Data-Smart Building Case Studies

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Bartlett Sch of Env, Energy & Resources

Abstract

The building sector accounts for about 40% of total final energy use and harbours the enormous potential to save energy and reduce CO2-emissions in a cost-effective way. Many of these cost-effective opportunities do not require significant capital outlay, relying instead on sound decision making and proficient implementation of building maintenance and operational control strategies. Indeed, many buildings are poorly commissioned from inception such that they never operate as designed. Even for well-commissioned buildings, the performance of systems might degrade over time, and this can go unnoticed resulting in poor performance. The extent of the opportunity is highlighted by Katipamula and Brambley (2005) who claim that "poorly maintained, degraded, and improperly controlled equipment wastes an estimated 15% to 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings."

The importance of these issues in now widely acknowledged. For example, within the Mission Innovation Challenge 7 on Affordable Heating and Cooling a specific task on Predictive Maintenance and control Optimization (PMO) is foreseen. A key pre-requisite to achieve progress in such a task is access to high-quality contextual and metered data. In the UK, the Smart Meter Research Portal project seeks to create and make publicly available such a resource by linking contextual to smart meter data. Rich data sets are becoming increasingly available, but the question remains on how to maximise the insights and actionable information that can be extracted from these data.

The work planned for this project seeks to explore the ways in which such datasets can be beneficially used to address the issue of PMO; in addition, it will seek to explore the benefits of more integrated building-level integration. The main premise is that contextual information together with highly granular data can be processed to identify performance degradations and inform predictive maintenance decisions. It then makes sense to seek to tune and optimise operation by more intelligent control strategies. Beyond technical challenges, for effective adoption of such new data-centric approaches, the value proposition needs to be identified for various stakeholders, and the identification of potentially viable business models, regulatory boundaries and procurement mechanisms. Around the world, good practice examples and evidence are appearing related to the benefits and practical application pathways towards Data-Smart Buildings.

The scope of this work is potentially vast and cannot be addressed within a single project. The recently established IEA EBC Annex 81, Data-Driven Smart Buildings seeks to pool resources from around the world to create a critical mass of researchers then can address such a challenge. This project will support the UK's involvement and leadership on Subtask D of the Annex, on Case Studies and business models.

The case studies to be collected will consider the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). These aspects are to include latest research developments that span from: (i) data collection and data-modelling; (ii) data-driven modelling; (iii) capturing expert knowledge but also using Artificial Intelligence, to create data-driven applications and services, to; (iv) the utilisation and adoption of new services and business models. This approach follows the adage that 'you can't manage what you don't measure'. To ensure that the evidence is relevant, the work will cover a range of representative building typologies, climates and occupant applications. The findings will be communicated to stakeholders.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The main objective of the Data-Smart Buildings (DSB) project is to develop knowledge, industry processes and digital technology tools that address some of the challenges identified above to support delivery of improved energy management and building systems control in new and extant non-residential buildings. To achieve this, and to address the challenges identified above, the specific objectives of the proposed work are as follows:
1. Identify requirements and develop a process for designing and delivering improved control.
2. Develop approaches for designing building-specific predictive controllers for use in both new and existing buildings
3. Develop an open, standards-based, semantic data model that captures the minimum required information on the domain of buildings and their building services to support the improved control methods to be developed.
4. Perform field testing in representative UK buildings and disseminate successful test results as case studies.
5. Apply and evaluate the use of existing Centre for Research in Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) modelling tools to assess the potential policy, regulatory, and business pathways in relation to the use of Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) for end-use demand reduction.
6. Ensure fitness for purpose, through the formation of an Advisory Panel to scrutinise the proposed processes for delivering improved energy efficiency through improved control as well as the technical methods and tools to implement these processes.
Exploitation Route The focus of the research is the effective control of indoor environments in non-residential (non-domestic) buildings. The main beneficiaries will be:
• Owners and operators of buildings, who will be able to control the environmental conditions in their buildings more effectively, provide better quality indoor environments and save energy in the operation of building services.
• Building occupants and tenants, who will have better controlled indoor environments, avoiding over-heating and under-heating, receiving adequate levels of ventilation and appropriate levels of lighting without disabling glare, and being more comfortable and productive as a result.
• Controls equipment suppliers and system integrators, who will be able to offer their customers improved software for the effective operation of controls in new and existing buildings. This will serve to optimise the operation of buildings services, identify faults and allow buildings to interact with the grid to facilitate demand management and demand response.
• Building services engineers and building services contractors, who will have reduced design and installation costs and fewer call-backs.
• Energy consultants and Energy Services Companies (ESCOs), who will share in the income to be derived from the ability to respond to dynamic electricity pricing.
• Spin-offs to other sectors from the Model Predictive Control (MPC) development
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other

URL https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/
 
Description (COGITO) - COnstruction-phase diGItal Twin mOdel
Amount € 5,907,481 (EUR)
Funding ID 958310 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2020 
End 10/2023
 
Description High-Quality Data-Driven Services for a Digital Built Environment towards a Climate-Neutral Building Stock (DigiBuild)
Amount € 4,999,811 (EUR)
Funding ID 101069658 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 05/2022 
End 05/2025
 
Title Data-Driven Smart Building Case Studies 
Description An online repository of case studies that include a description of each case study and links to repositories of related data sets (hosted externally). Created with the purpose of providing evidence of the benefits associated with the digitisation of the built environment, and helping share best practices and lessons learnt. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2022 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This website is being developed and populated. WIll be made available to the public by the end of the Annex. 
URL http://datasmartbuildings.org
 
Description IEA Annex 81 partnership 
Organisation Building and Construction Authority
Country Singapore 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Data-Smart Building Case Studies (DSBCS) project supports the UK's participation and contribution to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 81 - Data-Driven Smart Buildings. In particular, the DSBCS project supports UCL's and UK's contribution in leading Subtask D (Case Studies and Business Models) of the IEA Annex 81 programme. The DSBCS project contributes to IEA Annex 81 Subtask D by: - Collecting and analysing Case Studies to compile evidence on the benefits of data-driven smart buildings applications; - Analysing the case studies to evaluating new service offerings and business models; - Communicating these findings to stakeholders.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners are contributing to this collaboration on IEA Annex 81 in their role of Operating Agent and Subtask leaders. IEA Annex 81 is split in four Subtasks tackling the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). Specifically: - Subtask A: Open data and data platforms; - Subtask B: Building Control Emulator; - Subtask C: Applications and Services; - Subtask D: Case Studies and Business Models. These subtasks should be viewed as mutually reinforcing coverage of the broader digitalization topic rather than siloing the specific knowledge on each of the aspects treated.
Impact The outputs resulted so far from this collaboration are a plenary meeting with IEA Annex 81 participants and three research webinars (listed at https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/meetings).
Start Year 2020
 
Description IEA Annex 81 partnership 
Organisation Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Country Australia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Data-Smart Building Case Studies (DSBCS) project supports the UK's participation and contribution to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 81 - Data-Driven Smart Buildings. In particular, the DSBCS project supports UCL's and UK's contribution in leading Subtask D (Case Studies and Business Models) of the IEA Annex 81 programme. The DSBCS project contributes to IEA Annex 81 Subtask D by: - Collecting and analysing Case Studies to compile evidence on the benefits of data-driven smart buildings applications; - Analysing the case studies to evaluating new service offerings and business models; - Communicating these findings to stakeholders.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners are contributing to this collaboration on IEA Annex 81 in their role of Operating Agent and Subtask leaders. IEA Annex 81 is split in four Subtasks tackling the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). Specifically: - Subtask A: Open data and data platforms; - Subtask B: Building Control Emulator; - Subtask C: Applications and Services; - Subtask D: Case Studies and Business Models. These subtasks should be viewed as mutually reinforcing coverage of the broader digitalization topic rather than siloing the specific knowledge on each of the aspects treated.
Impact The outputs resulted so far from this collaboration are a plenary meeting with IEA Annex 81 participants and three research webinars (listed at https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/meetings).
Start Year 2020
 
Description IEA Annex 81 partnership 
Organisation Drexel University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Data-Smart Building Case Studies (DSBCS) project supports the UK's participation and contribution to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 81 - Data-Driven Smart Buildings. In particular, the DSBCS project supports UCL's and UK's contribution in leading Subtask D (Case Studies and Business Models) of the IEA Annex 81 programme. The DSBCS project contributes to IEA Annex 81 Subtask D by: - Collecting and analysing Case Studies to compile evidence on the benefits of data-driven smart buildings applications; - Analysing the case studies to evaluating new service offerings and business models; - Communicating these findings to stakeholders.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners are contributing to this collaboration on IEA Annex 81 in their role of Operating Agent and Subtask leaders. IEA Annex 81 is split in four Subtasks tackling the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). Specifically: - Subtask A: Open data and data platforms; - Subtask B: Building Control Emulator; - Subtask C: Applications and Services; - Subtask D: Case Studies and Business Models. These subtasks should be viewed as mutually reinforcing coverage of the broader digitalization topic rather than siloing the specific knowledge on each of the aspects treated.
Impact The outputs resulted so far from this collaboration are a plenary meeting with IEA Annex 81 participants and three research webinars (listed at https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/meetings).
Start Year 2020
 
