Climate and energy active building envelopes as component of climate oriented urban development

The implementation of a climate-neutral building stock is a large-scale task for the whole of society. Increased efforts and investments in energy-efficient building renovation and the use of renewable energies are needed. District-level solutions can address these challenges easier, more efficient and at a lower total cost than optimizing buildings individually. In the urban context, solar energy holds the greatest potential for the use of renewable sources. The existing building envelopes can be activated as a local source of energy, in particular by photovoltaics. 

In cities, the use of this potential turns out particularly difficult. The causes include the building ownership structure and the relatively small number of large roof areas for uncomplicated solar use. In the predominantly multi-storey building stock, the “urban skin” consists to a large extent of facades. Their use for energy production requires a high architectural quality and a careful integration into the built environment. At the same time, various energy-related technical options – apart from photovoltaic modules also solar thermal collectors, bioreactors, decentralized ventilation technology, storage elements, shading solutions or thermally activated building systems – and climate-regulating roof and façade greening compete for the limited space and investment resources.

The research group investigates the extent to which building envelopes in urban areas can be energy activated and which synergies may be exploited on the basis of a trade-off between building culture, energy-efficient renovation and greening. An equally important aspect is the integration into sustainable district energy concepts and into the urban energy system. With the help of large-scale simulations and the superimposition of production and consumption profiles as well as energy management strategies at district level, the research group investigates how these districts can support the local and higher-level grid in the challenges of the energy transition. Flexibility measures considered are, in particular, the operation of electric heat pumps adapted to electricity supply and demand and intelligent charging of electric vehicles. Last but not least, the research aims to quantify and avoid negative effects of a large-scale energy activation of building envelopes on the urban microclimate and outdoor comfort. Thus, the research group combines the areas of climate protection and climate adaptation. In conjunction with a lifecycle-based environmental assessment, recommendations for policy incentives and reduction of legal obstacles can be derived.

Finally, the aim is to identify strategies and options for implementing innovative solutions together with cities and municipalities, as urban development must meet diverse interests and needs of social and economic stakeholders. Several case studies in Bavarian cities serve to test how the potential for energy activation of building envelopes can be realised in a socially, grid and urban climate compatible as well as financially affordable way, for example by involving citizens in urban planning decisions and in the investments and profits of the energy transition.

Principal investigator
Dr.-Ing. Claudia Hemmerle
Chair of Building Technology and Climate Responsive Design
Faculty of Architecture
Technical University of Munich


  • Multi-criteria design and decision support for solar and green envelopes
    Fassbender E, Hemmerle C, Muhr N
    PowerSkin Conference 2021: TU Delft
  • Effect of energy management and influencing parameters in local PV use
    Bogischef L, de-Borja-Torrejon M, Hemmerle C
    PowerSkin Conference 2021; TU Delft
  • Solar and green potentials for the redevelopment of urban districts
    Fassbender E, Hemmerle C
    Proceedings 16th Conference on Advanced Building Skins 2020; Bern
  • Modeling workflow for simulating the interdependencies between vertical greenery systems, photovoltaic facades and urban microclimate
    Fassbender E, Hemmerle C
    15th Conference on Advanced Building Skins 2020; Bern
  • Wohngebäude als Flexibilitätsbaustein im Quartiersverbund – Entwicklung eines Modellierungsansatzes
    Bogischef L, de-Borja-Torrejon M, Hemmerle C
    BauSIM 2020, 8th Conference of IBPSA Germany and Austria 2020: 410-416; Technische Universität Graz, Monsberger, M., Hopfe, C.J., Krüger, M. & Passer, A. (Hrsg.)
  • Solare Aktivierung von Gebäudehüllen im Quartierskontext – Entwurfs- und Bewertungskonzepte
    Fassbender E, Hemmerle C
    Geoökologie-Tagung 2019; Universität Bayreuth
  • Klimaorientierte Stadtquartiere in der integrierten Stadtentwicklung
    Hemmerle C, Linke S
    Minisymposium Stadt, Land, Klimawandel 2019; Universität Bayreuth

