More space for research

With an innovative new building and state-of-the-art equipment, the Fraunhofer WKI is expanding its research capacities.

Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures ZELUBA®

On the campus of the TU Braunschweig, the “Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures ZELUBA®”, with a total floor area of around 1,700 m², is nearing completion. At the ZELUBA®, the Fraunhofer WKI will focus on research and development of light and hybrid materials and structural elements including their environmental and fire performance. We are thereby working together with the “Institute of Building Materials, Concrete Construction and Fire Safety“ of the TU Braunschweig. The collaborative work addresses global challenges such as climate change, population growth, rural exodus and large transnational migration flows, which create new requirements concerning the functionality, sustainability and life-cycle assessment of buildings.

Future-oriented new building

Correspondent to the research at the ZELUBA®, the focus during the planning phase was directed at a modular construction method and the utilization of renewable raw resources in combination with conventional materials. A total of 39 workplaces are distributed throughout the building.

© ARGE ZELUBA [Architekten DGI Bauwerk / schneider+schumacher]
Design concept for the new ZELUBA® building as a 3D-representation (from the front)
© ARGE ZELUBA [Architekten DGI Bauwerk / schneider+schumacher]
Design concept for the new ZELUBA® building as a 3D-representation (from above)

Structural testing laboratory

The testing laboratory is a single-bay timber structure braced by steel elements and cables.



Office and laboratory building

The three-story building is a hybrid construction of reinforced concrete and laminated timber. This future-oriented construction method combines the advantages of the two materials in a very efficient way. The building provides space for staff offices, meeting rooms and laboratories.




A filigree reinforced concrete structure connects the structural testing laboratory with the office and laboratory building. The main entrance to the ZELUBA® and a seminar room are situated here.


The structural testing laboratory will be equipped with a shaking table (MTS 1.5 m Uniaxial Seismic Simulator) which is furnished with the state-of-the-art optical DIC system. Further items of equipment include an electromagnetic shaker, a large pendulum test stand for impact experiments, climate chambers, test stands for the investigation of the load-bearing and deformation behavior of components, and other facilities. In addition, diverse testing devices for material analysis and testing will be available, including an atomic force microscope (AFM), a dynamic mechanical thermal analysis instrument (DMTA) for the testing of heterogeneous materials, and further specialized equipment are available.

Construction progress


  • From May: Installation of the laboratory equipment
  • From March: Preparation of the outdoor facilities
  • From March: Installation of the building automation
  • From January: Installation of the heating, air-conditioning and sanitary systems/facilities
  • From January: Installation of the electrical components
  • From January: Installation of interior fixtures



  • From November: Skeletal structure of the foyer
  • From August: Interior construction
  • August: Topping-out ceremony
  • From July: Installation of the technical building equipment
  • June: Construction of the foundation for the earthquake test rig
  • From May: Timber construction of the office and laboratory building
  • From March: Timber construction of the hall
  • January: Steel construction of the hall



  • November: Concreting of the staircase towers for the office and laboratory building
  • June: Completion of the foundations for the hall, foyer and the office and laboratory building
  • June: Laying of underground pipework
  • April: Soil excavation and explosive ordnance exploration



  • November: Groundbreaking ceremony