Prototype of an evacuated glazing unit

The spacers can hardly be seen. The total thickness of the glazing unit is 9 mm (the frame thickness is app. 20 mm) and its weight is comparable to that of a standard double-glazed unit. Windows with an area of 1 m x 1 m are currently being developed by Fraunhofer ISE.

Façades and Windows

R&D Services

We test, evaluate and optimize façades and structural elements on behalf of property developers and planners. In addition, we also develop new products and façade components together with manufacturers. Our work centers on the following areas:

Visual and thermal comfort

particularly glare on display screen equipment at workstations and optimizing the availability of daylight

g value

controlling solar heat gain through windows and façades in summer and winter using glazing, shading systems and smart glass

Thermal insulating properties

of opaque, translucent and transparent façade elements and components: smart insulating properties can also be taken into account here.

Optical properties

of components and structural elements: analyzing reflectance and transmission properties, color effects, light scattering and redirecting properties, and the solar reflectance index (SRI).

Façade-integrated thermal collectors

providing heat for process water as well as solar heating and cooling

Façade-integrated PV modules (BIPV)

with a particular focus on characterizing multifunctional components as well as optimizing and designing complete systems, including inverters, bypass diodes and blocking diodes

A building envelope performs a diverse range of functions and tasks: Modern glazing and thermal insulation systems protect users against unfavorable climatic conditions. They allow solar heat to be obtained through windows and optimize thermal protection. They also regulate the supply of daylight and fresh air, and – using integrated collectors or PV modules – generate useful heat or solar power.

We are researching architectural and economical solutions for optimizing these multifunctional features. We develop products jointly with manufacturers, advise developers and planners, and test components and façades on accredited test rigs – both in the lab and the field.

Using simulation tools, we are able to analyze and generalize precise individual measurements. This enables us to identify and demonstrate potential for improvement. At the same time, we thus reduce the number of individual measurements required.

Our test results are internationally recognized thanks to our accreditation under DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025.

We have the following test stands available for completing full characterizations of façades:


TestLab Solar Façades for comprehensive lab characterization using the following test stands:

g value calorimeter for precise, angle-dependent measurements in stationary lab conditions, particularly useful for characterizing solar shading systems and smart glass; also for measuring transparent façade elements with active PV or solar thermal elements.

Spectrometry lab for reflectance, transmission and color measurements. Measurements can also be conducted on large, inhomogeneous samples and “thick” samples where internal scattering or light redirection is relevant to the measurement.

Goniophotometer for performing bi-directional characterization of light scattering and redirecting properties in materials and components.

U value test stand for characterizing glazing systems and thermal insulation. Here, test specimens can be examined under different inclination angles.

Rotating double office on the roof specializing in photometric analysis, particularly for performing comparative measurements and user acceptance studies.

Calorimetric outdoor façade test facility for testing large-scale façade elements in real weather conditions.

Furthermore, we have extensive coating technology equipment at our disposal with which we are able to produce prototypes and small batches of various coatings on glass or metal.