Building with Infra-lightweight Concrete



Infra-Lightweight concrete is a high-performance concrete, which promises durable, sustainable and attractive buildings due to its low dry density as load-bearing thermal insulation. Monolithic structures made of exposed concrete can once again meet economic and ecological requirements. Infra-Lightweight concrete opens new ways to “Baukultur” and the design appropriate to the material.



Architect: Prof. Clemens Bonnen (Berlin)
Structural Engineer: –
Checking Engineer: –
Cooperation: –

REWE Supermarkted (source: Baumgart Franke Architects)

Berlin (in planning)

Architect: Baumgardt Franke Architects
Structural Engineer: schlaich bergermann partner
Checking Engineer: –
Cooperation: –

Competition urban living (source: Barkow Leibinger)

Multi-Story Building
Berlin (in planning)

Architect: Barkow Leibinger
Structural Engineer: schlaich bergermann partner
Checking Engineer: –
Cooperation: Transsolar

The “Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Mitte” in Berlin is planning a multi-story apartment building with Barkow Leibinger, schlaich bergermann partner and Transsolar, based on the design of the urban living competition.

Single-family-house "Ruppiner Land"
Single-family-house "Ruppiner Land"
Single-family-house "Ruppiner Land"
Single-family-house "Ruppiner Land"

Single family house “Ruppiner Land”
Großwoltersdorf (in planning, completion 2021)

Architect: Prof. Clemens Bonnen (Berlin), BesoniasAlmeida Arquitectos (Bueonos Aires)
Structural Engineer: neubauer + ernst ingenieure
Checking Engineer: schlaich bergermann partner
Cooperation: –

About 60 kilometers north of Berlin, a new residential building is being built for a family of 6 made of exposed concrete inside and outside. The cubically graduated building cubature results from the dynamic combination of differently dimensioned one- and two-storey volumes of reinforced concrete. Accordingly, it has flat roofs in different levels. However, the complex appearance of the result is free on all sides and is placed on the property in such a way that sufficient distance to the public street space and the adjoining land remains. All exterior-facing walls are manufactured to comply with energy saving regulations (ENEV) in Infra-Lightweight Concrete.

Atelier Albert Oehlen (Paloma Lasso de la Vega)
Atelier Albert Oehlen (Paloma Lasso de la Vega)

Atelier Albert Oehlen
Weidingen (concept study and obtaining of approval in individual case (ZIE))

Architect: Enguita & Lasso De la Vega‎
Structural Engineer: schlaich bergermann partner
Checking Engineer: –
Cooperation: Albert Oehlen, Anja Axt

For the studio Albert Oehlen in Weidingen a monolithic exposed concrete building made of Infra-Lightweight Concrete with a sloping segmented glass façade with drawstrings made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic is to be created.
Both Infra-Lightweight Concrete and tension members made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic offer enormous potential for innovation, but have not yet been regulated by the building authorities. Every innovation carries a risk. In order to minimize this risk, the office schlaich bergermann partner was commissioned by the client to investigate feasibility, permitability and cost framework.

Research Project Technische Universität Berlin
Plug&Play – Building with precast elements made of infra-lightweight concrete
Duration 2019-2020

Architect: Anna Mendgen, Chair of Conceptual and Structural Design (TU Berlin)
Structural Engineer: Claudia Lösch, Chair of Conceptual and Structural Design (TU Berlin)
Cooperation: Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), Transsolar KlimaEngineering, GBJ Geithner Betonmanufaktur Joachimsthal GmbH

Betonoase (Alexander Blumhoff)
Project "Betonoase"
Project "Betonoase"
Project "Betonoase"
Project "Betonoase"

Berlin-Lichtenberg, 2017

Architects: Gruber+Popp Architects
Structural Engineer: schlaich bergermann partner
Checking Enginerr: Specht Kalleja + Partner
Cooperation: HeidelbergCement

The “concrete oasis” is a single-storey youth recreation center of the youth welfare office Berlin-Lichtenberg. The design by Gruber + Popp Architekten BDA prevailed in March 2016 against five competitors. In the course of granting an individual approval, experimental tests were carried out and a sample wall was produced at the TU Berlin. The structural design of the project was carried out by the Berlin office of schlaich bergermann partner. On December 4th 2018 the “concrete oasis” was opened.

