Special Issue "Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Thomas B. Messervey

CEO and Co-Founder, Research to Market Solution s.r.l., Pavia, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: using sensor data to make better engineering decisions across design, assessment, maintenance, inspections, and energy management to include machine learning
Guest Editor
Dr. Tracey Crosbie

School of Science and Engineering, Teesside University, Tees Valley, Middlesbrough TS1 3BX, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: social and environmental impacts of the new business practices that arose out of the privatisation and liberalisation of the utilities industries

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will include selected expanded academic papers, affiliated with the Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference. SP2017, an official EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) Energy Day, is the 5th edition of a reference conference that brings together researchers and developers from industry and academia to showcase the latest applied scientific and technical innovations of the building and construction sectors in the context of energy-efficient buildings (EeB) towards low carbon economies.

Dr Thomas Messervey
Dr. Tracey Crosbie
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • innovative business models and technologies
  • data models, semantics, and interoperability
  • modeling and simulation, monitoring and control
  • key performance indicators, and evaluation frameworks

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle An IFC Interoperability Framework for Self-Inspection Process in Buildings
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract
Self-inspection of buildings is the process of controlling the quality of construction work in order to ensure that the specifications are implemented according to the design. Under current practices, self-inspection is totally dependent on the operator’s skills, being a process that can be
[...] Read more.
Self-inspection of buildings is the process of controlling the quality of construction work in order to ensure that the specifications are implemented according to the design. Under current practices, self-inspection is totally dependent on the operator’s skills, being a process that can be time-consuming and sometimes difficult to achieve. The Intuitive Self-Inspection Techniques using Augmented Reality (INSITER; for construction, refurbishment and maintenance of energy-efficient buildings made of prefabricated components) project aims to develop a software tool to support construction workers in self-inspection processes, with the overall objective of reducing major errors and extra costs. Nevertheless, one of the challenges is the lack of interoperability between the various equipment used to carry out self-inspection. Devices and current tools deployed on-site do not speak the same language, which leads to a lack of communication. Therefore, this paper presents a framework under which the equipment would be able to send information in a common format. For this purpose, the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) de-facto standard has been established as a viable data model to represent all the information related to the building project. Along these lines, Building Information Modeling (BIM) information and IFC-compliant databases have been designed for the representation of data coming from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) modeling, laser scanning, thermography and sensor networks. Besides the IFC-data repositories, the framework is a multi-layer architecture with the goal of ensuring interoperability and promoting the stakeholders’ objectives for self-inspection during the entire construction process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference)
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Open AccessArticle A Fuzzy-Based Building Energy Management System for Energy Efficiency
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Information and communication technologies (ICT) offer immense potential to improve the energetic performance of buildings. Additionally, common building control systems are typically based on simple decision-making tools, which possess the ability to obtain controllable parameters for indoor temperatures. Nevertheless, the accuracy of such
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) offer immense potential to improve the energetic performance of buildings. Additionally, common building control systems are typically based on simple decision-making tools, which possess the ability to obtain controllable parameters for indoor temperatures. Nevertheless, the accuracy of such common building control systems is improvable with the integration of advanced decision-making techniques embedded into software and energy management tools. This paper presents the design of a building energy management system (BEMS), which is currently under development, and that makes use of artificial intelligence for the automated decision-making process required for optimal comfort of occupants and utilization of renewables for achieving energy-efficiency in buildings. The research falls under the scope of the H2020 project BREASER which implements fuzzy logic with the aim of governing the energy resources of a school in Turkey, which has been renovated with a ventilated façade with integrated renewable energy sources (RES). The BRESAER BEMS includes prediction techniques that increase the accuracy of common BEMS tools, and subsequent energy savings, while ensuring the indoor thermal comfort of the building occupants. In particular, weather forecast and simulation strategies are integrated into the functionalities of the overall system. By collecting the aforementioned information, the BEMS makes decisions according to a well-established selection of key performance indicators (KPIs) with the objective of providing a quantitative comparable value to determine new actuation parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Demand Response Technology Readiness Levels for Energy Management in Blocks of Buildings
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Fossil fuels deliver most of the flexibility in contemporary electricity systems. The pressing need to reduce CO2 emissions requires new methods to provide this flexibility. Demand response (DR) offers consumers a significant role in the delivery of flexibility by reducing or shifting
[...] Read more.
Fossil fuels deliver most of the flexibility in contemporary electricity systems. The pressing need to reduce CO2 emissions requires new methods to provide this flexibility. Demand response (DR) offers consumers a significant role in the delivery of flexibility by reducing or shifting their electricity usage during periods of stress or constraint. Blocks of buildings offer more flexibility in the timing and use of energy than single buildings, however, and a lack of relevant scalable ICT tools hampers DR in blocks of buildings. To ameliorate this problem, a current innovation project called “Demand Response in Blocks of Buildings” (DR-BoB: www.dr-bob.eu) has integrated existing technologies into a scalable cloud-based solution for DR in blocks of buildings. The degree to which the DR-BoB energy management solution can increase the ability of any given site to participate in DR is dependent upon its current energy systems, i.e., the energy metering, the telemetry and control technologies in building management systems, and the existence/capacity of local power generation and storage plants. To encourage the owners and managers of blocks of buildings to participate in DR, a method of assessing and validating the technological readiness to participate in DR energy management solutions at any given site is required. This paper describes the DR-BoB energy management solution and outlines what we have called the demand response technology readiness levels (DRTRLs) for the implementation of such a solution in blocks of buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference)
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Open AccessArticle An Integrated Behavioural Model towards Evaluating and Influencing Energy Behaviour—The Role of Motivation in Behaviour Demand Response
Buildings 2017, 7(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7040119
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 16 December 2017
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Abstract
The change in the actual use of buildings by its occupants is receiving more and more attention. Over the lifecycle of a building the occupants and therefore the demands towards the buildings often change a lot. To match these altering conditions, particularly in
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The change in the actual use of buildings by its occupants is receiving more and more attention. Over the lifecycle of a building the occupants and therefore the demands towards the buildings often change a lot. To match these altering conditions, particularly in the context of the demand for energy efficiency, purely technical approaches usually cannot solve the problem on their own or are not financially viable. It is therefore essential to take the behaviour of the end user into account and ask the fundamental question: “How is it possible to influence people’s behaviour towards a more pro-environmental outcome, and also in the long-term?” To approach this question we will present a model-driven approach for dynamically involving building occupants into the energy optimisation process. To do so we will further develop an integrated behavioural model based on established behavioural theories, having a closer look how motivational variables can be integrated into the process. This should lead to novel approaches for behaviour demand response, enabling additional demand shifting and shedding through targeted real-time engagement with energy prosumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference)
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Open AccessArticle An Introduction to a Novel and Rapid nZEB Skill-Mapping and Qualification Framework Methodology
Buildings 2017, 7(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7040107
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 19 November 2017
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Abstract
Successful design and construction processes aiming towards nearly zero energy building (nZEB) standards are a challenge for the whole construction industry in Europe. Realizing nZEB buildings requires innovative design processes, and technologies based on an integrated design approach facilitated by multidisciplinary work teams.
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Successful design and construction processes aiming towards nearly zero energy building (nZEB) standards are a challenge for the whole construction industry in Europe. Realizing nZEB buildings requires innovative design processes, and technologies based on an integrated design approach facilitated by multidisciplinary work teams. The collaboration between architects, engineers, technical experts and building managers, is essential. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the specific involvement of each profession in order to develop mutual understanding of each others’ disciplines. Additionally, it is vital to provide professionals with the skills needed to achieve optimal nZEB construction and retrofitting in terms of quality, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness. However, this approach is not yet common, as the building sector is still very fragmented. The EU-funded H2020 project PROF/TRAC aims to tackle this issue by developing an Open Training Platform and a methodology for fast and valid co-creation of interdisciplinary qualification schemes for task-based Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for all professions involved. A common methodology for the mapping of skills and qualifications in the form of an Excel tool was developed as a basis, together with a guidance document. This paper presents the skill-mapping methodology, the use of its results to develop national roadmaps, and the BUILD UP Skills advisor app. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference)