Doctoral Thesis

  • Simulationsbasierte Analyse der Wechselwirkungen zwischen Photovoltaik und Mikroklima
    Faßbender, Elisabeth (laufende Dissertation, Cleanvelope)
  • Modelling the thermal behavior of residential buildings featuring flexibility of the heating sector on district level
    Bogischef, Lea (laufende Dissertation, Cleanvelope)
  • Kommunale Initiierung und Steuerung von Transformationsprozessen für Klimaanpassung und Klimaschutz in bestehenden Stadtquartieren
    Zadow, Oliver (laufende Dissertation, Cleanvelope)

Final Papers

  • Load Profile and Generation Potential of Non- Residential Buildings and their Influence on the Energy Flexibility in the District Network
    Coelho Debacco, Arthur (laufende Masterarbeit, Cleanvelope)
  • A Qualitative Zoning Framework for the Thermal Simulation of Residential Buildings in the Context of Demand-Side Management
    Koronova, Margarita (Masterarbeit 2021, Cleanvelope)
  • Klimaschutz- und Klimaanpassungspotentiale urbaner Freiräume
    Rohrbach, Annkristin (Masterarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Konzeptionierung eines ganzheitlichen Bewertungssystems zur Integration von Solarenergie und Vegetation in Gebäudehüllflächen im Quartierskontext
    Muhr, Natalie (Masterarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Deutsche Baukultur im Wandel von Klimaschutz und Klimaanpassung – Untersuchung zur Bedeutung eines polymorphen Leitbegriffs
    Lang, Clemens (Masterarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Options to use Flexibility Potentials of a Microgrid in the Electricity Sector
    Baur, Theodor (Masterarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Stand der Forschung und Diskussion der Bewertung von Gebäudebegrünungen nach dem Konzept der Ökosystemleistungen
    Svoboda, Toni Jan (Bachelorarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Strategien und Maßnahmen für einen CO2-neutralen Wohngebäudebestand in Deutschland 2050
    Amelunxen, Alina (Bachelorarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Analyse energie- und klimaaktiver Fassaden hinsichtlich Kosten und Nutzen von der Errichtung bis zum Rückbau
    Klemm, Robert (Bachelorarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Einflüsse von photovoltaisch aktivierten und begrünten Fassaden auf das Mikroklima – Stand der Forschung messtechnischer Studien mit anschließender Bewertung der Messkonzepte und Messtechniken
    Woytowicz, Jonathan (Bachelorarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Stand der Forschung zur Klimawirkung von Fassaden und konzeptionelle Entwicklung eines Fassadenkatalogs im Kontext des Urban Heat Island Effects
    Wirthensohn, Moritz (Bachelorarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Siedlungstypologische Charakterisierung des Bayerischen Wohngebäudebestands – Eine Geodatenanalyse zur Einschätzung der solaren Potentiale und Begrünung am Gebäude
    Holzer, Julian (Masterarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Lebenszyklusanalyse: Erstellung eines multikriteriellen Bewertungsansatzes für klimagerechte Quartiere
    Ambi, Juliette (Mastersarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Rolle einer dezentralen Solarthermie in innovativen Quartierskonzepten für bestehende Wohnareale. Modellierung und Variantenstudie verschiedener Systemkonstellationen
    Weig, Philipp (Masterarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Simulationsbasierte Konfiguration eines solaren Energieversorgungssystems für Bestandquartiere
    Gieschen, Patrick (Masterarbeit 2020, Cleanvelope)
  • Lokale Niedertemperaturquellen in Quartieren
    Hampel, Christian ( Bachelorarbeit 2019, Cleanvelope)
  • Analyse gebäudeintegrierter PVT-Kollektoren und ihre Kombination mit ausgewählten Systemen zur Wärmeabfuhr
    Schwarz, Stephanie (Bachelorarbeit 2019, Cleanvelope)