Energy and Resources – Building and Living

Energy prices are soaring, which makes energy efficiency in buildings a key issue both for businesses and private households. We need to ensure that the way we build and live is sustainable and safeguards both resources and our health. We must also find ways to optimize the products, systems and processes we use.

Energie und Rohstoffe


The Fraunhofer project BauCycle: Recycling of fine-grained rubble

The German construction sector uses 600 million tons of mineral construction raw materials annually. As just 81 million tons of construction waste are recycled and used as building materials, only 5 percent of construction waste is attributed to high-quality products in the construction industry. The majority of utilised mineral construction materials are produced with primary raw materials.

The finite nature of natural resources and the scarcity of landfill space are growing challenges for resource management, which cannot be solved by current approaches of construction waste recycling technology.

For this purpose there is an increasing emphasis on sustainable building in the construction sector. Hence a research consortium comprising various project partners was established forcing the challenges of resource conservation, reuse of building materials and a high-quality recycling of construction material. 

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Morgenstadt – Drive toward a liveable city of the future

Stadt der Zukunft
© Fraunhofer IBP
Fraunhofer System Research for Morgenstadt

Through its »Morgenstadt« initiative, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is supporting the German federal government in implementing an innovative project entitled “The CO2-neutral, energy efficient and climate-adapted city”, which is one of 10 projects selected to form part of the government’s High-Tech Strategy 2020.

»Morgenstadt« is a vision of a sustainable, livable and innovative city of the future and its suburban surroundings. The challenge is not to optimize individual technologies, but rather to merge them together over the long term to create a fully integrated system in a sustainable city of the future. Thanks to their broad and closely intertwined research capabilities, the Fraunhofer institutes are perfectly equipped to carry out this task. This forward-looking project aims to achieve concrete goals related to scientific and technological developments.

Wood Foam – From Tree to Foam

wood foam
© Fraunhofer WKI

Foams are usually made of petrochemical-based polymers. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research WKI in Braunschweig (Brunswick) have developed a new foam material. It consists of 100 percent renewable resources, is climate friendly and recyclable. In the long term, wood foams could replace conventional petroleum-oil based foams, whether for thermal insulation, as packaging material or in lightweight construction.

A novel approach to recycling construction waste

The construction industry is one of the most resource-intensive sectors of the German economy. The nation’s buildings constitute a vast store of raw materials, harboring some 100 billion metric tons of materials that could be recovered and returned to the material cycle at the end of their service life. Four Fraunhofer Institutes have joined forces in the BauCycle project to kick-start recycling of sand and gravel fine particle fractions that cannot be reclaimed today for reuse in further construction projects.

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Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance

Eleven research institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft form the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance. With 10 locations in Germany and the United States and a total research budget of approx. € 240 million an effective research pool in the field of „construction“ has been created.


The Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center in Duisburg, Germany, is an innovation workshop that is unique in Europe. It carries out application-oriented and close-to-the-market research in the field of intelligent room and building systems. The inHaus-Center bundles the potential from several Fraunhofer Institutes and more than 100 business partners for the cooperative development, testing and implementation of innovative solutions in technology, products and systems for residential and commercial building applications.



Fraunhofer Center for Conservation and Energy Performance of Historic Buildings

Building physicists and monument conservators are developing solutions for improved preservation and energy-oriented refurbishment of historic buildings.