International Association of Building Physics

What is Building Physics ?

Building physics is sometimes referred to as building science. The core area of building physics is heat, air and moisture transfer through building components and the interaction with indoor and outdoor climate.

The area of building physics is strongly related to HVAC engineering, material science and structural engineering, and aims at creating energy efficient, moisture proof, resource efficient buildings with a good indoor air quality.

The area of building physics evolved rapidly in the 70ies due to increasing oil prices and need to decrease energy use. In the years following, the problems with sick buildings (poor indoor air quality, often due to moisture problems) got a large amount of attention. In a broader sense, building physics also includes sound, light and fire safety, related areas with theory based on physics.

In building codes and similar, the requirements related to building physics are mainly within the areas of “Hygiene, health and environment” (i.e. prevention of moisture damage), and “Energy economy and heat retention” (heating, cooling, lightning etc.)

Challenges that today’s building physics researchers take on are, for example, the application of new materials, assuring daylight when densifying cities, moisture safety in combination with shorter construction times and resource efficient renovation.