Description IEA Annex 81 partnership 
Organisation Natural Resources Canada
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Data-Smart Building Case Studies (DSBCS) project supports the UK's participation and contribution to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 81 - Data-Driven Smart Buildings. In particular, the DSBCS project supports UCL's and UK's contribution in leading Subtask D (Case Studies and Business Models) of the IEA Annex 81 programme. The DSBCS project contributes to IEA Annex 81 Subtask D by: - Collecting and analysing Case Studies to compile evidence on the benefits of data-driven smart buildings applications; - Analysing the case studies to evaluating new service offerings and business models; - Communicating these findings to stakeholders.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners are contributing to this collaboration on IEA Annex 81 in their role of Operating Agent and Subtask leaders. IEA Annex 81 is split in four Subtasks tackling the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). Specifically: - Subtask A: Open data and data platforms; - Subtask B: Building Control Emulator; - Subtask C: Applications and Services; - Subtask D: Case Studies and Business Models. These subtasks should be viewed as mutually reinforcing coverage of the broader digitalization topic rather than siloing the specific knowledge on each of the aspects treated.
Impact The outputs resulted so far from this collaboration are a plenary meeting with IEA Annex 81 participants and three research webinars (listed at https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/meetings).
Start Year 2020
 
Description IEA Annex 81 partnership 
Organisation Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Data-Smart Building Case Studies (DSBCS) project supports the UK's participation and contribution to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 81 - Data-Driven Smart Buildings. In particular, the DSBCS project supports UCL's and UK's contribution in leading Subtask D (Case Studies and Business Models) of the IEA Annex 81 programme. The DSBCS project contributes to IEA Annex 81 Subtask D by: - Collecting and analysing Case Studies to compile evidence on the benefits of data-driven smart buildings applications; - Analysing the case studies to evaluating new service offerings and business models; - Communicating these findings to stakeholders.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners are contributing to this collaboration on IEA Annex 81 in their role of Operating Agent and Subtask leaders. IEA Annex 81 is split in four Subtasks tackling the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). Specifically: - Subtask A: Open data and data platforms; - Subtask B: Building Control Emulator; - Subtask C: Applications and Services; - Subtask D: Case Studies and Business Models. These subtasks should be viewed as mutually reinforcing coverage of the broader digitalization topic rather than siloing the specific knowledge on each of the aspects treated.
Impact The outputs resulted so far from this collaboration are a plenary meeting with IEA Annex 81 participants and three research webinars (listed at https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/meetings).
Start Year 2020
 
Description IEA Annex 81 partnership 
Organisation SINTEF
Country Norway 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution The Data-Smart Building Case Studies (DSBCS) project supports the UK's participation and contribution to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 81 - Data-Driven Smart Buildings. In particular, the DSBCS project supports UCL's and UK's contribution in leading Subtask D (Case Studies and Business Models) of the IEA Annex 81 programme. The DSBCS project contributes to IEA Annex 81 Subtask D by: - Collecting and analysing Case Studies to compile evidence on the benefits of data-driven smart buildings applications; - Analysing the case studies to evaluating new service offerings and business models; - Communicating these findings to stakeholders.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners are contributing to this collaboration on IEA Annex 81 in their role of Operating Agent and Subtask leaders. IEA Annex 81 is split in four Subtasks tackling the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). Specifically: - Subtask A: Open data and data platforms; - Subtask B: Building Control Emulator; - Subtask C: Applications and Services; - Subtask D: Case Studies and Business Models. These subtasks should be viewed as mutually reinforcing coverage of the broader digitalization topic rather than siloing the specific knowledge on each of the aspects treated.
Impact The outputs resulted so far from this collaboration are a plenary meeting with IEA Annex 81 participants and three research webinars (listed at https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/meetings).
Start Year 2020
 
