Pollutant dispersion in the built environment (Blocken et al., 2008)


The research is organised at ETH in collaboration with the Laboratory of Building and Technology of EMPA, where the experimental facilities are housed. It covers different scales going from material, to building and built environement. Three focal points can be distinguished:

Multiphysics of multiscale materials Sustainable buildings Sustainable cities / urban physics / engineering fluid flow

Multiphysics of Multiscale Materials

Physical, mechanical and chemical processes including transport and damage are studied in porous materials at different levels of observation starting from the nano-scale. Aim is to develop and produce new, advanced, smart, reversible materials for building and other applications. Research includes salt crystallization, leaching of biocides, functional aerogels, stick-slip behavior of faults, nano-structured coatings on glass, hygromechanical behavior of wood.

Multiscale modeling of vapor transport in wood (W. Zillig 2009)


Sustainable buildings

The building sector in Switzerland accounts for a large part of the energy use and CO2 emissions and there is a high potential of energy saving in retrofitting of (historical) buildings. Renovation measures are developed aiming at minimizing the energy consumption including the integration of solar energy use and improving building components and control functions. The study also includes the improvement of the living comfort, thermal and acoustical comfort, indoor air quality, daylight and the control of the moisture damage risk. Special attention is given to the development and integration of new technologies such as vacuum glazing and high insulation renderings.

Heat Energy Demand and Heated Floor Area of Dwellings in Zurich (M. Zimmermann, 2008)


Sustainable cities / urban physics / engineering fluid flow - poster

Due to the global trend towards urbanization, there is a growing interest for urban physics, and more particularly, the modification of the urban climate due to heat island effect and global warming and its impact on energy use of buildings. Also urban comfort, health and durability, referring respectively to wind/thermal pedestrian comfort, pollutant dispersion and driving rain are of interest. The research is based on computational modelling using computational fluid dynamics and experimental analysis.

Atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel equipped with high resolution measurement equipment for monitoring turbulent flows.


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