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Open AccessArticle EU Support for Innovation and Market Uptake in Smart Buildings under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Buildings 2017, 7(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7040105
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 10 November 2017
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Abstract
At the end of November 2016, the European Commission tabled the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, which represents a large set of proposals for several key directives related to energy. The package included proposed revisions to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
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At the end of November 2016, the European Commission tabled the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, which represents a large set of proposals for several key directives related to energy. The package included proposed revisions to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which seek to update and streamline the Directive in several areas, including provisions to ensure buildings operate efficiently by encouraging the uptake of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and smart technologies. Although it can be argued that there is at present no commonly accepted definition of a “smart building”, the Commission’s proposed revision refers to three key features of a possible indicator of “smartness” in buildings: the technological readiness of a building to (1) interact with its occupants; (2) to interact with the grid; and (3) to manage itself efficiently. Using these three pillars of “smartness” as a methodological starting point, this paper identifies and analyses recent and ongoing Horizon 2020 research, innovation and market uptake projects which are investigating “smart buildings”. The research maps and examines the tasks, scope and innovations in areas that include building automation and control systems, demand response, energy management, ICT and user interfaces for energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Value Proposition and Development of Innovative Business Models for Demand Response Products and Services Enabled by the DR-BOB Solution
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
The work presented is the result of an ongoing European H2020 project entitled DR-BOB Demand Response in Blocks of Buildings (DR-BOB) that seeks to integrate existing technologies to create a scalable solution for Demand Response (DR) in blocks of buildings. In most EU
[...] Read more.
The work presented is the result of an ongoing European H2020 project entitled DR-BOB Demand Response in Blocks of Buildings (DR-BOB) that seeks to integrate existing technologies to create a scalable solution for Demand Response (DR) in blocks of buildings. In most EU countries, DR programs are currently limited to the industrial sector and to direct asset control. The DR-BOB solution extends applicability to the building sector, providing predictive building management in blocks of buildings, enabling facilities managers to respond to implicit and explicit DR schemes, and enabling the aggregation of the DR potential of many blocks of buildings for use in demand response markets. The solution consists of three main components: the Local Energy Manager (LEM), which adds intelligence and provides the capacity for predictive building management in blocks of buildings, a Consumer Portal (CP) to enable building managers and building occupants to interact with the system and be engaged in demand response operations, and a Decentralized Energy Management System (DEMS®, Siemens plc, Nottingham, England, UK), which enables the aggregation of the DR potential of many blocks of buildings, thus allowing participation in incentive-based demand response with or without an aggregator. The paper reports the key results around Business Modelling development for demand response products and services enabled by the DR-BOB solution. The scope is threefold: (1) illustrate how the functionality of the demand response solution can provide value proposition to underpin its exploitation by four specific customer segments, namely aggregators and three types of Owners of Blocks of Buildings in different market conditions, (2) explore key aspects of the Business Model from the point of view of a demand response solution provider, in particular around most the suitable revenue stream and key partnership, and (3) assess the importance of key variables such as market maturity, user engagement, and type of blocks of buildings as drivers to market penetration and profitability. The work presented is framed by the expected evolution of DR services in different market contexts and the different relationships between the main stakeholders involved in the DR value chain in different EU countries. The analysis also relies on the results of interviews conducted at the fours pilot sites of the DR-BOB project with key representatives of the management, operations, and marketing. These are used to better understand customer needs and sharpen the value proposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) Conference)
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