Leightweight construction

Lightweight structures for permanent and temporary use

Lightweight construction

Lightweight construction is understood by ILEK to mean lightweight structures with films, fabrics, nets, ropes and rods made of synthetic, metallic and natural materials, e.g. tents, tires, rope nets, rod domes, lattice shells, tree supports and hybrid systems, for permanent and temporary use and for stationary, changeable and mobile uses. Design, form-finding, construction, fabrication, load-bearing behavior, and experimental and computer-aided methods are areas of expertise at ILEK. Processes and principles of form creation of objects and structures in nature and technology are investigated and further developed.

Functionally graded components in civil engineering

Gradient materials are materials with smooth property transitions in a component cross-section. They allow the local definition of material properties inside a component according to local requirements. Influenceable material parameters are porosity, fiber content/orientation and the composition of different materials. In the near future, they hold the potential to contribute to material-efficient construction and to complement the optimization idea of material-appropriate shaping with the concept of shape-appropriate material shaping.

Profiles made of fiber-reinforced plastics for the textile building envelope

The aim of this research project is to develop and manufacture profiles made of lightweight, fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) and construction methods for the application of these materials in architecture. The profiles are to be used in the areas of multilayer textile building envelopes and window frames. In addition to special mechanical / physical requirements from these areas, the focus is on functionality, sustainability, aesthetics and, last but not least, cost-effectiveness.

High-performance, materials-compatible joining technology in glass construction

In this research project, material-compatible force-application elements for insertion into the polymer interlayer of laminated glass panes are being researched. The aim is to develop elements that increase the transparency of glass structures, enable easy assembly and disassembly, have a higher residual load-bearing capacity in the event of entanglement, and are also more economical.


This research title covers studies of the interaction of envelope and support structures in vacuum-stabilized load-bearing structures. The research and development of new construction methods with regard to static load-bearing capacity, thermal insulation properties and sound insulation potential are the content of the research work in this field. In addition, the design language of these construction methods is interpreted from the perspective of architectural theory.

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