After a year and a half, the project ‘SURE! Nordic Built for Sustainable Retrofitting’, which is funded by EUDP, Tekes, Formas and Energimyndigheten, has passed the halfway mark, and everything is still at full speed.
Currently, the partners in the project are focusing on physical installations, indoor climate meters and planning of the preceding control phase while benefitting from valuable insights from tenants across the participating countries – all of which are steps towards lowering both energy consumption and CO2 in building blocks as well as creating sustainable behavioral patterns.
In the Danish trial sites, the housing associations have committed to four heating installations serving 188 apartments. Currently, the project has installed some of the indoor climate meters and is on the verge of measuring the indoor climate in several apartments. The focus is especially on exposed apartments as for heat control, e.g. apartments located in the end of a heating string, facing west or with external walls, since successful controlling of heating in these apartments can serve as a guarantee for heating in other less exposed apartments. The indoor climate meters make it possible for the tenants to receive information about their apartment e.g. status on temperature, sound level and CO2.
For the Danish housing associations, it has been necessary to develop a new technology to control heating. The work is being carried out by the partner IC-Meter, and the technology is expected to be installed during the fall. As a result, the partners in the project have started to plan the heating control for the buildings together with the janitors and the technical managers.
Valuable insights from tenants
During the latest phase of the project, the tenants have participated in different user involvement activities, including a questionnaire and a workshop. These activities show that because of old building conditions, it can be a complicated and costly affair for the tenants to obtain a preferred indoor comfort. Many tenants have the best intensions, but unproductive behavior is still present.
There is a high level of awareness concerning energy consumption and an interest in changing status quo. Throughout the rest of the project, more documentation will be collected about the tenants’ preferences of comfort, understanding of energy, and affiliation to rented homes – documentation, which will feed into the design of interactive communication tools aimed at engaging tenants in lowering the energy consumption.
The BaseN platform is fully developed
The bi-directional platform, BaseN, which provides new ways to capture, process, visualize and control millions of measurements per minute, is now fully developed and ready for receiving data from devices and to present it through portals, reports and alarms. The BaseN platform processes data from the buildings, which is then applied in the physical visualization platforms that are to be implemented and tested in the trial sites.
Next step for the Finnish partner, BaseN, is to get the necessary algorithms for refining the collected data in terms of needs from different stakeholders in the project and to the end customers. Afterwards, the project will be able to introduce the tenants to mock-ups of the physical installations, which will inform about the state of the building and enable sustainable behavior of the tenants.
BaseN was recently granted additional funding from the Finnish National Organisation, Tekes, which enables the BaseN to continue their work until the end of the project.
Visualization concept – beyond the idea phase
The Swedish partners in the SURE! Project are currently developing the physical visualization installation. The project has now passed the initial rounds of idea generation and is narrowing down the solution and design. See their work process here.
The partners visited the Danish trial sites to inspect the conditions for the installations – and the reactions were positive. Soon, prototyping and testing will be initiated, which is the phase before implementation.
The focus is on developing a solution that visualizes the data from the buildings, so the tenants can follow the energy consumption of the buildings and thus be more motivated to change their behavior. In order to develop an optimized tool, insights and experiences from tenants have been prioritized from the beginning.