Innovative floor constructions made of clay composite in industrial construction


The "InDeckLe" project is researching sustainable solutions for floor constructions in conjunction with the natural material clay. Substitute products are to be developed by using natural, regionally producible raw materials (wood, clay) in combination with the building materials steel and concrete. These promote the sustainability of buildings through waste reduction, material substitution and CO2 reduction along the entire value chain. 

Composite solutions with clay are being developed that meet the mechanical and structural requirements for load-bearing components in the construction industry. In addition, the investigation of the processes for efficient production and assembly of the building elements is part of the project. The clay floors are being optimized in terms of sustainability and cost-effectiveness. The investigations are carried out in close coordination and cooperation with associated partners from the construction industry and are tested in practice.

Research questions

  • Which parameters ensure quality assurance of the clay used?
  • How can the load-bearing capacity of clay/wood composite floors be increased using optimized core geometry? How can the tensile strength of the bond joint in clay/concrete and clay/steel composites be determined and optimized?
  • Which dimensions and application areas for clay composite floors can be realized and which design principles can be derived?
  • Is the AICD standard applicable for automatic component identification for clay floors? Can the data structure be expanded to include additional sensory data (e.g. moisture, ageing, cracks)?
  • Can RFID component identification be used for constructions made of clay?
  • Can acoustic methods be used to detect damage to the bonded areas of the clay floors? What properties does the clay composite construction have in terms of airborne and impact sound insulation and room acoustics?
  • What are the optimized logistics of clay composite ceilings with regard to production, transport, assembly and dismantling?
  • How can clay composite floors be designed sustainably while minimizing construction costs?

Scientific approach and methods

InDeckLe follows the approach of creating numerical models for building physics parameters and validating the results through experimental tests on small components (tensile strength of composite components wood/clay, concrete/clay, steel/clay, acoustic parameters). The plausibility of the results and models is also checked by means of large-scale tests. The practical applicability of the results is ensured by involving experts from the field (e.g. requirement analysis of manufacturing and logistics processes). Production, transport, assembly and dismantling of the floors are simulated, optimized and graphically visualzed as a BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) model. The simulation is tested using a 1:1 mock-up (7m x 5m, 7m height). A construction logistics risk analysis is created and the entire value chain of the clay composite elements is optimized in terms of sustainability and price using a life cycle assessment and profitability analysis.

Targeted results

InDeckLe will help to determine the characteristic values of the composite systems of different material combinations in order to be able to design floors for the application. The results obtained will be compiled in a design manual for clay composite floors as a practical guide and made available to a broad specialist audience via presentations and publications. The results are to be incorporated into the further development of norms and standards. The project will define quality assurance processes and safety coefficients for clay depending on the variability of the samples.

ManagementProf. Dipl.-Ing. Martin Stumpf, Prof. Dr. Dieter Uckelmann,  Prof. Dr.-Ing. Berndt Zeitler, Prof. Dr. Birol Fitik
PartnerUniversity of Biberach (coordination);
Associated partners: Holzmeier Ingenieure, Kempten; Energieberatung Blessing, Kempten; Müller Planung, Bad Saulgau; Konstruktionsgruppe Bauen AG, Kempten; Peikko Deutschland, Waldeck; Wolff & Müller GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart; stemshorn kopp, Ulm.

FundingMinistry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg (MWK BW)
Programme European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Call for proposalPAN HAW BW-Vorhaben



Name & Position E-Mail & Telephone
Professor / Prodekan 8/1.01
Professor / IAF Direktorium / Akustikgruppe+49 711 8926 2507 7/104
Professor / Wissenschaftlicher Direktor+49 711 8926 2632 2/145
Professor+49 711 8926 2721 3/322
Mitarbeiter 7/005