Building Enclosures and Materials Capabilities

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

Thermal image of a residential household.

Field Testing Capabilities


  • Calorimetric field testing of opaque and transparent building enclosure systems
  • Testing facilities in Albuquerque, NM, Boston, MA, and Brunswick, ME
  • Whole building testing in different climatic conditions
  • Evaluation of whole building energy consumption impact of advanced building enclosure systems
  • Long-term aging/durability testing of building components

Thermal and Hygrothermal Testing

  • Evaluation of basic thermal characteristics of materials such as thermal conductivity and optical surface properties
  • Component dynamic and steady-state testing
  • Evaluation and description of dynamic material properties
  • Measurement of temperature-dependent properties of building materials

Thermal and Hygrothermal Modeling Capabilities


  • Steady-state and transient modeling with temperature-, time-, and space-dependent material properties
  • Modeling of phase change materials such as complex enthalpy curves, sub-cooling effects
  • Dynamic finite difference and finite element computer modeling of complex architectural components in 2D and 3D
  • Evaluation of energy savings from thermal mass effects
  • Modeling of radiation control technologies, radiant barriers and reflective insulation, advanced attic insulation systems, cool coatings
  • Modeling of complex building components and thermal bridging such as metal structures, components with air cavities; design of thermal breaks
  • Whole-building modeling: thermal, hygrothermal, and energy