Articles

Plug and Play Modular Façade Construction System for Renovation for Residential Buildings

Authors: Jorge Torres , Roberto Garay-Martinez , Xabat Oregi , J. Ignacio Torrens-Galdiz, Amaia Uriarte-Arrien, Alessandro Pracucci, Oscar Casadei, Sara Magnani, Noemi Arroyo, and Angel M. Cea

The present paper focuses on the architectural and constructional features required to ensure that building envelope renovation are safe, functional, and adaptable to the building stock, with particular focus on “plug and play” modular facade construction systems. It presents the design of one such system and how it addresses these issues. The outcome of early-stage functional test with a full-scale mock-up system, as well as its applicability to a real construction project is presented. It is found crucial to obtain high quality information about the status of the existing façade with the use of modern technologies such as topographic surveys or 3D scans and point cloud.

Read the full paper here.

Sensing physiological and environmental quantities to measure human thermal comfort through Machine Learning techniques

Authors: N. Morresi, S. Casaccia, M. Sorcinelli, M. Arnesano, A. Uriarte, J. I. Torrens-Galdiz and G. M. Revel

This paper presents the results from the experimental application of smartwatch sensors to predict occupants’ thermal comfort under varying environmental conditions. The goal is to investigate the measurement accuracy of smartwatches when used as thermal comfort sensors to be integrated into Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) control loops. Ten participants were exposed to various environmental conditions as well as warm - induced and cold-induced discomfort tests and 13 participants were exposed to a transient-condition while a network of sensors and a smartwatch collected both environmental parameters and heart rate variability (HRV). 

Read the article here.

'Smart Buindings EU-funded Innovations' brochure

RenoZEB has been featured in the 1st edition of the “Smart Buildings EU-funded Innovations” brochure, curated by SmartBuilt4EU.

SmartBuilt4EU is an EU-funded project that aims, in particular, at supporting the innovation ecosystem in the domain of smart buildings through concrete networking and communication actions. One of these actions, which is directly linked to the present publication, consists in highlighting and promoting past or ongoing initiatives, projects and technologies, which make the Smart Building sector and related topics evolve and progress.

Within this framework, this brochure provides a portfolio of synthetic factsheets concerning 46 EU-funded projects, which have been identified and selected for their particular relevance with the Smart Building topic.

Read the brochure here.

An Analytical Approach for the Selection of Technologies to be Integrated in a Plug&play Façade Unit: The RenoZEB Case Study

Authors: Alessandro Pracucci (1), Sara Magnani (1), Laura Vandi (1), Oscar Casadei (1), Amaia Uriarte (2), Bruno Bueno (3), Michele Vavallo (4). 

(1) Focchi S.p.A, (2) Tecnalia Research and Innovation, (3) Fraunhofer ISE, (4) Solintel M&P

The nearly Zero Energy building (nZEB) renovation market is currently the key feature in the construction sector. RenoZEB aims to develop a systematic approach for retrofitting by assembling different technologies in a plug and play building envelope. This paper presents the methodology used to transform the RenoZEB concept in the design system. A multi-criteria decision matrix is used for the selection of the best façade technologies within the market while the analysis of the existing building conditions allows to develop a replicable approach for designing deep retrofitting intervention through a plug&play façade. The methodology appears to be a valuable support for the selection of technologies and allows to define a design guideline for the envelope.

Read the full article on MDPI.

How can Europe’s existing building stock be upgraded to ‘nearly zero energy’ buildings by 2050?

Alex Rathmell, Managing Director for Consultancy at RenoZEB consortium partner EnergyPro, wrote the article "Retrofit zero energy projects - How can Europe’s existing building stock be upgraded to ‘nearly zero energy’ buildings by 2050?", published in RICS Built Environment Journal.

"Long before the discussion of a green post-COVID economic recovery, governments across Europe had already been directed to develop long-term decarbonisation strategies for buildings, via Article 2a of the European Commission’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Long Term Renovation Strategies pp. 7-10.

[...] One project that is aiming to tackle a whole range of interrelated technical and market barriers is RenoZEB, running from 2017-21. The project is ambitious, aiming to unlock the nZEB renovation market by harnessing the anticipated uplift in property value that renovated buildings will experience. This will be achieved through a new systemic approach to retrofitting, including innovative integrated façade components, processes and decision-making methodologies embedded in new software tools, and a BIM-based collaborative online environment to bring together all value-chain actors in the renovation process."

Read the full article here.

RenoZEB on EVO's Measurement & Verification Issue #5

Alex Rathmell, Managing Director for Consultancy at RenoZEB consortium partner EnergyPro, wrote the article "M&V for Deep Retrofit Projects in Europe", released few days ago on EVO's Measurement & Verification Issue #5.

"One project that is aiming to tackle a whole range of interrelated technical and market barriers is RenoZEB, running from 2017-21. The project is ambitious, aiming to unlock the nZEB renovation market by harnessing the anticipated uplift in property value renovated buildings will experience. This will be achieved through a new systemic approach to retrofitting, including innovative integrated façade components, processes and decision-making methodologies embedded in new software tools, and a BIM-based collaborative online environment to bring together all value-chain actors in the renovation process."

