Natural disasters or acts of terrorism often result in the collapse of buildings. Proactive planning and the use of innovative building materials can however greatly reduce the risk of collapse. The Alliance business unit "Safety" connects safety aspects with the objectives of building insulation and architectonic design to create multifunctional construction elements. In addition to disaster avoidance topics, the Building Innovation Alliance also examines issues relating to the normal loads carried by buildings.
Safety Starts with the Material
Particularly relevant to building safety are building materials which can lessen shock waves in case of an earthquake or an explosion due to their high ability to absorb energy. Thus e.g. a polymer concrete developed in the Building Innovation Alliance containing fibers for reinforcement in addition to porous organic filler materials can greatly reduce the destructive impact of detonations due to its high pore volume.
Protective Second Skin for Buildings
In order to more reliably protect buildings from damage by short-term dynamic events, membrane facades are being developed which can be installed in front of the actual building facade. With a partial perforation they lessen shock and pressure loads and at the same time function as a climatic skin. These textile outer facades can also serve as explosion and shatter protection for particularly endangered buildings such as embassies, government facilities and police stations.
Another field of research is concerned with system solutions that can be adapted for various application areas or which can be subsequently upgraded. One example here are mobile soundproofing systems which can be converted into blast protection elements. Originally conceived as acoustic protection against temporary noise sources, these construction elements can be filled with water or heavy materials to turn them into safety barriers protecting against explosions. Specially developed support structures ensure stability in case of a detonation.