Description IEA Annex 81 partnership 
Organisation University of Southern Denmark
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Data-Smart Building Case Studies (DSBCS) project supports the UK's participation and contribution to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC) Annex 81 - Data-Driven Smart Buildings. In particular, the DSBCS project supports UCL's and UK's contribution in leading Subtask D (Case Studies and Business Models) of the IEA Annex 81 programme. The DSBCS project contributes to IEA Annex 81 Subtask D by: - Collecting and analysing Case Studies to compile evidence on the benefits of data-driven smart buildings applications; - Analysing the case studies to evaluating new service offerings and business models; - Communicating these findings to stakeholders.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners are contributing to this collaboration on IEA Annex 81 in their role of Operating Agent and Subtask leaders. IEA Annex 81 is split in four Subtasks tackling the logical steps on the journey from measurement (gathering data) to building management (actionable knowledge and building control). Specifically: - Subtask A: Open data and data platforms; - Subtask B: Building Control Emulator; - Subtask C: Applications and Services; - Subtask D: Case Studies and Business Models. These subtasks should be viewed as mutually reinforcing coverage of the broader digitalization topic rather than siloing the specific knowledge on each of the aspects treated.
Impact The outputs resulted so far from this collaboration are a plenary meeting with IEA Annex 81 participants and three research webinars (listed at https://annex81.iea-ebc.org/meetings).
Start Year 2020
 
Description Contribution to IEA CERT thematic discussion on Energy Efficiency and Digitalisation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The IEA Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT) regularly holds thematic discussions focusing on R&D and technology topics. The objective is to provide a forum for CERT delegates to build knowledge and awareness about the opportunities and trade-offs for different technologies and to exchange experience with peers. The discussions also establish a dialogue between CERT members and the substantive work of the Technology Collaboration Programme, as well as identify possible ways to increase ambition.

The focus of the particular CERT thematic discussion was on energy efficiency and the role of digitalisation.

IEA's report Energy Efficiency 2019 showed a global slowdown in energy efficiency improvement which may have implications for governments reaching their long-term climate and energy policy objectives. In response, the IEA's Executive Director convened the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, to examine how progress on energy efficiency can be rapidly accelerated through new and stronger policy action.

Concurrently, in this context, the process of digitalisation presents both risks and opportunities for the energy system and energy efficiency. Policy action-including for innovation-will be crucial to determining whether the benefits of digitalisation for scaling up energy efficiency, outweigh the risks.
The IEA Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT) oversees the IEA technology forecasting, analyses and RDD&D strategies, provides strategic guidance to its working parties, experts' groups, and the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme, and works as a peer-to-peer exchange between governments on R? priorities.

The overall objective of this CERT thematic discussion is to facilitate exchange between governments on ongoing activities as well as technology opportunities and current RD&D priorities for energy efficiency, with a special focus on digitalisation.

We contributed to the session on "Industry perspectives and international collaborative research efforts" representing the Energy in Buildings and Communities TCP, and presenting the scope and ambition of the work to be carried within the DSB project and Annex 81 more broadly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description IEA Annex 81 - 3rd Research Webinar 
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 In the context of IEA Annex 81 on Data-driven Smart Buildings, we organised the 3rd research webinar. The webinar took place on the Tuesday 23rd February 2021, 16:00-17:30 (UTC).

In this webinar, we had three presentations:
1. Bing Dong (Syracuse University, USA)
Buildings-to-Grid Integration: Now and the Future
2. Anjukan Kathirgamanathan, Mattia De Rosa, Eleni Mangina and Donal P Finn (University College Dublin, Ireland)
Comparison of data-driven model-based and model-free control approaches for unlocking building energy flexibility
3. Xingji Yu and Laurent Georges (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Influence of Data Pre-Processing Techniques and Data Quality for Low-Order Stochastic Grey-Box Models of Residential Buildings

The audience included ~90 researchers and practitioners with an interest in Smart Building technologies in general and Building-to-Grid applications in particular.

The session was recorded and was deposited for Public Viewing on UCL MediaCentral (UCL's Video sharing platform). The recording was also made available on through the IEA Annex 81 Linkedin group and was shared widely, increasing reach to an international audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/J00aggHC
 
Description Presentation of the project in the European Council in Construction Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation on the role of Data-driven smart buildings and case studies drawn from the presenter's work, including lessons learned. The presentation discussed the challenges but also the opportunities of using Smart Building Energy Management Systems, to achieve energy-efficient operation and meet thermal comfort objectives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://ec-3.org/school2021/