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HFTmeetsIBA#3: How can our future in the city be simulated?

HFTmeetsIBA event series successfully continued

Many digital methods in construction are still in their infancy - at least that is the picture that planning processes currently present to the outside world. Many planning steps run according to prefabricated processes, and there are enough digital methods available to bring the building industry into the 21st century. Several examples of this were presented by HFT researchers at the online event "HFTmeetsIBA: Digital City Twins and Simulation Tools" on 29.10.2020.

Today, the combination of artificial intelligence with an almost unlimited computing capacity allows completely new services and plans to be presented visually and three-dimensionally in the field of urban development and architecture. This includes not only the simple representation of urban planning, but rather the simulation of various situations. By linking different data, the range of simulations is almost endless and enables a much more precise representation of planning processes.

For example, geodata systems can be used to identify places with special development needs and to test their future energy requirements using digital twins. The algorithms of artificial intelligence can identify the best solution from a variety of concepts and thus facilitate planning processes.

In their presentations, the HFT researchers Prof. Dr. Volker Coors (Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Surveying, Computer Science and Mathematics), Prof. Dr. Ursula Voß (Professor of Mathematics), David Offtermatt (Academic Assistant in Climate Engineering) and Alexander Lee (Academic Assistant in Acoustics) demonstrated the possibilities of which simulation tools are available for a city twin.

SimStadt - a simulation environment is created

Prof. Dr. Volker Coors showed in his presentation "3D city models and energetic simulation of urban quarters" on the basis of "SimStadt" which possibilities of representation have already been researched and developed. SimStadt is the name of an urban simulation environment developed at the HFT and a project of the same name. SimStadt is able to use data of a real urban situation or planning state for energetic analyses of buildings, city quarters, whole cities and even regions. The application scenarios range from high-resolution simulations of building heating requirements to potential studies for photovoltaics and the simulation of building refurbishment and renewable energy supply scenarios.

"With our approaches, we not only manage to significantly reduce the time required to prepare the data for the simulation, but we also create a link to smart cities: an interactive and web-based visualization makes the results available to a wider circle of users," says Ursula Voß.

With her research on wind flow calculations, she can show examples of the influence they have on pollutant transport, the urban microclimate or the potential of small wind turbines. A numerical flow simulation enables a detailed analysis of such flows.

And through further smaller simulations, some questions can already be answered, as David Offtermatt has shown in detail in his article "Microclimate and Outdoor Comfort".

Alexander Lee also showed an important contribution in his lecture "Noise Mapping and Sound Field Prediction": According to a study by the European Environmental Agency(, air pollution and noise pollution have a significant influence on the increase in premature deaths. A healthy environment therefore makes for better human health.

In a subsequent discussion with IBA27 GmbH employees Tobias Schiller (Communications & Press) and Sascha Rudolf (architect and project manager), possible future scenarios were further considered and also further developed.

The next event in the HFTmeetsIBA series will take place on 19.11.2020 at 15.30 on the subject of participatory planning, again in purely online format. More information and registration at:

The organiser of the "HFT meets IBA" series is the M4_LAB of HFT Stuttgart in cooperation with Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS) and IBA'27 GmbH. The M4_LAB of HFT is a transfer project supported by the Federal-Länder initiative "Innovative Hochschule".

Publish date: 13. November 2020 By Janina Adamo-Bornowksi ()