the greening of facades and object-specific engineering.
In recent years, the use of glass has enabled to realization of innovative and, thanks to its transparency, architecturally pleasing load-bearing structures. Glass is an increasingly important building material. The Competence Center for Building Envelopes and Civil Engineering strongly focuses on the topic of glass, particularly on the dimensioning and testing of glass components.
With our know-how and our infrastructure, we cover the entire spectrum from material properties to component testing, making the Competence Center a reliable partner for the development of glass components. Thanks to our expertise, we are also active in the Swiss Society of Architects and Engineer’s (SIA) 268 Glass Construction Standards Commission, which is currently developing a new Swiss glass design standard, the SIA fact sheet 2057.
From resonance problems occuring between supporting structure and turbulent wind flow, to the optimization of numerical flow simulations (CFD) specifically for facades, to component testing on the test rig, the discipline of "wind engineering" applies to a broad range of research and development topics.
The team of the Competence Center Building Envelopes and Civil Engineering has been exploring the topic of wind engineering for several years and thanks to its know-how and infrastructure is considerd a reliable project partner for various research tasks.
Given their positive effect on urban climate, air quality, sound, biodiversity and heat protection for buildings, green facades play an increasingly important role in contemporary construction practice. However, certain aspects of green facades still need to be researched. It is in this context that the research group is deeply involved in the advancement of facade greening systems.
The research work on green facades focuses on
determining the forces exerted on the supporting structure by plants, taking
into account wind, vegetation, snow and dead load. The test rig that was set
up for the purpose is specifically used to measure the growth forces exerted by
the plants. A recent Master’s thesis determined the wind forces caused by
five different climbing plants through testing in a turbulent wind tunnel.
To demonstrate the advantages of facade greening
to building owners and to substantiate the added value of facade greening, the
researchers focus on topics including the determination of the shading effect and
cooling load on the facade of various climbing plant species. Determining the
physical effects these species have on the facade, helps to show the benefits of facade greening on the building climate and the associated
reduction in energy demand.
Modern metal engineering has long established its place in the construction sector. Increasingly complex load-bearing structures place an ever-growing emphasis on the engineering aspect of modern designs; the engineering of contemporary facades is complex and varied. We offer support to innovative companies, for example with feasibility studies and by applying or know-how to their innovation projects.
Our interdisciplinary team offers support in various subject areas: