Press release: Closure of the SmartBuilt4EU project

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Nerea Gómez

Project Officer

1743 Last modified by the author on 30/03/2023 - 16:04
Press release: Closure of the SmartBuilt4EU project

Throughout this last press release, the project presents the highlights of its Final conference “Smart Buildings in Europe”.

The SmartBuilt4EU session which will be organized during Sustainable Places in June 2023, and announces the publication of the SRIA and Policy Recommendations for Smart Buildings

Smart Buildings in Europe – SmartBuilt4EU Final Public Conference

The SmartBuilt4EU project organized its Final Conference “Smart Buildings in Europe” on March 23 from 8:45 to 15:50. The conference gathered 60 people at the venue at COMET LOUISE in Brussels and around 120 people joined the conference online.

The event started with a warm welcome by Alain Zarli, ECTP Secretary General and Project coordinator, and Aneta Willems, CINEA Head of Department for Natural resources, climate, sustainable blue economy and clean energy.

Smart buildings: policy framework, institutional support and overarching initiatives

The session was moderated by M. Pierre Antoine Vernon, Project Officer of SmartBuilt4EU and project adviser at CINEA. It included three presentations from the European Commission:

  • The EU energy efficiency and buildings policy framework & The EU Action Plan on digitalising the energy system – Karsten Krause (team leader, EC DG ENER.B5)
  • The LIFE Clean Energy Transition programme – Ulrike Nuscheler (senior project adviser, CINEA)
  • Horizon Europe Cluster 5 Destination 4 – Stavros Stamatoukos (project adviser, CINEA)

Plenary session I - Supporting smart buildings policy

SmartBuilt4EU highlights

The project SmartBuilt4EU was presented by Nerea Gómez, ECTP Project Officer, together with the main outcomes of the project. Then, the participants were divided for the first round of parallel sessions: “Smartness upgrades and the Smart Readiness Indicator” and “Supporting the implementation of the Smart Readiness Indicator”.

Smartness upgrades and the Smart Readiness Indicator

The parallel session "Smartness upgrades and the Smart Readiness Indicator" gathered 4 projects: Auto-DAN, focused on the deployment of augmented intelligence solutions in buildings using data analytics, an interoperable hardware/software Architecture, and a novel self-energy assessment methodology; COLLECTiEF, which is working on the design and implementation of an energy management system based on collective intelligence; PHOENIX, which provides a portfolio of ICT solutions to increase the smartness of legacy systems and appliances in existing buildings, thereby increasing their SRI score, and energy efficiency; these improvements are expected to translate into human-centric new services for building users and at the same to improve both execution of grid operations and data sharing; and finally SATO, which aims at creating an IT platform for automated self-assessment and optimization of building's energy, capable of assessment of real-life building energy use and energy consuming equipment operation. Each project had the opportunity to pitch its progress to date, also highlighting key lessons learnt. SmartBuilt4EU policy recommendations were then discussed by the projects

Supporting the implementation of the Smart Readiness Indicator

The four “sister projects” EasySRI SRI2MARKET, SRI-ENACT and Smart2 were first invited to present their projects in a few minutes. The panellists then provided feedback on policy recommendations, and started exchanging around the following questions: How to validate the appropriateness of the SRI calculation methodology? Is harmonisation of the SRI at EU level desirable or counter-productive?

According to Smart², represented by Andrei Litiu from REHVA, harmonisation needs to be considered from a political and a technical perspective. From a technical standpoint, it makes sense to harmonise, as equations should be the same. But the SRI is a policy instrument, and political decisions will be made on potential national adjustments. However too many local adjustments would limit the speed of adoption. Member states should also seek for transparency on the adjustments they make. In any case, harmonisation doesn’t mean cross-country comparison. Communication is key. According to SRI-ENACT, there is no one size fits all solution: a co-creation process is needed, and SRI experts as trained by SRI-ENACT have a key role to play.

Focus on smart buildings clusters

After the parallel sessions, the session “Focus on smart buildings clusters” was held. First, there was an introduction to the cluster “Smart Buildings in Use”, by Ruben Delvaeye, which gathers progressive companies to exchange innovative ideas in the field of Smart Buildings. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the realisation of more sustainable, 'user-centred' buildings that are ready for the future. This was followed by the introduction to the Built4People Co-programmed Partnership, by Nerea Gómez, and the presentation of the NEBULA project and the New European Bauhaus, by Anastasiya Yurchyshyna, ECTP Project Officer.

Plenary Session II - Innovation for smarter buildings

After lunch, the second round of parallel sessions took place: “Focus on buildings lifecycle data” and “Smart buildings & data”.

Focus on buildings lifecycle data

The session was kicked off by the presentation of openDBL project by Soumya Kanti. In this project, a secure, open, and one-stop digital building logbook is being developed for buildings across Europe. It followed a presentation by Michael Flickeschild on a study for the development and implementation of digital building logbooks. This study aims to develop a framework for building logbooks in the EU to improve harmonization and data sharing in the built environment and to provide guidance to Member States on how to implement national digital building logbooks. The closing presentation by Federico Garzia was focused on the project BuiltHub. In this project, a roadmap will be developed to help stakeholders make informed decisions about building-related policy and business using a community and its data hub.

Smart buildings & data

The session started with the presentations of five projects related to smart buildings and data: MATRYCS, D^2EPC, DigiBUILD, Interconnect, and SMART2B. The panellists were then asked to provide feedback on the SRIA developed by SmartBuilt4EU, and in particular the priorities on interoperability within buildings and with the grid.

Sharing lessons learnt and good practices from completed and ongoing projects is key. New projects should strive to develop synergies with other projects and develop a closer collaboration – which could be supported by a CSA such as Smart Built4EU for instance. Building blocks from past projects should be reused to avoid reinventing the wheel (and this is always assessed positively by reviewers).

SRIA, Policy recommendations and continuation of the SBIC

To conclude, the implementation of the SRI in Member States was recognised as a key instrument to support the roll out of smart buildings and a big step forward. Paul Cartuyvels (Bouygues, ECTP President) however stressed the importance of checking the adequation of regulation with what can be implemented in practice by industrials and the supply chain, and make sure that the regulation is clearly understood by all and accessible: the solution has to be practical to be implemented correctly.

Finally, the importance of ensuring the continuity of the Smart Building Innovation Community, as a key channel for communication to facilitate adoption, was mentioned several times. This will be done through three main channels: the SRI newsletter (federating the 4 SRI projects funded under LIFE), the B4P partnership stakeholder forum (through the NEBULA project) and the ECTP newsletter, in particular related to the Digital Built Environment Committee.

Recording and presentations available here.

Post SmartBuilt4EU session at Sustainable Places 2023 in Madrid in June

SmartBuilt4EU will organize a session during the next Sustainable Places Conference, which will be held from 14 to 16 June in Madrid, Spain. The session will be dedicated to Smart Buildings, including the Smart Readiness Indicator & Digital Building Logbooks, and will be co-organized with the LIFE-CET-SRI projects. Some of the latest Horizon Europe funded projects will be invited to pitch and the final information about the key SmartBuilt4EU outcomes (brochures of project & innovations, SRIA, policy recommendations) will be disseminated.

Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda and Policy Recommendations for Smart Buildings

SmartBuilt4EU has just released its Strategic Research Agenda and Policy Recommendations for Smart Buildings.

Throughout the project, 12 White Papers were written by 4 task forces.  In each of the white papers, several barriers and drivers were analysed in order to identify R&I gaps in different topics, such as R&D, scaling up and industrialisation, awareness raising, regulation, certification and standardisation, among others. The resulting white papers have been the base for the SRIA and the Policy Recommendations that will feed the design of future Horizon Europe calls and future European policies.

Read the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda here.

Read the Policy Recommendations for smart buildings here.

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