Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures ZELUBA®


The Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures at the Fraunhofer WKI develops solutions for the building sector. Not only industry partners from the fields of wood-based materials and pre-fabricated houses, but also manual-trade companies receive our support in the development of new systems. One particular area of expertise within our department is the combination of simulation processes with building-physical and mechanically-constructive investigation methods. The spectrum covers the development of materials for use in buildings through the complicated questions concerning individual details to complete wall systems. The improvement of the technical feasibility and suitability, as well as the optimization of the economic efficiency, is in the foreground of most developments.   

One main research focus within the center is the development of reactive fire protection systems to improve the behavior of building materials and the fire resistance of components, installations and structures. A further focus is the development of detailed solutions and new materials with improved fire characteristics.

Research Focuses

Load-bearing behaviour

We investigate the static-constructive properties of wood-based structures and materials through trials and simulations. Furthermore, we specialize in the consideration of the complex and holistic relationships. 


Building physics

Building physics is of essential importance in wooden construction, as only buildings which have been structurally correctly constructed can remain durable and hold their value over centuries. 

Fire Protection

We develop new solutions for improving the fire protection of wood and wood-based materials. Intumescent fire-protection coatings, smolder-resistant wood-fiber insulation materials and flame-retardant wood-plastic composite materials thereby form the main focus of our research work.


With numerical simulation, invisible effects can be visualized and test results can be explained. We create prognoses and validate hypotheses. Furthermore, we have our own measurement technology for the verification of the simulations as well as for the examination of construction parts in real size.

Hybrid material systems

The construction of lightweight and environmentally sound structures requires the development of hybrid material systems for multi-story buildings. 

ZELUBA Start-up project

Since 2014, the Fraunhofer WKI and the TU Braunschweig have been working together within the framework of the ZELUBA Start-up project on the conceptional development of a modular hybrid construction system for lightweight and environmentally-friendly structures. Scientists from the Fraunhofer WKI and six institutes of the Technische Universität Braunschweig bring extensive expertise from diverse specialist fields into the project.

The first project phase served the substantive and organizational linking of the project participants as well as fundamental research. The focus is currently on the integration of industrial partners and the acquisition of research projects into system and product development.