Retrospective BIM approach for life-cycle optimized integration of BIPV systems.



Fabian Edenhofner

Research Assistant


+49 241 80 20078


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The acceptance and use of building-integrated photovoltaic systems is to be increased by optimizing the life cycle from design to installation and operation through the use of the digital method Building Information Modeling. Professor Katharina Klemt-Albert of RWTH Aachen University is in charge of the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with around 2.4 million euros. For the scientific investigations, the eight partners from industry and science will set up a real laboratory at the Expo site in Hanover and use the LABs of the Institute for Construction Management, Digital Engineering and Robotic in Construction as a digital laboratory for virtual simulations. The innovative photovoltaic research in the project comes from the Institute for Solar Energy, an affiliated institute of Leibniz University.

In most cases, the collection and use of solar energy through the envelope of buildings is done through photovoltaic and solar thermal systems mounted on the existing roof of the building. However, the mere use of the roof surface is not sufficient to cover the energy demand, especially for non-residential buildings. However, since surface mounting on the façade is considered critical in terms of aesthetics as well as design and installation, façade surfaces remain unused, although they could contribute significantly to sustainable energy production.

The aim of the joint project is to increase the acceptance and application of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems by integrating the Building Information Modeling (BIM) method and using visually appealing PV surfaces for aesthetic facade enhancement. A façade surface of the Danish pavilion at the Hanover Fairgrounds serves as a demonstration building and real laboratory for this purpose, where a large number of different data are recorded and collected over the entire life cycle of a BIPV system. The continuous integration of the data in the digital twin of the reallab are the basis for the validation of the practicality and digital application possibilities together with all collaborative partners in the LAB of the Institute for Construction Management, Digital Engineering and Robotics in Construction. The results of the analyses from the digital & real lab will be compiled in a practical guide for stakeholders in the life cycle of BIPV systems and expanded to include a digital BIMPV platform that maps the processes and information in the life cycle on the basis of the digital twin.


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding the joint project "BIMPV - Retrospective BIM Approach for Life Cycle Optimized Integration of BIPV Systems in the Building Envelope" (FKZ: 03EN1010A) as part of the 7th Energy Research Program. Partner of the Institute for Construction Management, Digital Engineering and Robotics in Construction (ICoM) is the Institute for Solar Energy Research (ISFH) under the direction of Professor Rolf Brendel. Other collaborative partners are the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research, the bifa Environmental Institute, the engineering service provider, the architectural firm Lang Hugger Rampp, the BIPV system manufacturer Blue Energy Systems, and the energy management system developer nD-Enerserve. As an associated partner, the planning office Carsten Grobe is supporting Passive House by providing the demonstration building at the exhibition center in Hanover.


Facts about the project

  1. Project: BIMPV
  2. Topic: Retrospective BIM approach for life cycle optimized integration of BIPV systems
  3. Project duration: 12/01/2020 - 11/30/2023 (3 years)
  4. Funder:  Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection
    Funding line: 7. Energy Research Program
    Funding amount: around 2.4 million euros
  5. Project partner:
    ICoM - Institute for Construction Management, Digital Engineering and Robotics in Construction of RWTH-Aachen
    Institute for Solar Energy Research GmbH
    Bayerisches Zentrum für Angewandte Energieforschung e. V.
    bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH GmbH
    Lang Hugger Rampp GmbH
    nD-System GmbH (ehemals blue energy systems GmbH)
    nD-enerserve GmbH
    Architektur- und TGA-Planungsbüro Carsten Grobe Passivhaus (Assozierter Konsortialpartner)
  6. Project leader: Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katharina Klemt-Albert
  7. Contact person ICoMFabian Edenhofner