Part2: Building Management linking Energy Demand, Distributed Conversion and Storage using Dynamic Modelling and a Pervasive Sensor Infrastructure

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Commercial and residential buildings are responsible for a large proportion of carbon dioxide emissions both in the UK and globally. In 2000, 40% of the UK's total non-transport energy use was for space heating, and space heating and hot water accounted for 82% of domestic and 64% of commercial use of energy. Energy demand reduction by commercial buildings can therefore significantly contribute towards achieving the UK's broader energy consumption goals. In contrast to proposals that directly propose behaviour change interventions for the users of commercial office space, this project proposes to address a key deficit in our understanding of the quantity and nature of energy consumption in commercial settings with a view to developing novel holistic solutions including the optimisation of shared resource usage and energy storage facilities. The proposed research plans to tackle this challenge by designing and developing a sensing infrastructure that consists of networked physical (e.g. presence sensors, power consumption sensors) and virtual sensors (e.g. calendar and room booking sensors, application usage sensors) that will provide fine-grained information about how much energy is being used, for what purpose and by whom. By applying techniques from knowledge engineering, activity recognition and machine learning (e.g. Bayesian classifiers) the first stage of our approach will derive higher-level information (e.g. a meeting taking place in a particular room) and will link usage patterns (such as spikes in power consumption) to real-world activities and workflows (e.g. printing off a series of reports for a meeting). In the second stage, this information will be used to parameterise building models used in building management to more accurately predict energy usage and to optimise (decentralised) energy consumption, generation and storage. Based on these models, we will develop a decision support tool that visualises the collected data as well as the expected impact of energy saving strategies such as organisational changes and policies or the rescheduling of activities. This will enable decision makers to identify where energy is being wasted (e.g. several meeting rooms being heated despite only a few meetings being scheduled) and to formulate and evaluate strategies to reduce energy consumption. The data collected also benefits other building systems using new and emerging ISO standards for inter-operability of appliances and systems in buildings using Internet Protocols. In addition, the data will enable a better understanding of the way the building is used and how heat wasted. Through a combination of physical and virtual sensors a more accurate measurement of thermal comfort of the building's occupants will be established and thus assist in resolving ever occurring complaints and potential conflicts associated with the diverse needs for occupant comfort in buildings which also results in unnecessary overheating.


10 25 50
Description The project created an open source pervasive sensing system for the rapid quantification of energy/environmental problems in buildings and the delivery of new information services. The monitoring component, termed the BuildAX system, was prototyped and tested by the Newcastle and Strathclyde team, and CE marked with post project funding from the Energy Technology Partnership. This component comprises a low cost, wireless multi-sensor for the high frequency monitoring of environmental conditions and occupant behaviour. Groups of devices are connected to a local logger/router from where the monitored data are despatched to a server application (EnTrak) where relevant analytics are applied before final service delivery.
The BuildAX system has been deployed to support the calibration of high resolution buildings models prior to use for the appriasal of design options.
Exploitation Route There is significant post-project interested in the BuildAX/EnTrak system this has formed the basis of a feasibility study funded by the TSB to address commercialisation, with BRE and Freescale as the project partners, and new commercial partnerships with companies developing capability in the 'Internet of Things' space, e.g. QUSystems and Treegreen. Glasgow City Council has adopted the system as a means to ensure the quality of building upgrades (as part of the TSB-funded Future Cities Demonstrator project). The system has also been taken up within 2 international research projects funded under the EC's H2020 programme and by the Korean Government organisation, KETEP. These projects are building a 'big' data' platform to enable the integration of different data sources relating to building facilities management and the delivery of timely performance information. Other project funding has linked estate monitoring with advanced performance simulation as a means to bridge the performance gap.
Sectors Construction,Energy,Environment

Description The eService platform developed in the project has been adopted by two SMEs, QUSystems and Treegreen (with IAA funding), as the means to establish and deliver new energy-related information services to building owners/occupiers. The systems has also been adopted by the BRE as the monitoring platform for deployment within their international network of innovation parks as the means to quantify the impact of the new technologies and construction methods being showcased. Glasgow City Council has adopted the platform as a means to ensure the quality of building upgrades and the system has been taken up within 2 international research projects funded under the EC's H2020 programme and by the Korean Government organisation, KETEP. These projects are building a 'big' data' platform to enable the integration of different data sources relating to building facilities management and the delivery of timely performance information. The platform has also underpinned EPSRC project EP/L024489/1, which is researching new approaches to facilities management including the involvement of occupants in determining best response to problems, and enabled 2 KTPs addressing th commercialisation of e-services.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Construction,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Economic

Description Centre of Excellence in Energy Utilisation
Amount £318,000 (GBP)
Organisation Building Research Establishment 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2017
Description Development of Standardised Approaches and a Prototype Software Tool for Resilience Testing of Building Performance
Amount £49,594 (GBP)
Organisation Construction Scotland Innovation Centre 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 02/2020
Description FITS-LCD: Fabric Integrated Thermal Storage for Low-Carbon Dwellings
Amount £998,879 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N021479/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2019
Description Glasgow City Council: Future Cities Demonstrator
Amount £247,221 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2014 
End 07/2016
Description H2020: Rotterdam, Umea and Glasgow - Generating Exemplar Districts in Sustainable Energy Deployment.
Amount £377,312 (GBP)
Funding ID 731198 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2016 
End 06/2021
Description Industrialisation of Energy-Neutral Renovations
Amount € 72,833 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2021
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £145,377 (GBP)
Organisation Innova UK 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 04/2017
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £152,286 (GBP)
Organisation Innova UK 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2016 
End 08/2018
Description Korean partnership programme
Amount £279,000 (GBP)
Organisation Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning 
Sector Academic/University
Country Korea, Republic of
Start 06/2015 
End 06/2017
Description NINES Knowledge and Learning
Amount £250,402 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2015 
End 12/2016
Description Commercialisation of research outcomes 
Organisation Building Research Establishment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution New commercial services are being established for delivery by BRE internationally. These include low cost monitoring for post occupancy evaluation of buildings, new approaches to energy model calibration, and building upgrade quality assurance - all based on pervasive sensing, high resoluaion model simulation and e-service delivery.
Collaborator Contribution The BRE Trust give finanical support to Strathclyde as their 'Centre of Excellence in Energy Utilisation', one of four centres included within their University Partnership Programme.
Impact Funding approximately 3 PhD studentships per year. Funding for new staff appointments. Support (from BRE Scotland) for the commercialisation of research oputcomes.
Start Year 2014
Description University of Newcastle 
Organisation Newcastle University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint research with the Culture Lab at the University of Newcastle
Collaborator Contribution Prototyping of the circuit board underpinning the BuildAx multi-sensor as used to deploy pervasive sensing of building environmental conditions to enable the delivery of new information services to various stakeholders.
Impact Continued collaboration in EPSRC multi-disciplinary project EP/L024489/1.
Start Year 2010
Title BuildAX/ EnTrak 
Description This eService delivery platform is made available under an Open Source/ Common license agreement. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed Yes
Impact More rapid take-up of the technology and a willingness by others to share in its applicability testing and refinement.
Title The ESP-r program for the dynamic simulation of an energy system. 
Description A new method to undertake a holistic appraisal of an energy system of arbitrary complexity as a means to ensure operational resilience.. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed Yes
Impact The program has been applied by practitioners within many projects as a means to appraise, at the design stage, performance under realistic operating scenarios.
Title Pervasive service supporting an eService delivery platform 
Description The tool comprises a hardware/ software system for low cost, pervasive sensing of building environmental conditions and the use of high frequency data to deliver relevant and timely information to a range of stakeholders, including facility managers and building occupants. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Adoption by Glasgow City Council for the quality assurance of housing upgrades. Adoption by the Electronic Technology Research Institute of Korea as an essential component in their 'big data' platform. Adoption my 2 SME's (QUSystems and Treegreen) for use to provide commercial information services relating to building performance. Deployment within the EU H2020 project, Hit2Gap, to deliver new information to facilities managers. Adoption by Xiilab, a Korean IT company. Adoption by Hurrley Palmer Flatt, an energy systems engineering company. Adoption by CO2Estates, a real estate management company. Deployment within the EU H2020 project, Ruggedised, to quality assure new energy deployments in 4 partner cities. 
Description Participation in Scoland Heat Summit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dr N Kelly participated in the Scotland Heat Summit, presenting on how modelling could be used to inform policy decisions for the Scottish Government's upcoming heat strategy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
Description Training courses in e-service delivery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Hands-on training in the configuration and deployment of multi-sensors and the definition of the analytics to be applied to the data to deliver specific information to different stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020