The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) has been set-up by the European Commission to manage on its behalf several EU programmes.

EASME will be co-locating their annual H2020 Contractors meeting on smart buildings with Sustainable Places 2018 (SP2018) on Thursday, 28th June 2018. Involved projects will be:

DR-BOB: Demand Response for Blocks of Buildings (696114) www.dr-bob.eu

The aim of the DR-BOB project is to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of demand response in blocks of buildings for the different key actors required to bring it to market. To achieve its aim the DR-BOB project will:

  • Integrate existing technologies to form the DR-BOB Demand Response Energy Management solution for blocks-of-buildings with a potential ROI of 5 years or less.
  • Demonstrate the DR-BOB integrated solution at 4 sites operating under different energy market and climatic conditions in the UK, France, Italy and Romania with blocks-of-buildings covering a total of 274,665 m2, a total of 47,600 occupants over a period of at least 12 months.
  • Realise up to 11% saving in energy demand, up to 35% saving in electricity demand and a 30% reduction in the difference between peak power demand and minimum night-time demand for building owners and facilities managers at the demonstration.
  • Provide and validate a method of assessing at least 3 levels of technology readiness (1-no capability, 2-some capability, 3-full capability) related to the technologies required for consumers’ facilities managers, buildings and the local energy infrastructure to participate in the Demand Response Energy Management solution at any given site.
  • Identify revenue sources with at least a 5% profit margin to underpin business models for each of the different types of stakeholders required to bring demand response in the blocks-of-buildings to market in different local and national contexts.
  • Engage with at least 2,000 companies involved in the supply chain for demand response in blocks of buildings across the EU to disseminate the project’s goals and findings.

SIM4BLOCKS: Simulation Supported Real Time Energy Management in Building Blocks (695965) www.sim4blocks.eu

The growing share of variable renewable energy necessitates flexibility in the electricity system, which flexible energy generation, demand side participation and energy storage systems can provide. SIMBLOCK will develop innovative demand response (DR) services for smaller residential and commercial customers, implement and test these services in three pilot sites and transfer successful DR models to customers of Project partners in further European countries. The pilot sites are blocks of highly energy efficient buildings with a diverse range of renewable and cogeneration supply systems and requisite ICT infrastructure that allows direct testing of DR strategies. SIMBLOCK’s main objectives are to specify the technical characteristics of the demand flexibility that will enable dynamic DR; to study the optimal use of the DR capability in the context of market tariffs and RES supply fluctuations; and to develop and implement market access and business models for DR models offered by blocks of buildings with a focus on shifting power to heat applications and optimization of the available energy vectors in buildings. Actions toward achieving these objectives include: quantifying the reliability of bundled flexibility of smaller buildings via pilot site monitoring schemes; combining innovative automated modelling and optimization services with big data analytics to deliver the best real-time DR actions, including motivational user interfaces and activation programs; and developing new DR services that take into account the role of pricing, cost-effectiveness, data policies, regulations, and market barriers to attain the critical mass needed to effectively access electricity markets. SIMBLOCK’s approach supports the Work Program by maximizing the contribution of buildings and occupants and combining decentralized energy management technology at the blocks of building scale to enable DR, thereby illustrating the benefits achievable (e.g. efficiency, user engagement, cost).


HOLISDER: Integrating Real-Intelligence in Energy Management Systems enabling Holistic Demand Response Optimization in Buildings and Districts (768614) http://holisder.eu/

HOLISDER introduces a Holistic Demand Response Optimization Framework that will enable significant energy costs reduction (~45%) at the consumer side, while introducing buildings as a major contributor to energy networks’ stability in response to network constraints and conditions. HOLISDER brings together a wide range of mature technologies and integrates them in an open and interoperable framework, comprising in a fully-fledged suite of tools addressing the needs of the whole DR value chain. In this way it will ensure consumer empowerment/transformation into active market players, through the deployment of a variety of implicit and hybrid DR schemes, supported by a variety of end-user applications for Personalized Informative Billing, Human-Centric Energy Management, Load Scheduling and Intelligent Controls, Self-consumption promotion and cost-effective storage, Predictive Maintenance, along with Context-Aware Automation. The backbone of HOLISDER project consists in an “open” and modular interoperability and data management framework that will enable open standards-based communication along the DR value chain. It will integrate two main commercial technologies/ products (JACE, EF-i) to ensure seamless information exchange, communication and operation on top of any Building and District EMS, as well as, Smart Home systems/devices. On the business side HOLISDER will focus on the definition of new business models for intermediaries and third parties (aggregators, energy retailers, facility managers, ESCOs) that will facilitate consumers’ involvement into energy markets by acting on their behalf and making the most out of their flexibility value. The HOLISDER framework will be validated in 4 large-scale demonstrators/pilot sites, located in Greece, UK, Finland and Serbia, incorporating diverse building types, heterogeneous home, building and district EMS and devices, a variety of energy carriers and spanning diverse climatic conditions, demographics and cultures.


