Fraunhofer IBP explores the future work environment

Healthy office design through efficient innovations

Different departments of the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP in Holzkirchen, Germany, are investigating various approaches and measures for enhancing the work environment in current research projects. An outline of the research fields of indoor climate and acoustics is provided below.

The topic of office design for health, wellbeing, and performance is currently the focus of investigations and analyses conducted by the Department of Building Physics in collaboration with other scientists, companies, office planners and owners, agencies, and institutes in the office initiative. The object is to develop integrated solution approaches for a harmonious combination of efficient office spaces and healthy, performance-enhancing work environments. 1

Climate wall & prototype luminaire for human wellbeing

Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP, we at C+P developed the patented climate wall– a future-oriented and healthy panel cooling system which helps to improve indoor climate or room acoustics. The climate wall combines the functions of different cooling systems, eliminates negative effects of air conditioning, and stands out due to its comprehensive functions compared to conventional panel cooling systems. 2

With the aid of novel technology, the Fraunhofer IBP has also developed, together with Nimbus, an innovative prototype luminaire which optimally combines light and acoustics to provide for improved workplace conditions. Speech intelligibility, a major issue especially in open-plan offices, can noticeably be optimized by recorded sounds such as softly trickling water. Findings from psychoacoustics and cognitive ergonomics can help to increase productivity and human wellbeing. 3