Feature Story | 15-Jan-2024

Smart buildings breakthrough: TalTech researchers created groundbreaking solution for precise building energy mapping

Estonian Research Council

"Energy saving in buildings has become a priority for every property owner, and when planning savings, it is important to get an overview of the current state of energy consumption. Calculating the energy efficiency class based on the measurement is the easiest way to do this, which gives a thorough overview," explained Martin Thalfeldt, research lead of Digiaudit project.

Cooperation with the Estonian company R8 Technologies has started recently. Their artificial intelligence-based software ensures energy efficiency in hundreds of buildings in twenty countries already. Now they will use the collected data to evaluate the energy efficiency class of the buildings monthly with Digiaudit solution’s algorithm.

"R8 Technologies started working with FinEst Centre for Smart Cities to provide its customers with the necessary data to make improvements in buildings. This data is also based on the energy class determined by DigiAudit algorithms. With the help of a digital audit, property owners can find out the real energy efficiency class of buildings and prove the effectiveness of smart control algorithms," explained Kristo Peerna, project manager of R8 Technologies.

The calculation is done automatically based on the data collected from energy meters, and the building owner can see how the implemented energy saving measures start to affect energy use. In case of new buildings, a comparison can be made with the calculated energy label, and if the corresponding meters are available, the systems that are allowed to be excluded from the calculation can be subtracted in the calculation of the energy efficiency class.

Typically, these are, for example, servers, elevators, hot kitchens, and outdoor lighting, which often consume a significant part of the energy in the building, and they can show the energy efficiency of the building itself to be worse than it is in reality.

FinEst Centre for Smart Cities is an international research development centre founded by Tallinn University of Technology, Aalto University, Forum Virium Helsinki and the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communications. The aim of the centre is to improve urban environments by testing new technologies, and its pilot projects are financed by the Ministry of Education and Science and the European Regional Development Fund.

R8 Technologies is a leading human-centric artificial intelligence (AI) technology company managing over three million square meters of commercial real estate across Europe. With a data-based artificial intelligence solution, R8 Digital Operator helps to improve the management of real estate, including office and public buildings, shopping centres and hotels. The Digital Operator makes it possible to reduce the operating costs of buildings, increase the value of real estate, increase the energy class of buildings, reduce CO2 emissions and achieve climate goals.

For background:
The European Union has set a goal by 2050 that all buildings must be zero-emission, i.e., nearly zero-energy buildings. However, there are no reliable data on the energy consumption of many buildings, so it is not possible to monitor the condition of the buildings or evaluate the energy use. The digital audit platform solves this problem and allows companies to simplify the additional reporting obligation associated with the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

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