Building physics

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The physics deals with the application of physics to monuments and buildings . The main focus is on security aspects.

The importance of building physics has increased considerably in the last few decades - from around 1970 onwards: Increased efforts in the thermal insulation of buildings led to a greater inclusion of building physics considerations in building planning. Another focus of building physics is the implementation of noise protection in apartments and buildings. For example, the propagation of sound in apartment buildings should be minimized; one would like to avoid 'noisy' apartments.

Efforts to protect buildings from heat were and are driven by the following factors:

  • Economic considerations: two oil crises - 1973/74 and 1979/80 - made oil and gas significantly more expensive.
  • In the 1970s - for example through the report of the Club of Rome - it became clear that energy reserves are finite and that there is a peak of oil .
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, damage from environmental pollution (for example from acid rain) became more well known.
  • Advances in many building materials.
  • In the 1970s, a lot of structural damage or construction defects in buildings from the 1950s and 1960s became apparent. These could not be repaired or only with great effort and even led to the demolition of some buildings.
  • The need for comfort of many people (building owners, tenants, buyers) has increased.
  • The willingness to take legal action against structural damage and deficiencies has risen sharply.

These factors led to the founding of the specialist journal Bauphysik in 1979 , a scientific-technical journal that appears every two months and covers the areas of heat, moisture, sound, fire, light and energy in relation to buildings.


Building physics is a field of work and research in architecture and civil engineering at universities and technical colleges.

For example, a professorship at the University of Siegen is called " Building Technology , Building Physics and Building Ecology ".

There is the job description of the building physicist.

Do not count towards building physics


Building physics and building physics considerations already flow into building construction and architecture in the design phase . Numerous technical regulations, standards and laws contain building physics issues and specifications:

Building physical considerations and reports also play a role in the assessment of construction defects and structural damage .

Sub-areas and topics

Thermal conduction / thermal radiation / thermal insulation / thermal protection
Building moisture / water vapor content / moisture transport (see also vapor barrier ) / condensation of water / mold formation in apartments
Both building acoustics , ie sound transmission / sound insulation within buildings, and room acoustics , i. H. Sound propagation and distribution in rooms, and sound immission protection , ie sound transmission in the open air and protection against traffic, commercial and leisure noise
Function of buildings as protection against "bad weather", demands of users of a building on its "room climate", harmful effects of climatic conditions on structures


The economic interests of certain branches within the building materials industry are sometimes directly affected by normative and legal regulations in the field of building physics . In Germany, the Energy Saving Ordinance meant that new buildings with brick outer walls were almost exclusively implemented with thermal insulation for a long time. In this context, some fierce controversies about building physics have taken place in the media and on the Internet since the 1980s. Since the first publications were in magazines of brick industry associations, a journal article was given the title Brick Physics - A New Building Physics? ( The stucco trade , 1983.). Since then, the term “brick physics” has established itself among a group of discussants - also in specialist internet forums - often as a synonym for pseudoscience .

A new generation of highly insulating bricks has been on the market for years, meeting all requirements for thermal insulation up to the passive house level in a single-shell construction without additional insulation layers. The monolithic (single-shell) wall structure even predominates in Germany overall and is constantly increasing.


  • Thomas Duzia, Norbert Bogusch: Basic knowledge of building physics - Basics of heat and moisture protection. Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2014, ISBN 978-3-8167-9135-5 .
  • Heinz-Martin Fischer (Ed.): Textbook of building physics. Sound - heat - humidity - light - fire - climate. 6th edition. Vieweg + Teubner, Wiesbaden 2008, ISBN 978-3-519-55014-3 .
  • Claus Meier: Myth of building physics - mirror image of society: errors, misinterpretations, directions. 2nd, expanded edition. German expert-verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-8169-2989-5 .

Web links

See also


  1. since 1985 this magazine has been called "Der Stuckateur", see here