WP3 – Smart building solutions


The adoption of energy efficiency practices and renewable energy integration in residential and service buildings constitutes a priority to enable net-­zero buildings and more sustainable cities. This requires the evolution of energy grids into “smart grids” that provide the basis to implement demand-­sensitive pricing and response to grid operators signals, aimed at using the energy infrastructure more efficiently. In this context, WP3 aims at:

  • developing products and services that help to predict, monitor and control the performance of buildings;
  • innovating the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings, particularly for the Lisbon testbed;
  • recommend new policies, regulations and practices focused on the Southern European reality.

This will be achieved by performing the following tasks:

Task 1 (testbed component)

Performance Criteria

Selection of the most suitable criteria and indicators to assess the buildings in terms of energy performance, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), environmental impacts, and contribution to stimulate positive behaviors of occupants, taking into account the information provided by previous tasks (UMI platform in WP1 and data gathered in WP2). This will result in the selection of the buildings and households to be used as case studies in the project testbed.

Task 2

Improvement of Predictive/Design Tools

The main objective is the improvement of buildings energy simulation models (BESM). More accurate simulations, better fitting the real evolution of buildings metabolism, enable BESMs to be used for other purposes besides design, e.g. commissioning, maintenance and predictive control methods. The main paths to be explored to improve the accuracy of BESM are the effects of human factors, weather data, load data, as well as of some typically used simplifications. The improved models will be made available to complement the UMI platform simulations.

Task 3

Identification of Energy Efficient Techniques

Development and improvement of high performance building envelope solutions and technical systems addressing durability, thermal, acoustic and air quality issues, as well as local energy production based on renewable sources. Develop multi-­criteria optimization tools for integrated building design to simulate the impacts of construction materials and technological solutions (new and refurbishment) based on cost-­optimal approaches; assess the potential contribution of technical systems incorporating alternative and renewable energy sources to the overall energy performance in buildings; analyze solutions for architectural integration of renewable energy production, both in new buildings and in retrofit of existing buildings, towards the implementation of the NZEB concept. Results will enable the stakeholders to select high performance solutions using energy and sustainability certification schemes for construction materials, building solutions and technical systems.

Task 4 (Testbed component)

Monitoring of Buildings

Monitoring of the indoor climate conditions (thermal environment, indoor air quality, acoustic and visual environment) of selected case studies and calculation of the human perception related indices. Energy data gathering, through smart meters installed in residential buildings, building management systems in service buildings, and data of energy certificates. Quantification of the flexibility provided by active demand response, aggregated by a market agent, in terms of potential for ancillary services (reserve) provision, as an input for the grid and market integration studies that will be conducted in WP5. This task will allow for the diagnosis of buildings selected as case studies, validate the digital models implemented in building simulation tools, and generate data for 3D visualization in Task 1.

Task 5

Integrated Evaluation Models for Buildings Control and Management

Develop tools for the optimization of different phases of the building life cycle, mainly focused on existing buildings. Control methods for intelligent design and operation of buildings with hybrid ventilation, finding the best tuning between the energy use and the indoor climate, especially in Southern climates. Development of smart energy management approaches both for commercial and residential buildings including demand-­response approaches and both price-­responsive and reacting to the distribution system operator stimuli, in coordination with WP5. Optimization of the individual consumer’s electricity bill subject to technical and comfort constraints by exploiting the flexibility consumers have to time and change their electricity-­consuming patterns to achieve a total system optimal control.

Task 6 (testbed component)

Promote user interaction

Definition of aspects where positive stimulation of the users is a challenge. Actions to promote the public awareness about sustainability issues, environmentally friendly behaviors through the engagement of end-­users using social networking tools. We foresee the development of a simple model usable by non-­experts. Such easy-­to-­use tools will be able to have an immediate impact on the work of urban planners, architects, building designers, and property owners, and will be tested in the Lisbon testbed.

Testbed component WP3 will interact with two major service buildings, the headquarters of Novabase and IBM, located at “Parque das Nações”, which will be part of the detailed monitoring program developed in the testbed. In addition, EDP Distribuição will install about 300 Smart Energy Boxes to monitor the electricity consumption of selected households, representing different residential profiles. ADENE contributes to the characterization of the buildings typologies and energy consumption with data from the national energy certification scheme that is under its management.

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