Smart Material House Mock-up (source: Barkow Leibinger)
Smart Material House (source: Barkow Leibinger)

IBA-Hamburg, Mock-up wall Berlin 2012

Architects: Barkow Leibinger
Structural Engineer: schlaich bergermann partner
Checking Engineer: –
Cooperation: Transsolar

With the “Smart Material House”, as the name implies, the material is in the foreground. The basic idea was to use infra-lightweight concrete as “load-bearing thermal insulation”. The biconcave curved wall panels are not for bearing loads only but for thermal insulation, and also as a heating and cooling system. Here, hoses for the heating and cooling system are integrated. The elements of infra-lightweight concrete has a sufficient acompressive strength for multi-storey buildings. Without additional thermal insulation, plaster or other cladding, exposed concrete construction is possible.

Projekt Einfamilienhaus Berlin
Project single-family-house Berlin
Projekt Einfamilienhaus Berlin
Project single-family-house Berlin
Project single-family-house Berlin
Project single-family-house Berlin

Single Family House
Berlin-Pankow, 2007

Architect: Prof. Clemens Bonnen + Amanda Schlaich
Structural Engineer: Mike Schlaich + Lars Werner
Checking Engineer: Specht Kalleja + Partner
Cooperation: Lichtner Beton, Kasimir Bauunternehmung

The cubic three-story building is made of concrete walls, which has large window openings on the south and north sides. By shifting back these large windows, the structure gains more plasticity. The floor-to-ceiling curtains behind the glass leads to a softness in contrast to the hard concrete surface. A reduced set of colors of gray exposed concrete, black window profiles, white curtains and silver blinds give the house a simple clarity.


Interview Mike Schlaich (german)

Interview Mike Schlaich (english)

Interview Regine Leibinger and Mike Schlaich (german)



Since 2006, the research activities regarding Infra-Lightweight concrete at the TU Berlin have been going through different phases. Until 2010, basic knowledge of manufacturing and handling was gained as well as numerous investigations to determine the fresh and hardened concrete properties carried out. As a result, a detached house was built in Berlin and in addition to various publications a dissertation by El Zareef was completed in 2010.



During the second phase (2010–2014) the original mix design was improved as a first step, resulting in almost doubled compressive strength at the same density. The applicability of the new mix was successfully tested in a precast plant. The result was a 1:1 mock-up wall in the context of the design of the “Smart Material House” by Barkow Leibinger, Transsolar Energietechnik and schlaich bergermann and partner. The design was awarded with the second Global Holcim Innovation Award.



Subsequently, further research was carried out to reduce the unit weight to provide better insulating properties. This resulted in an ILC group consisting of compositions with dry densities of 550, 600, 650, 700, 750 and 800 kg / m³ with corresponding compressive strengths between 5 and 13 MPa.



As a part of the second phase, various third-party funded projects were applied for and successfully approved. These projects are now, during the third phase, in progress. The third-party research consists on the one hand of fundamental research whose results are required for structural design methods, and on the other hand of application-oriented investigations that deal with architectural, structural and conceptual questions.



Opening of the “concrete oasis” on December 04th 2018.



Publication of the book Building with Infra-lightweight Concrete by Claudia Lösch, Philip Rieseberg, Eds.: Mike Schlaich, Regine Leibinger


Lösch C; Richter A; Schlaich M.; Structural behavior of multifunctional inhomogeneous infra-lightweight concrete elements. In: Structural Concrete (2020); S. 1–15


ELSHAHAWI, M.; HÜCKLER, A.; SCHLAICH, M.: Infra lightweight concrete: A decade of investigation (a review). In: Structural Concrete – Journal of the fib (2020); S. 1–17. DOI: 10.1002/suco.202000206.


LIU, Y.; TAFSIROJJAMAN, T.; DOGAR, A. U. R.; HÜCKLER, A.: Shrinkage behavior enhancement of infra-lightweight concrete through FRP grid reinforcement and development of their shrinkage prediction models. In: Construction and Building Materials (2020) Nr. 258, S. 1–12. DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.119649.


