Computational Methods for Building Physics and Construction Materials
Official RILEM EAC and TUDa Course

Computational Methods for Building Physics and Construction Materials 2023

The course is intended to convey various computer-aided calculation methods, solution approaches and possibilities for implementing physical processes in the fields of building physics and materials relevant in the construction industry. The focus is on the microscopic and macroscopic consideration of active processes in porous building material systems, such as concrete, geopolymers, insulation materials.

Course description:

The course contains detailed lecturing on computational methods covering differential equations, numerical solution strategies, explicit and implicit discretization, Method of Lines, boundary conditions and implementation of physical processes that frequently occur in construction materials. Emphasis will be on the Finite Difference Method applied to transport processes in porous construction materials, such as concrete and insulation materials, and on hydration modelling. Typical problems that will be addressed in this course are thermal, moisture and reactive transport modelling, multi-layer systems, coupled moisture – heat systems, cement particle structure, hydration kinetics and thermodynamic modelling, and the first steps towards high performance computing. The course provides a full solution strategy, starting from a physical problem, to schematization and discretization, to boundary conditions evaluation, implementation and to a computational solution.

Key topics:

  • Steady state problems – discretization and implementation in Excel
  • Transient problems – explicit & implicit heat and moisture flow – implementation in Octave
  • Coupled and multi-layer systems for heat and moisture flow, discretization and implementation in Octave
  • Particle structure formation and hydration kinetics of cementitious systems
  • Thermodynamic modelling of cement hydration with GEM-Selektor
  • Demonstrations and exercises with examples for all topics

Teaching language

The course will be held in English.


Main objective of the course is to train MSc, PhD and Postdoc students, who are beginners or have no modelling experience, on how to solve partial differential equations and to become familiar with numerical solution strategies for common physical/chemical problems in construction materials. After finishing this course, students will be able to use computational methods for their own research and build their own basic computational models.


The course will be provided in a hybrid format, where the actual course will take place at the TU Darmstadt and the online streaming will be offered via the platform ZOOM. A ZOOM-link will be sent shortly before every course day.

Campus Navigation (L5|06)

Location Lichtwiese – Civil Engineering
Location Lichtwiese – Civil Engineering

Registration fee:

Participant situation Registration fee
Whole week Per day
Online TU Darmstadt Online TU Darmstadt
MSc students from the TU Darmstadt or UNITE! partners free free free free
MSc students from other Universities 75 € 150 € 30 € 50 €
PhD students and/or Postdocs 300 € 500 € 100 € 150 €
Professors or representatives from the industry 600 € 1000 € 200 € 300 €
Note: The fees already include RILEM discount.

The fee includes online course attendance, basic course materials like a PDF-copy of all PPTs, Octave, programming codes used during lectures and exercises, useful links to freeware, etc. Recordings of the full course will also made available for the participants via an online streaming platform until three weeks after the course.


Non TU Darmstadt students may also opt for doing the exam. After succesful passing the exam, a formal document confirming the 6 ECTS will be provided by TU Darmstadt. This document can be used for your graduate school.


The Registration for the “Computational Methods for Building Physics and Construction Materials” course is now open.

  • Students in the Master's program of the TU Darmstadt please register regularly via the TuCan system! A further registration is NOT necessary!
  • MSc-students of the TU Darmstadt
to TUCaN
  • Other MSc-students
  • PhD-students
  • PostDocs
  • Professors
  • UNITE! partners
  • Representatives from the industry
to registration (forwarding to

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