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Paper w78-2010-101:
Information and Communication Technology for Intelligent and Integrated Controls in Buildings: Current Developments and Future Research

Facilitated by the SciX project

Alain Zarli, Eric Pascual, Daniel Cheung

Information and Communication Technology for Intelligent and Integrated Controls in Buildings: Current Developments and Future Research

Abstract: A common and acknowledged vision today is the one that, in the future, buildings, along with their components, equipments, and their environment will communicate and be able to provide information on their status ubiquitously. This real-time available information will be interoperable via common protocols for holistic automation & control. The whole building will be supervised by intelligent systems, able to combine information from all connected devices, from the Internet or from energy service providers in order to efficiently control HVAC (heating & cooling), lighting, and hot water systems along with energy production, storage and consumption devices inside the building, taking into account the users' needs and wishes. In such a context, ICT is recognised as key for empowering people in the (built) universe in which they live, with smart e-metering and new smart e-devices – as well as becoming fully pervasive in the future optimization of energy in the built environment - where “Energy-efficient smart buildings” are to be buildings which contain systems that manage information for an optimal operation of building energy flows over the whole building lifecycle.In such a context, CSTB has developed an open framework for data collection and processing, to be installed in any built environment. It supports networked heterogeneous sensors and actuators (with appropriate communication protocols technology), allows assembling various “business” functions (with easy evolution and extension capability thanks to a concept of service composition and event-driven management between modules), can accommodate any hardware platform constraint (memory, computing power), and can be executed in any environments supporting a Java SE implementation. The framework is itself based on an OSGi platform. The notion of “sensor” is to be considered in a comprehensive way: physical sensor (analogic or logic), complex sub-system or meta-sensor (e.g. Agilent data acquisition system or alike), or even external services (e.g. getting weather data via the Internet). Fields of applications are energy-efficiency in the built environment, but also Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL), internal air quality assessment, collection of data related to inhabitants behaviours, etc..The REEB coordination action (European strategic research roadmap to ICT enabled Energy-Efficiency in Buildings and construction), as a European R&D technology roadmap initiative (achieved in the context of an EC-funded Coordinated Action - http://www.ict-reeb.eu) has identified ICT contributions to the energy efficiency of buildings mainly via improvement (and corresponding RTD) in integrated design (and indeed ICT tools for Energy-Efficient design and production management), integrated and intelligent control, user awareness and decision support to various stakeholders throughout the whole life of buildings, energy management and trading, and integration technologies. As far as the integrated / intelligent control field is concerned, REEB has fundamentally identified the following areas for future investigation:• automation & control: system concepts, intelligent HVAC, smart lighting, ICT for micro-generation & storage systems, predictive control;• monitoring: instrumentation: smart metering;• quality of service: improved diagnostics, secure communications;• wireless sensor networks: hardware, operating systems, network design.The paper will first introduce to expectations, requirements and potential future scenarios for ICT to support integrated and optimised control in future so-called smart buildings. It will then introduce to the current trend of developments at CSTB in this area, and will present the CSTBox as a tool federating and/or complementing functions (potentially relying on already installed systems) in the built environment. After a short presentation of the REEB project, the paper will follow up with exhibiting the outcome of the REEB project in terms of roadmapping RTD activities in this technological field, also providing with a first insight of their potential impact in the future.Acknowledgement: the authors wish to thank the European Commission (DG INFSO) for its financial support to the REEB co-ordinated action. Moreover, the authors are also grateful to the REEB Consortium partners, namely ARUP, ACCIONA, CEA, LABEIN, TUD, UCC & VTT.

Keywords: Energy-efficient buildings, Intelligent and Integrated Control, REEB project, CSTBox framework, Data collection and storage


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