Want to know more? Read the full article here.

Drivers of the energy transition: interview to Hardi Kolli (Rannaliiva)

Why do property owners decide to renovate?

In order to understand what are the drivers that motivate property owners to carry out renovation projects, our partner UIPI paid a visit to Hardi Kolli, a co-owner from the Apartment Owners Association “Rannaliiva”, in Võru (Estonia).

Rannaliiva building is one of the three EU funded RenoZEB project sites where its co-owners decided to carry out deep energy renovation works. 

Click here to read the full article on UIPI website, or here if you want to read it on BuildUP website. 

 

Open BIM RenoZEB - Focchi Facades on BuildUP

"Open BIM RenoZEB - Focchi Facades" is a free BIM software tool that has been developed as a free tool that connects the materiality of Focchi “plug and play” system with the virtuality of a BIM ecosystem, allowing to place and display Focchi Façade system in BIM models. The objective of the program is to obtain a list with the account and the size of each panel and to obtain a cost estimation of the installation which will allow the company Focchi to manufacture the necessary panels and the clients to imagine how this system is going to look like in their building and how much is going to cost. Facades panels are drawn in 3D and are part of the BIM model of the project.

Read the full article on BuildUP website.

Third open access scientific publication now available

Sensors and control solutions for Smart-IoT façade modules

Author(s): Arnesano, Marco; Bueno, Bruno; Pracucci, Alessandro; Magnagni, Sara; Casadei, Oscar; Revel, Gian Marco

Measuring the operating conditions of buildings' components is generally applied to technical systems for improving the energy and environmental management, especially exploiting the IoT functions. However, the measuring and connectivity capabilities are not largely applied to the building envelope. [...] To this aim, the RenoZEB project is developing a plug&play façade module for building renovation, with embedded sensors and actuators. The module with the sensing architecture is completely assembled off-site, reducing the amount of work to be done onsite.

Read the full article on Fraunhofer ISE website by clicking on 'Postprint'.

Original source: 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Measurements & Networking (M&N)

Second open access scientific publication now available

Accelerating Energy Renovation Solution for Zero Energy Buildings and Neighbourhoods—The Experience of the RenoZEB Project

 

Buildings are the key factor to transform cities and to contribute to recent European energy efficiency objectives for 2030 and long-term 2050. New buildings account to only 1–2% annually.

Yet, ninety percent of the existing building stock in Europe was built before 1990, it is therefore necessary to promote their energy renovation to achieve the set objectives. Renovation solutions are available on the market, yet a wrong implementation and integration due to a lack of knowledge neither maximizes the energy performance of the post-retrofitting nor the financial optimisation and viability of the projects.

This paper presents research on a plug & play, modular, easy installable façade and ICT decision making technologies to provide affordable solutions in order to overcome those deep renovation barriers.

The paper sets out by defining a value framework that can be applied by real estate investors for making better retrofitting decisions for residential buildings, through mapping targeted building typologies and investigating new building revalorisation strategies, new renovation concepts and KPIs for evaluation.

Thereafter the paper presents the modular and easy-to-install façade system that is replicable and scalable at European level.

 

Read the article here

Analysing performances of Heart Rate Variability measurement through a smartwatch

This paper presents the experimental performance assessment of a smartwatch (SW) measuring the heart rate variability (HRV), compared to a multi-parametric chest belt that is considered as a reference sensor. HRV from smartwatch can be extracted with two methods: directly from internal onboard processing of the device or by post-processing data collected from the photoplethysmography signal. To evaluate the uncertainty of both methods, measurements were performed while users were sitting at rest, wearing the SW on the preferred wrist and a chest belt that can collect electrocardiographic signal, used as reference measurement.

Read the article here.

RenoZEB article on Infobuldenergia

The University of Marche presented the RenoZEB project on Infobuildenergia, one of the main Italian web portal on sustainable architecture, energy efficience and renewable energy in building. Read more here.

Note: article only in Italian.

First open access scientific publication now available

A workflow for retrofitting façade systems for daylight, comfortable and energy efficient buildings

By Bruno Bueno and Fatma Özceylan

In the context of the H2020 RenoZEB project, this paper presents a workflow for the conceptual planning of façade systems as applied to building retrofitting. The proposed workflow consists of analysing the space from the point of view of the functions of its façade. In a first step, the analysis of the case study leads to the definition of the design requirements, i.e. the relevance of the different façade functions and their priorities. The second step involves the selection of a suitable fenestration system and control strategy for the retrofit solution. In this step, an optimization process for the control strategy is proposed based on state-of-the-art thermal and daylighting simulations. In a third step, the annual performance of the retrofit solution is evaluated in order to check if the requirements are fulfilled. The proposed workflow is illustrated with a case study, in which the automation strategy of a retrofitted façade system is optimized for two different applications: a residential and an office building in Bilbao (Spain).

Read the article here

University of Salford on RenoZEB

Within its November issue of newsletter "So BE it" (School of the Building Environment Newsletter), the University of Salford has published an article about launching of the RenoZEB project.

Note: Article can be found on page 8.

Contact information

Project coordinator:

Solintel, Spain
Michele Vavallo
info@renozeb.eu