Start Date: Oct 15, 2013
End Date: Jun 30, 2015
Budget: € 1.850.000
Energy Efficient Enterprise Buildings
The ECOBUILDING project will research and develop a highly novel energy-saving integrated system that aims to reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions in enterprise buildings by incorporating in the operational phase of a building, a modular, extendable and non-intrusive smart sensor system (consisting of heterogeneous wireless sensors and devices) and will provide an effective mechanism for determining and predicting occupancy in critical building zones towards optimal adaptation of building assets to the overall enterprise energy needs. To this end, the project will deliver an integrated building automation system that will be capable to effectively and efficiently monitor the occupant behavior in order to create intelligent energy profiles (generalized and personalized). Moreover, ECOBUILDING will allow inherently the optimum alignment of building energy needs on occupant operations related to both primary business-related and individual preferences taking into account end-user comfort. The proposed framework will investigate the use of novel algorithms for analyzing and extracting building dynamic behavior through its occupancy in various zones and levels based on the combination of low-cost infrared and other smart metering sensors (e.g. RFID, movement sensors, etc.) that will enable optimal generalized and individual energy profiles based on the investigation of the most important business-related primary activities.
Furthermore, the proposed project will address the lack of energy-awareness tools for both building managers and occupants by designing and delivering a fully interactional framework that provides incentives for improved energy saving behavior. To cope with this need, various visualization tools will be designed and developed for both types of building stakeholders, i.e. occupants and building managers. Building managers tools, known as Building Management Systems (BMS), will be enhanced using Visual Analytics technologies to better detect and analyze potential sources of high energy consumption in their building zones, whereas use of personalized web-based services for building occupants will be delivered mainly through monitors (e.g. tablet devices integrated in the building environment) and/or mobile devices (e.g. PDAs). In both cases, the proposed innovative framework will allow each building user, including the facility managers to adapt during building operation its energy performance by providing optimal balance among consumption, business performance and occupants comfort level. Specific project objectives include:
- Objective 1 - Intelligent building occupancy analysis including individual occupant profiling: To research and develop innovative algorithms for occupancy extraction in office buildings based on a multi-sensorial network of smart sensors. Emphasis will be given on the reliable tracking of the locations of the persons in a building room/zone level, in order to extract generalized, individual and group-wise occupancy patterns (occupancy profiling) for the enterprise buildings that will participate in the project. The analysis of those patterns will allow the incorporation of the occupant behavior in the creation of energy-related profiles that will be incorporated in the energy-saving integrated automation framework that the project will design and deliver.
- Objective 2 - Energy Efficient Building Intelligent Control & Automation through Smart Sensor Middleware: To research and develop an efficient and effective smart sensor framework that will allow the continuous monitoring (via sensors) and optimal control (through actuators) of the building zones and the collection of all necessary information (e.g. occupants movements, environmental conditions, occupants interactions with building assets) in real-time in order to build energy-related profiles (individual and generic) towards intelligent learning of occupants behavior and providing the necessary input to the decision support system (DSS). The main purpose for integrating the smart sensor middleware into the DSS is twofold: a) to provide a unified and interoperable way to access data from heterogeneous devices and b) to allow analysis in real time of the building dynamic behavior, based on smart metering and energy-related profiling towards optimized automation and control solutions in buildings.
- Objective 3 - User awareness tools & visual analytics tools for decision support and asset maintenance: To enhance the existing technologies used in providing information about energy consumption in buildings by delivering new tools and visualization methods. The main goal will be to research and develop innovative visual analytic methods for building and facility managers that will allow them to effectively assess the energy use in buildings. Moreover, stimuli and interactive interfaces will be provided to the building occupants, in an automated way, in order to establish better maintenance of the energy use in the office buildings. The information gathered by the Smart Metering module will act proactively and will support (via the DSS) the building users on optimizing their energy consuming behavior. Moreover, a set of tools will be designed and delivered for the correlation of smart metering data with building and asset maintenance data, where historical information on building asset maintenance will be enhanced by incorporating energy consumption data. In this way, the proposed framework will further improve the existing enterprise management & maintenance systems by including energy-consumption views for their energy-related assets.
- Objective 4 - Demonstration and validation of the project energy-related holistic framework for its efficient and effective energy reduction capability in two distinctive pilot enterprise buildings: To test and validate over relevant industrial research activities of at least three months at two different building sites in Greece, the integrated energy-efficient prototype that the project will deliver towards reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption at a national level. The system will be based on available standards in order to be easily commercialized at an international level, thus making Greece a key player in the provision of green ICT solutions in the energy domain.