DRIMPAC (768559)

Buildings constitute a vast, yet currently untapped, source of energy demand flexibility that can provide invaluable services to the energy system. This flexibility currently remains unattainable due to the lack of a technological framework that can connect the multitude of buildings and building systems with the energy system in a cost-effective manner as well as the reluctance of energy consumers to enroll in demand response programs. DRIMPAC offers a comprehensive solution to empower consumer to become active participants in the energy markets. It comprises three main pillars:

  1. A legacy and Standards-compliant interoperability framework to interconnect building energy loads/appliances and expose their demand flexibility as price-responsive demand to the grid or for market actors to aggregate and bid in ancillary service markets.
  2. A human-centric, intelligent building energy management system that will lift the burden of demand response from the consumers shoulders and reduce reluctance and fear of participation in DR programs. It will infer user comfort preferences and dynamically control building loads to minimize energy cost and use for the building occupant leveraging dynamic prices, while always preserving comfortable and healthy indoor conditions.
  3. Innovative business models and service offering for energy retailers in order to facilitate their transformation from commodity suppliers to digital energy service suppliers and kick-start the deployment of the DRIMPAC solution in the market. The DRIMPAC technological framework and business models will be validated by four retailers supplying three energy carriers – electricity, natural gas and district heating – in four different national markets across the EU – France, Cyprus, Germany and Spain. Pilot demonstrations will take place in a range of building types, including residential, office, educational and others, in order to validate the DRIMPAC benefits across most building typologies.

TABEDE: TowArds Building rEady for Demand rEsponse (766733) www.tabede.eu

TABEDE aims to allow all buildings equipped with Building Energy Management Systems to integrate energy grid demand response schemes, overcoming limitations linked to missing interoperability, at reduced cost. To that aim, TABEDE will allow connection of all dispatchable loads to the Building Energy System through a dedicated TABEDE interface, whatever the communication protocol. A dedicated smart grid communication protocol translator will be provided to ease the acceptance of the TABEDE system as well as a database of dispatchable load drivers. Moreover, in order to improve building efficiency, novel building energy management strategies will be proposed, in terms of electric load and thermal management, adapting to the evolving environment, as well as building continuous monitoring. TABEDE solution will be demonstrated and assessed through extensive simulation-based testing. The proposed solutions will be deployed on three test sites (residential and tertiary) representative of EU building stocks and conditions.


RESPOND: integrated demand REsponse Solution towards energy POsitive NeighbourhooDs (768619)

RESPOND will aim to deploy and demonstrate an interoperable, cost-effective, user-centered solution, entailing energy automation, control, and monitoring tools, for a seamless integration of cooperative DR programs into the legacy energy management systems. In this endeavor, RESPOND will be leveraged upon an integrated approach for real-time optimal energy dispatching, taking into account both supply and demand side, while exploiting all energy assets available at the site. Owing to its flexibility and scalability, RESPOND solution will be capable of delivering a cooperative demand response at both building and district level. To provide a seamless integration of all DR enabling elements and ensure a high replication potential, RESPOND will be leveraged upon open standards for interoperability with smart home devices and automation systems, connectivity and extendibility towards smart grid and third-party services such as for the provision of energy prices, weather forecasts, etc. Underpinned by the smart energy monitoring infrastructure, RESPOND will be able to perform reliable energy data analytics and forecasting in order to detect potential energy conservation opportunities, and to adapt, in real time, to the operational environment considering indoor and outdoor conditions, while retaining the requested comfort levels. Through the interaction with the end users, RESPOND will aim to raise their awareness by delivering measurement driven suggestions for energy demand reduction and influence their behavior making them an active indispensable part of DR loop. In order to demonstrate the high replication potential, RESPOND will target different types of residential buildings, situated in different climate zones, having different forms of ownership (both rental as well as home-owners), population densities and underlying energy systems.


4RinEU: Robust and Reliable technology concepts and business models for triggering deep Renovation of Residential buildings in EU (723829) 4rineu.eu

4RinEU will define robust, cost-effective, tailorable deep renovation technology packages supported by usable methodologies, feeding into reliable business models. The project will minimize failures in design and implementation, manage different stages of the deep renovation process, from the preliminary audit up to the end-of-life, and provide information on energy, comfort, users’ impact, and investment performance.

The 4RinEU deep renovation strategy is based on 3 pillars: (i) technology (driven by robustness) to decrease net primary energy use (60 to 70% compared to pre-renovation), allowing a reduction of life cycle costs over 30 years (15% compared to a typical renovation) (ii) methodology (driven by usability) to support the design and implementation of the technologies improving the information flow and knowledge sharing among stakeholders to sustain participative design, ensuring to halve the current renovation time (iii) business models (driven by reliability) to enhance the level of confidence of deep renovation investors, increasing the EU building stock transformation rate up to 3% by 2020.

The 10 main results of 4RinEU will address the following objectives:
Technology: to reduce demand (Prefab Multifunctional Façade, Comfort Ceiling Fan), to improve energy efficiency (Plug&Play Energy Hub, Objective-based RES Implementation), to improve building operations (Sensible Building Data Handler), and to reduce construction waste (Strategies for Components End-Of-Life).
Methodology: to accurately understand renovation issues and potentials (Cost-Optimal Energy Audit), to ensure an effective and participated design (Investor and Building User-Oriented Design Tool and Method based on BIM), to reduce construction time and failures (Deep Renovation Implementation Management).
Business model: to identify the level of risk of renovation process and to enable well-founded investments supported by tailor-made financial tools (Cost-effectiveness Rating System).


