Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research

Improve indoor climate, reduce heat load in buildings

Photo: Pino Madeo /

Summer heat waves significantly affect indoor comfort. That is not only caused by the indoor temperature rise in the room, but as well by the accompanying frequent high humidity that is increased by human indoor activities. Science is searching purposefully for pragmatic and in the same time environment-friendly approaches to offer alternatives to energy intensive air conditioning systems in future extreme weather events. The optimization of moisture regulating plaster is another worthwhile cornerstone.

KIT scientists in cooperation with the South German Climate Office at IMK-TRO have now developed a requirement profile for new plaster systems in the context of the interdisciplinary project "Performance criteria for home comfort adjusting construction material under the influence of climate change in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg (In German: raum/klima/putz)", which improve indoor climate without the need for technically and economically complex air conditioning systems. For this purpose, the interaction between outdoor and indoor climate was modeled taking into account the thermal-hygric behavior of the walls and the plaster of a building. On this basis, the influence of different plaster systems on the indoor climate and the resulting comfort of the user were investigated. The results provide advanced insights into summerly user comfort as well as the necessary characteristics of such novel plaster Systems.

The main finding in the project is the determination of a profile of requirements for plaster via a holistic approach of the wall system.  It considers both sustainable comfort criteria in the interior as well as factors of the outdoor climate on a sustainable basis. The division into the three sections "SPACE", "CLIMATE" and "PUTZ" allows a fundamental consideration of the different disciplines and their interactions.

For more details, have a look at the ESKP-special topic “Metropolises under pressure (in german)”:

[South-German Climate Office at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology]