The research activities of the Leonhard Obermeyer Center cover a broad range of digital methods which are being developed for sensing, analyzing and shaping the built environment. They are driven by the scientific expertise of the individual chairs as well as by joint research projects. A particular emphasis is put on researching digital methods which are able to bridge the multiple scales involved with modeling and simulating the built environment – from the scale of a few millimeters to the scale of a whole country.

In detail, the research fields covered by the Center’s chairs include:

Building Information Modeling, Infrastructure Modeling, Spatial-temporal Analysis, Pedestrian Dynamics, Construction Process Simulation (CMS)

Geospatial Information Modeling, Geographic Information Systems, Spatial Databases and Data Infrastructures, Indoor Navigation (GI)

Computer-Aided Architectural Design, Digital Design Methods, Case-Based Reasoning, Digital Fabrication (AI)

Numerical methods, Finite Element Method, interactive and real time structural simulation, multi-scale and multi-physics problems (CIE)

Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, Image and Point Cloud Analysis, Computer Vision (PRS) 



DFG research group 2363

The design of a building is a complex process in which the solution is developed in an iterative manner in order to fulfill objectives and boundary conditions of multiple designs and engineering disciplines involved. If the Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodology is applied, the planning process starts with a coarse model, which is gradually developed into a more and more detailed model. These refinement steps are described as levels of development (LOD). Due to the increasing application and high potential of semantic BIM models for subsequent simulations and analyses, the implementation of a multi-LOD model seems essential for the future of digital planning and is thus the topic of this research project.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing, is a generic term for the production of artifacts by successively adding material in layers. There are numerous methods for this. The Chair of Computation in Engineering focuses on modeling the process of laser power bed fusion. In this process, a highly focused laser selectively melts powder. Once a powder layer has been selectively treated, a new powder layer is added.

Visual exploration for assessing design variants

The focuse of the project is on the development of methods for visual representation and exploration of simulation and analysis results for process-integrated presentation and comparison of different design variants. In order to gain insights from the datasets and support the decision making process of the designer, methods from the areas of visual analytics and visual representation are investigated, and concepts are developed based on a requirement analysis in order to interactively filter, link and visualise tendencies and multiple multi-dimensional data situation- and role-specifically from the simulations and analyses.

Smart District Data Infrastructure (SDDI)

More than 50% of the world population is living in cities today. No matter if looking at environmental noise, air quality and particulate matter, energy usage and production, or traffic flows - in order to achieve or maintain a high quality of living in cities, municipalities and companies must take into account many different concerns. The concept "Smart District Data Infrastructure" (SDDI) provides planners with the necessary set of flexible tools. Entire cities or city districts are represented by 3D virtual city models which are linked with dynamic data, for example, on the traffic density or energy consumption. These models are used for monitoring and evaluation of the current situation, and especially for simulations of future developments and an early impact analysis.

iFlood - High-performance interactive flood simulations

Within this project, an interactive simulation tool for risk assessment and real time prediction of floods in complex environmental settings, like urban environments, shall be developed. Floods and impact of floods on infrastructure will be predicted within a multiscale framework reaching from the river down to the scale of the built infrastructure, such as railway, subway, tunnels, waste water channels, buildings, and building infrastructure.

Development of a simulation tool for evaluation of urban microclimate / thermal comfort for outdoor spaces

The last 20 years clearly show more frequency of extreme weather conditions with an increased summer heat waves in Central Europe. This is particularly evident in metropolitan cities, as the effect is intensified by contribution of Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI). These changing conditions will intensely influence planning both in the building sector and urban development scenarios. The Urban Microclimate modelling project is a software development based on TRNSYS simulation engine, where the model will be able to assess the transient behavior of outdoor spaces and microclimate effects.

For3D - Change detection of topobathymetric point clouds

In this subproject of the joint project For3D of the Bavarian Research Foundation, new methods for change analysis in point clouds are to be developed. Point clouds from different sensors or evaluation methods will be merged and compared with images taken at different times.

USP | Urban Strategy Playground

USP aims to generate interactive tools to support the development of inner-city planning strategies. By monitoring key building codes and providing visualizations and simulation results in real-time they serve as an informed basis for debate and argumentation in the political decision-making and planning process and in turn support the development of inner-city planning strategies that are well-suited to their urban context.

KSD | Knowledge Supported Design

The aim of this research is to provide the architect with IT support in the early design stages. In essence, the project extends two of the architect’s primary tools – the sketch and the use of case study references – through the use of information technology, the data storage capacity of the computer and the ability to rapidly transport information in data networks.

CDP | Collaborative Design Platform

Using a computer in order to realize creative design tasks is still cumbersome an inefficient. One of the most challenging problems is the inadequate Human-Computer Interaction of most of the current computer systems. Within an interdisciplinary project a collaborative design platform has been developed on a scale of 1:1.

