Make existing buildings smart!

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767 Last modified by the author on 27/05/2021 - 12:08
Make existing buildings smart!

The digitalisation of existing buildings is yet far from being generalised. In consequence, building occupants and owners have limited knowledge and understanding of their building as an energy system, and how their behaviour can impact it. Smart technologies represent a strong lever to increase the energy efficiency in buildings in the short term and with limited investments, in an approach that is complementary to longer-term deep renovation projects.

The domOS project (Operating System For Smart Services in Buildings) aims to develop and demonstrate technologies for the digitalization of existing buildings to enable smart services related to energy. 

The project follows a double approach:

  • The definition of technologies and guidelines for an open, secure, and multi-service Internet of Things (IoT) environment for smart buildings, enabling to integrate on a common platform any in-building infrastructure and for any application.
  • The development of smart services for energy, comfort, and security. They include energy dashboards providing synthetic information on energy for occupants, optimisation of heating and cooling thanks to sensors and controls, and energy management services helping to turn the buildings into active nodes of an electricity grid or a District Heating grid.

The project targets four objectives:

  1. Design an open, secure, multi-service Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem for smart buildings. domOS acts as a mediation layer between in-building smart systems and applications (for visualisation, optimisation, home automation…). If permitted, any application can access smart system elements in a homogeneous way.
  2. Enable interoperability of data and services for smart buildings through ontologies: applications and local communication systems share a common nomenclature for the field data.
  3. Improve energy performance with smart services: both energy efficiency and load flexibility services are targeted.
  4. Demonstrate and evaluate those smart services in demonstrators.

During the first phase of the project, two types of activities are currently ongoing:

  • Research activities to design and experiment concepts for a smart “connector” for buildings. (The “connector” provides smart applications with a uniform access to buildings while ensuring cybersecurity and privacy, it exploits and valorises existing and emerging IoT standards.)
  • The establishment of a vocabulary common to applications and digital systems in buildings.

Five demonstration sites

domOS will deploy smart services in existing buildings, such as single or multi-family houses and mixed residential/tertiary buildings in five demonstration sites located in France, Denmark, and Switzerland. Demo sites make use of a variety of IoT frameworks compatible with its ecosystem specification. The performance of demonstrators will be evaluated in terms of technology, energy, user experience, and business. The project coordinator declared that the demonstrators’ operational phase is planned for March 2022. The preparatory  activities have already begun:

  • monitoring equipment is already deployed to collect data that will serve as baseline.
  • some demonstrators have initiated a codesign process in which all stakeholders – including households – jointly design new services.

More about the project

domOS is a European Research & Innovation project started in September 2020 funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, in cooperation with 11 partners from 5 European countries and an overall budget of 5 million EUR. The project is coordinated by Dominique Gabioud from the Institute of Sustainable Energy of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland.

Further information on the project can be found here.


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