SENSIBLE attempts to answer the question of whether smart buildings can deliver on their energy efficiency and sustainability targets without compromising, or indeed improving, their occupants’ perceived and sensed comfort. SENSIBLE will seamlessly incorporate multiple heterogeneous subsystems from sensor design, communications and data processing to provide a comfortable working and living environment for all occupants together with delivery on energy efficiency targets, thus impacting how business services evolve under globalisation and sustainability challenges.
Buildings contribute over 40% of the total energy demand, where half of that is due to non-residential buildings. The increase in working population, hours spent in offices, and growth in demand for building services and improved comfort, will escalate building energy demand. Thus, making buildings more energy efficient, is a key prerequisite for reaching the EU goals of 20% carbon footprint reduction by 2020. According to European Commission (EC) 2010 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, improving the energy efficiency of buildings will decrease by 5-6% total EU energy consumption. All EU countries must set minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings, and for major renovation or retrofit work in old buildings. Based on EC 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive, EU countries must draw-up long-term national building renovation strategies. Information and communications technology (ICT) must play an essential role in reducing energy consumption of buildings and improving occupants’ comfort levels, through advanced sensing, simulation, modelling, analytical, and visualization tools.
To ensure best practice, SENSIBLE will use an iterative cohesive system design approach between end-users and industrial beneficiaries. Solutions will be tested using two building sites as testbeds, sensing the buildings and occupants in their usual daily routines, and demonstrating relevance of the integrated sensing, communications, and analytical methodologies. Key to SENSIBLE’s success is the sharing of knowledge, resources, methodology, equipment and data across disciplines and countries, applying the results across sectors, and feeding back findings and end-users experiences into technological designs and innovation.