Is it a good idea to equip a new or recently renovated building with the ECCO2 Building Intelligence solution? The answer is “yes absolutely”. This article presents the underlying reasoning and a concrete case to illustrate it.

The heating of a new or renovated building must be (re)commissioned and tuned.

First challenge: the need for fine tuning

A very energy-efficient building is demanding on the heating and ventilation settings. Indeed, we very often observe a significant overconsumption compared to the calculations. In most cases, this is a reflection of insufficient tuning.

Second challenge: the thermal balance point

In such buildings, a considerable part of the heating energy is provided by internal gains: the activity of the inhabitants. The energy balance – without heating – is reached at an interior temperature close to 20°C. In other words: at 20°C there is hardly any heating. Therefore, it is easy to imagine that going from 20° to 23° generates a huge increase in consumption in %.

This point of balance also depends on the weather and the tuning task is further complicated by the thermal inertia of the building. As a result, the quest for this perfect balance represents painstaking work, spread over several months of the heating season.

Third challenge: planning

It follows from the two elements above that adjusting the heating before residents move in and outside the heating season will not be precise enough.

Taking into account the scarcity of qualified HVAC technicians and the reality of construction contracts, this is an ideal task for an artificial intelligence system that leverages real-time measurements of the resulting indoor climate per apartment.

Can we confirm this statement? Here is a concrete case.

The building depicted below was commissioned in 2020. Its energy reference area (SRE/EBF) is 4’777m2. It is connected to district heating.

After deploying the ECCO2 Building Intelligence solution, we measured an average indoor temperature of 22.8°C during the heating season.

Under the circumstances of the 2022 energy crisis, we agreed with the property manager to set the target indoor temperature at 20.0°C.

This graph shows how our “Artificial Intelligence colleague”, in 416 machine learning steps, led this HVAC system to a perfect “kiss landing” at 20.0°C. Not 20.5°C, not 19.5°C – exactly 20.0°C.

In order to fully appreciate this feat, consider the buildings’ very high inertia and how variable Swiss weather is in autumn:

The next graph tells the backstage story: here you can see how much excess energy NARA removed from the system. Forward water temperature decreased from 35°C to 25°C.

And here is the result :

The building has reached and even slightly exceeded the energy efficiency planned during the initial calculation.

The investment made during construction works to achieve such a potential for building efficiency represents hundreds of thousands of Euros at the very least: superior insulation, windows and doors, sophisticated ventilation, certification…

ECCO2 Building Intelligence realized the full value of this investment. As a result of reduced heating costs, potential rental income and therefore the valuation of the object are maximized.

CONCLUSION: There is no wiser investment than deploying ECCO2 Building Intelligence on new or newly renovated buildings.

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