Construction progress control based on integrated point cloud interpretation and 4d building models

A key issue is the automatic monitoring of the progress of the construction site to detect deviations and to forecast delays. This project concentrates on matching 3D point clouds recorded in a changing environment to an as-planned 3D model for change detection, object extraction, estimation of occluded building parts with integration of construction process knowledge or on-site changes of the planned construction process.

Enrichment and Multi Purpose Visualization of Building Models with Emphasis on Thermal Infrared Data

The project serves two principal goals: (i) to extract and interpret non-visible features of buildings from thermal infrared (TIR) data based on image analysis and (ii) to update and enrich the 3D building models with the information derived from non-visible features.

3D City DB

The award winning 3D City Database is a free 3D geo database to store, represent, and manage CityGML-compliant city models on top of a standard spatial relational database. The database model contains semantically rich, hierarchically structured, multi-scale urban objects facilitating complex GIS modeling and analysis tasks, far beyond visualization.


The international OGC standard CityGML is a common information model and XML-based encoding for the representation, storage, and exchange of virtual 3D city and landscape models and especially takes care of the representation of the semantic and thematic properties, taxonomies and aggregations. These Semantic 3D City Models are used in projects for Urban Information Fusion and City Lifecycle Management.

Computer-Aided Collaborative Subway Planning in Multi-Scale 3D City and Building Models

The research group aims to investigate and develop methods and techniques for the collaborative planning of infrastructural construction projects using 3D urban and building models. The 3D model shall be linked to a spatiotemporal database, to external geodata sources and GIS analysis methods. Using an augmented reality system planners on site will be able to localize the 3D planning model.

Finite Element Mesh Generation

The chair for Computation in Engineering (CiE) has been involved in research in the field of mesh generation since the early 1990ies with developing a surface mesh generation algorithm for discretizing arbitrary freeform surfaces with triangular and quadrilateral elements (DoMesh). In more recent stages of research the surface mesh generator has been enhanced to a mesh generation framework discretizing arbitrary BRep-volumes with curved high-order tetrahedral elements and thin walled shell-like structures with curved high-order hexahedral elements (TUM.GeoFrame).

BIM-coupled vibroacoustic simulation

This project is integrated in a collaborative research funded by DFG and conducted together the Prof. Wohlmuth (TUM, Mathematics), Prof. Schanda (FH Rosenheim) and Dr. Rabold (ift Rosenheim). The objective of this sub-project is to perform numerical simulations using the p-version of the Finite Element Method (p-FEM) to compute and estimate the vibroacoustic behavior of timber constructions. The efficient integration into modern planning workflows motivates the coupling of simulation models with parametric whole-building information models (BIM).e

Very High Resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar

This project deals with the possibilities and challenges of utilizing airborne decimeter resolution InSAR data for the analysis of densely built-up urban areas. In this context, multi-aspect as well as multi-baseline approaches are investigated to derive surface models as well as to extract building models. The specific properties of SAR imagery have to be taken into account: shadowing, foreshortening, layover areas and scatterers show a completely different behavior dependent on the viewing direction of the sensor. This is a big challenge in combining images from different viewing directions, but allows the reduction of areas with shadows and layover.

Completed research projects

BIMsite BIM-based planning, simulation und monitoring of construction sites

The BIMsite project is focused on the transition from construction planning to construction process. Until recently, building layouts and construction drawings have been designed and delivered in 2D, leading to problems and delays on the construction site due to insufficient depth of planning. The BIMsite project is dedicated to the question of how digital building models can be used for relevant questions in work preparation and during construction.On the one hand, it is to be examined which requirements building models must fulfil with regard to information content and level of detail so that a direct further use for the corresponding project phases is possible.

Automated Code Compliance Checking

One of the most important issues during the planning of a construction project is to maintain the quality of the design planning constantly at a high level. Therefore this quality must be checked continuously in terms of accuracy and compliance to the applicable codes and guidelines throughout the duration of a project. The aim of this research project is, to develop an approach which enables the automation of this process with the help of digital methods. A cooperation project with Nemetschek Group and ALLPLAN GmbH

Energy Atlas Berlin

The Energy Atlas Berlin is a tool supporting the strategic environment and energy planning in Berlin and London. It comprises the representation of the actual state of the environment, energy-related objects and parameters in the sense of an urban inventory. Furthermore, different options for measures such as the comparison of the estimated energy demands and the production and savings potential, e.g. by renewable energy sources and energetic retrofitting of buildings, can be both analyzed and visualized.

Virtual Arabia - GIS2BIM: Multi Resultion Models of Constructions and Built Infrastructure

In this project, we concentrate on constructions and built infrastructure with special interest in providing information at a varying and dynamically changing depth. We develop a system that provides the possibility of receiving detailed information (even on very fine-grain levels) about constructions in real time still preserving interactive information steering despite a huge data advent.