RÉPENER

RÉPENER is a research project  co-funded by the Spanish National  R&D Plan 2009-2012 which is carried out the research group ARC Enginyeria i Arquitectura La Salle, Barcelona in collaboration with the Faculty of Business and Computer Science, Hochschule Albstadt-Sigmaringen, in Germany.

The aim of this research project has been to design and implement a prototype of an energy information system using semantic technologies, following the philosophy of the Linked Open Data initiative. The developed system –SEIS, Semantic Energy Information System– integrates two types of data sources, proprietary and open. The energy model in which the system is based comprises two types of energy:  building data (consumptions, provision, installations, use, etc.), and data related with other fields (environmental, social, economic,…) that can have an impact in the buildings’ energy efficiency.

SEIS facilitates to various agents (technical teams, consultants, users, energy managers, public) access to energy information created by different applications (energy certificates, simulation, monitoring) throughout the building life cycle, from design to use and operation. SEIS deployed services provide qualified information to improve the decision making process in their respective areas, with the common purpose of improving the energy efficiency of buildings. SEIS interfaces enable users of different profiles – technical equipment, building managers, owners, and consultants interact with the energy-information system in a personalized way.

SEIS may be extended in the future with new energy data that can be added to the system of semantic information, and new services tailored to the specific needs expressed by users.

March 2014

In 20 November of 2013, the members of the ARC group have presented at the Col.legi d’Arquitectes de Barcelona the SEIS energy information system, developed in the context of the REPENER project, funded by the Plan Nacional de Investigación 2010-2013.

Sistemes d’informació energètica d’edificis: programa SEÍS

 

June 2013

The RÉPENER team is proud to present SEIS, a Semantic Energy Information System which integrates distributed building energy data. In SEIS, users with different profiles – architects and engineers, energy consultants, public administrations in charge of energy certificates stakeholders, building owners and facilities managers – can retrieve and upload data using the services implemented in the system. This first version of SEIS can be enhanced with additional data and services.

DEMONSTRATION SCENARIOS

As part of the activities under the research project RÉPENER, we designed some demonstration scenarios for various experts in energy efficiency in buildings to assess the functionality of a prototype of the SEíS energy information system developed in the project RÉPENER and to enrich it with their contributions.

In November 8, 2012, a working meeting was organized in the School of Architecture La Salle to assess the prototype system with a group of experts. The areas and experts participating in the meeting were:

-Advisers’ on energy efficiency in buildings (Luca Volpi, Societat Orgànica).
-Project and construction managers (FIDELA Fruits, Fruit-Sanmartin Architects).
-Building management of non-residential buildings (Antoni García, Gran Teatre del Liceu).
-Public energy agency (Ainhoa Mata, ICAEN).
-Public buildings developers (Anna Mestre, Agència de l’Housing of Catalonia).
-Building permits management (Miquel Diez Valldoreix EMD).

The program of the working session included: presenting the research project RÉPENER and its lines of development; presenting the demonstration scenarios corresponding to some of the most common situations that experts find in their daily practice; explaining the structure, functioning and services provided by the SEíS information system, and finally, a discussion with the participants.

The demonstration scenarios presented and discussed with the participants were:

1) Early stage of the design of a project of a new multi-family building. The designer is the primary user of the information system and the information he/she requires are passive design criteria (building systems) and active (engineered systems).
2) Improvement the use and maintenance of a multi-family building. The user of the services of the system is the manager of the building and the information he/she needs are reference values (consumption, temperature, etc..).
3) Refurbishment of a multi-family building, at an early design stage. The main user of the system’s services is the developer interested in finding examples of good practices which can be compared to the building being refurbished.
4) Energy assessment of a new multi-family building at an early stage of the design. The main user is an energy advisor who introduces the results of energy simulations to compare them with the information stored in the system.

In the working session, opinions and comments from the experts were collected. After the session, interviews were conducted with each of the participants to assess and validate the functionalities of the prototype system and to draw conclusions that would enable to improve it further.

The interviews covered the following topics:

- Applicability, usefulness and value of the information provided by SEíS as compared to the currently available one;
- Possible changes in the current working methods used in the field of buildings energy efficiency once an information system such as SEíS becomes available in the future;
-Motivation of the participants and of other agents to provide information to the system and to request new services not included in it;
-Necessity to include economic information related to the energy efficiency of the buildings in subsequent versions of the prototype;
-Assessing the cases and services available in the prototype system as well as the structure and format of the information it provides;
-Other issues related to the research project and recommendations.

The responses received from the experts at the workshop and in subsequent interviews, confirmed that the information provided by the various services of SEíS in the four scenarios presented was “important” or “very important”. Also, they recognized the improvement that would represent the access and use of the energy information provided by the SEíS system prototype in their respective areas of work. Furthermore, most of the experts highlighted the need to have data on construction costs and operation to assess the economic impact of energy efficiency measures.

Beyond the implementation of the prototype of the information system, the experts considered relevant:

- Ensuring the quality of data entered into the system, since they come from different databases and users;
- Motivating users to supply information to the system, in order to increase the available data and the number and effectiveness of the services;
- Increasing the number of cases to a greater number of climatic zones, as well as uses and building types.

September 2012

Two papers were presented at the conference SEMAPRO 2012 in Barcelona on 24-27 September. The two papers deal with technological issues developed during the project. Specifically, RÉPENER ontology design and strategies for creating links between different data sources based on the semantic web.

- Ontological Representation of Knowledge Related to Building Energy-efficiency. German Nemirovski, Alvaro Sicilia, Fàtima Galán, Marco Massetti, Leandro Madrazo

- Strategies for Semantic Integration of Energy Data in Distributed Knowledge Bases. Alvaro Sicilia, Fàtima Galán, Leandro Madrazo

On September 14, 2012, Gerardo Wadel and Marco Massetti presented the research works that the group ARC Enginyeria i Arquitectura La Salle is carrying out about the application of semantic technologies to energy
information. The presentation took place at the Ramon Llull University in the meeting on “Energy and Sustainability” organized by the Campus of Excellence Aristos Campus Mundus.

July 2012

RÉPENER has been presented in a paper at the ECPPM 2012 conference held 25 to July 27 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

- Semantic modelling of energy-related information throughout the whole building lifecycle. L. Madrazo, A. Sicilia, M. Massetti & F. Galan

May 2012

RÉPENER be presented at the research day organized by the Technology Futures Institute at the University of Teesside, UK, on May 15, 2012.

April 2012

The results obtained in the first phase of development of RÉPENER will be presented in a paper at the ECPPM 2012 conference held 25 to July 27 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

March 2012

A Linked Data in Architecture and Construction Workshop organized by SmartLab, University of Ghent has taken place on 28 and 29 March 2012. This Workshop had the participation of researchers from ARC Enginyeria i Arquitectura La Salle, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, la National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, and the Laboratory of Software Technology Aalto University, Helsinki. The theme of the workshop has focused on analyzing the potential of semantic web technologies, the Linked Open Data and ontologies applied in the AEC sector and energy efficiency.

December 2011

An Ontology Workshop organized by ARC Enginyeria i Arquitectura La Salle will take place on 19 and 20 December 2011. It is expected the participation of researchers from SmartLab, University of Ghent, Belgium and the Ontology Engineering Group, Polytechnic University of Madrid.

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