MPC GT: Model Predictive Control and Innovative System Integration of GEOTABS in Hybrid Low Grade Thermal Energy Systems Hybrid MPC GEOTABS (723649) www.hybridgeotabs.eu

The MPC GT project brought together a transdisciplinary team of SMEs, large industry and research institutes, experienced in research and application of design and control systems in the combined building and energy world. Based on prior research, supported by (joint) EU and national projects, and practical experience the bottlenecks where identified that prevent at this moment a real breakthrough of geothermal heat pumps (GEO-HP) combined with thermally activated building systems (TABS) – GEOTABS. Solutions, which need to be implemented in an integrated way, were identified and sufficient proof of concept was gathered to join forces in a RIA. The innovative concepts aim at increasing the share of low valued (low-grade) energy sources by means of using low exergy systems on the one hand and aim at upgrading low/moderate temperature resources on the other hand. The overall solution consists of an optimal integration of GEOTABS and secondary supply and emission systems. To allow for an optimal use of both the GEOTABS and the secondary system, a split will be made between a so-called “baseload” that will be provided by the GEOTABS and the remaining energy needs that should be supplied by the secondary system. A generic rule, eliminating case-by-case simulation work, will be developed. The second part of the proposed solution aims at a white box approach for Model Predictive Control (MPC) to generate a controller model with precomputed model inputs such as disturbances and HVAC thermal power to avoid case by case development. Research is needed to assess the overall performance and robustness of such an approach towards uncertainties. As such, the MPC-: GT consortium believes to have identified an integrated solution that will provide a near optimal design strategy for the MPC GEOTABS concept using optimal control integrated design. The solution will support the industry, especially the SME members, to expand their activities and strengthen their competitiveness.


BRESAER: Breakthrough solutions for adaptable envelopes for building refurbishment (637186) www.bresaer.eu

The overall objective of BRESAER project is to design, develop and demonstrate an innovative, cost-effective, adaptable and industrialized envelope system for buildings refurbishment including combined active and passive pre-fabricated solutions integrated in a versatile lightweight structural mesh:

  • Dynamic window with automatic and controlled air-tightness and insulated solar blinds complementing energy saving and visual comfort strategies, such as light redirection and response to solar radiation.
  • Multifunctional and multilayer insulation panels made of Ultra High-Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete to be used as rigid shells integrating an insulation material.
  • Combined solar thermal air and PV envelope component for indoor space heating and ventilation, thermal insulation and electricity generation.
  • Multifunctional lightweight ventilated façade module.
  • BIPV and Combined thermo-reflexive (improving fire resistance) and self-cleaning coating (through photo-catalytic nanoparticles).

The building will be governed by an innovative BEMS covering a specific control system for governing the envelope, the energy use of the building and the strategies for the electrical energy storage. A real demonstration will be performed in an education building in Turkey. Four additional virtual demonstrations will be done in using real building in other European countries covering complementary climatic zones, constructed before the EPBD requirements were enacted.

Expected impact:

  • Energy demand reduction for space heating and cooling 30,7% due to envelope refurbishment.
  • Contribution solar thermal for space conditioning of 37,3%.
  • Contribution of RES for electricity of 12,8%.
  • The combination gives a total primary energy consumption reduction of 76,4%.
  • Improved indoor environment quality by improving thermal, acoustics, illumination comfort and IAQ by reducing VOCs.
  • Provide solutions with a pay-back time below 7 years.
  • Validation and market uptake of active building element.

ZERO-PLUS: Achieving near Zero and Positive Energy Settlements in Europe using Advanced Energy Technology (678407) www.zeroplus.org

In ZERO-PLUS, a comprehensive, cost-effective system for Net Zero Energy (NZE) settlements will be developed and implemented. The system will be composed of innovative solutions for the building envelope, for building energy generation and management, and for energy management at the settlement level. A reduction of operational energy usage to an average of 0-20 kWh/m2 per year (compared with the current average of 70-230 kWh/m2) will be achieved through a transition from single NZE buildings to NZE settlements, in which the energy loads and resources are optimally managed.

A primary objective of the project will be to develop a system whose investment costs will be at least 16% lower than current costs. In order to reduce “balance of system” costs, an approach of mass customization will be employed. Mass produced technologies will be integrated in a system that is optimally designed according to the local climate and site of each project in which it is implemented. To this end, a structured process will be developed and applied for the integration, optimization and verification of the design.

The project’s work programme will ensure a rapid market uptake, within its four-year scope, of the innovative solutions that will be developed. These solutions will be implemented in four different demonstration projects throughout the EU, with varying climates and building types. The results of their implementation will be monitored, analyzed and disseminated. A comprehensive market analysis and business plan will support the commercial exploitation of the project’s results. The project will be carried out by a consortium that includes universities, project owners, technology providers and organizations, which will closely collaborate in all the project’s phases.