Schlaich, M.; Hückler, A.: Infraleichtbeton. In: Der Prüfingenieur 56, Mai 2020


Schlaich, Mike (Hrsg.); Leibinger, Regine (Hrsg.); Lösch, Claudia; Rieseberg, Philip: Building with Infra-lightweight Concrete: Design, Planning, Construction. Berlin: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag,  2020


Lösch, C.; Hückler, A.; Schlaich, M.: Infraleichtbeton – Grundlagen, bauphysikalische Eigenschaften und Referenzbauwerke In: Bauphysik 41 (2019), Nr. 1, S. 1–6


Hückler, Alex; Schlaich, Mike: Structural Behavior of Reinforced Infra-Lightweight Concrete (ILC). In: ACI Structural Concrete. March-April 2019


Schlaich, Mike; Gruber, Doris; Popp, Bernhard: Infraleichtbeton – Leichter als Wasser. In: Deutsche BauZeitschrift (2019), Nr. 2, S. 62–65


Schlaich, Mike (Hrsg.); Leibinger, Regine (Hrsg.); Lösch, Claudia; Rieseberg, Philip: Infraleichtbeton: Handbuch für Entwurf, Konstruktion und Bau. Berlin: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2018


Schlaich, Mike; Hückler, Alex: Infraleichtbeton: Reif für die Praxis. In: Beton- und Stahlbetonbau (2017), Nr. 12, S. 772-783


Schlaich, Mike; Hückler, Alex; Lösch, Claudia: Infra-Light Weight Concrete – A monolythic building skin. In: AUER, Thomas; KNAAK, Ulrich; SCHNEIDER, Jens (Hrsg.): Proceedings of Powerskin Conference. Delft: TU Delft Open, 2017, S. 293–304


LEIBINGER, Regine; Schlaich, Mike; Lösch, Claudia; Rieseberg, Philip; Ballestrem, Matthias: Infraleichtbeton im Geschosswohnungsbau (INBIG) : Abschlussbericht. Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2017 (Forschungsinitiative Zukunft Bau F 3018)


Hückler, Alex ; Schlaich, Mike: Zur Biegung von Infraleichtbetonbauteilen – Werkstoff-, Verbund-, Trag- und Verformungsverhalten. In: Beton- und Stahlbetonbau 112 (2017), Nr. 5, S. 282–292


Hückler, Alex: Trag- und Verformungsverhalten von biegebeanspruchten Bauteilen aus Infraleichtbeton (ILC). Dissertation. 1. Auflage. Göttingen: Sierke Verlag, 2016


Lösch, Claudia; Rieseberg, Philip; Schlaich, Mike; LEIBINGER, Regine; BALLESTREM, Matthias: Infra-Lightweight Concrete in Multi-Story Residential Buildings. In: Economic Forum (Hrsg.): 10th Conference on Advanced Building Skins: 3-4 November 2015, Bern, Switzerland, S. 932–941


Hückler, Alex; Schlaich, Mike: Bond and deformation behaviour of reinforced Infra-Lightweight Concrete (ILC). In: Proceedings of fib Symposium 2015, Copenhagen, S. 116–117


Hückler, Alex; Schlaich, Mike: Infraleichtbeton – Forschung an der Technischen Universität Berlin. In: Baukammer Berlin – Nachrichten für die im Bauwesen tätigen Ingenieure (2015), Nr. 1, S. 21–24


Hückler, Alex; Schlaich, Mike: Low Tech Konstruktionen mit Infraleichtbeton: Diese Außenwand kann Multitasking. In: Deutsche BauZeitschrift (2013), Nr. 2, S. 84–86


Schlaich, Mike; Hückler, Alex: Infraleichtbeton 2.0. In: Beton- und Stahlbetonbau 107 (2012), Nr. 11, S. 757–766


El Zareef, Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed (Hrsg.): Conceptual and structural design of buildings made of lightweight and infra-lightweight concrete. Aachen : Shaker., 2010


Schlaich, Mike; El Zareef, Mohamed: Infraleichtbeton. In: Beton- und Stahlbetonbau 103 (2008), Nr. 3, S. 175–182