Energy modelling of new buildings

© Sutichak Yachiangkham/Shutterstock

Most of a building's visual and mechanical characteristics can be simulated and analyzed on a computer long before a single stone has been put in place. But when it comes to energy use and efficiency, nobody can tell in advance how much electricity, heating, or cooling will a particular building use when supporting a certain business process. Now, energy modelling was added to the toolkit of designers through the Adapt4EE project.

By including business and occupancy information in the design model, Adapt4EE provides a holistic approach to the planning, design and evaluation of energy performance of a building. This way owners and managers can calculate the cost of use for the building and change the design appropriately to minimize this cost. Adapt4EE helps also managers and tenants of existing buildings to decide whether their building's energy performance matches the business activities they intend to carry out.

The Adapt4EE framework incorporates architectural and environmental parameters from building Information models, critical business process models, presence and movement of occupants, and live energy consumption measurements. The framework was first trained on real data from business, hospital, and research-oriented buildings. The resulting semantic model was then applied and evaluated in other real-life enterprise operations.

Fraunhofer FIT's role in the project was to integrate its LinkSmart Middleware. The middleware, its ontology, and its device managers were updated and extended to meet the requirements and challenges of this new approach and to seamlessly interoperate with a variety of sensors and software agents from our project partners.

The Adapt4EE project was supported by the EU under the FP7 program and successfully completed in January 2015.