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SRI ASSESSMENT CASE STUDY: GREEN POINT BUILDING

Harnessing smart technologies and renewable energy solutions, the Green Point building aims to boost its Sustainable Renovation Index score, demonstrating that even small investments can lead to significant sustainability gains and support the energy transition.

Green Point Building, Wiener Neustadt


SRI assessment methodology, as defined by the EU commission, is quite ambitious about smartness of the buildings if we analyzed the defined functionality levels for each technical domain. There are lot of automatic controls, sensors, flexibility… And it should be ambitious, since we are aware of the technological development and rising awareness of EU citizens about energy efficiency, CO2 reduction and climate protection. We also know that buildings generate large amounts of gas emissions, and we need to do something to reverse these trends.

Renovation of the buildings is a long-term and expensive process, but fortunately we could also use smart technologies to control our consumption, which tends to be cheaper and not so complex solution.

But how smart are our buildings today and how could they be smarter? If we have smart buildings does that mean that we are more energy efficient?

The first step in answering is to check where we are, establish some ground levels and then plan the improvements.

SRI-ENACT project spent a lot of human resources to prepare for the assessment phase of the buildings around EU to execute the first step. It is quite an interesting step where we will get the first insights into smartness of the buildings on the most comprehensive assessment ever made, and be able to answer previous questions, at least on general level.

The best illustrations are real examples.

 

THE BUILDING

Our example is the Green Point Building that was built in Austria from 2018-2020 and has total of 11.400 m2 with approx. 6.600 m2 of living area (apartments and offices).

The building is characterized by the very high level of insulation (A+ energy performance certificate) and own energy production: solar panels on the roof, on the balconies and on the canopy (total 230 kWp) + battery storage (216 kWh). The building also has a connection to the district heating network for heating and domestic hot water (DHW). Although it is a new, modern building, it does not have colling equipment (only individual A/C for some offices), nor ventilation (only natural). It was considered to have exceptional insulation to provide good protection from high temperatures, which do not happen often in that geographical area.

There are also 13 EV charging points, DC with max power 50 kW and AC with max power 22 kW.

The electrical connection from the grid includes 5 LV lines from one substation. All lines are interconnected and can supply any customer in the building.

For metering purposes there are 50+ smart meters installed in apartments and offices used for the billing of electrical energy and several meters for the heating. Currently most of the meters and production facilities are monitored by the EUDT system. EUDT system comprises of single Smartbox computer collecting the meter data and cloud-based software for presentation. Communication with meters is MODBUS and MBUS.

Additionally, apartments also have control of window shading based on the time of day.

According to the given information, we can tell right away that the building was built in a smart way with the minimum of smart technologies applied.

 


Green Point Building, Wiener Neustadt

 

ELECTRICAL ENERGY (EV charging, Lighting)

Due to the high insulation and lack of larger physical loads (no A/C), the consumption of electrical energy is very low. On average, yearly consumption is 400 kWh per apartment, The total production of PVs reaches 130% of the total demand, on maximum levels, but the problem is that most of the produced energy is supplied back to the grid.

All installed meters (not all are remotely monitored) are used for the billing by the local DSO and energy supplier.

EV charging is controlled not to exceed the maximum allowed power and to distribute the charging power between chargers.

Public spaces, like corridors, stairs and similar are equipped with motion sensors for lighting.

 

HEAT ENERGY (Heating, domestic hot water)

Heat energy is used via the connection to district heating system in the city. The building has its own heat exchanger and supplies the apartments and offices with the energy for heating and domestic hot water. The price of heating energy is high but due to good insulation, it is not used in large amounts.

The meters for the heating are also included in the EUDT monitoring system.

Heating is controlled centrally in each apartment, as a standard solution.

 

MONITORING AND CONTROL:

All meters are monitored by the EUDT system. EUDT system comprises of single Smartbox computer collecting the meter data and cloud-based software for presentation and analysis. Communication with meters is MODBUS and MBUS. No control is possible. The system is not connected to any other external system but has an option for API connection, which is pretty shame because it has quite extensive meter data for various analysis ad insights.

 

ASSESSMENT

The assessment was done using a new online tool developed in line with the EU proposed SRI methodology, B option (full set of services). The data have been entered after the site visit with two main domains not included: Cooling and Ventilation. Those domains do not affect the SRI scoring and are not mandatory, but also do not contribute to the comfort and well-being. Other domains have functionalities on the first and, maximum, second level, resulting in modest SRI score of 20%. In general, 20 out of 100% could feel like insufficient, if we do not know that maximum score for real life buildings in testing phase in EU was “only” 65%. At least so far. Just to remind you that we already qualified SRI methodology as optimistic, but future proof.

As we have mentioned previously, the building has high energy efficiency (also reflected in the best impact SRI score of 35,5%), it is almost self-sufficient, even without highest smart technologies installed, and provides perfect basis for the improvements.

Due to the installed solar panels and battery storage, electrical energy is the best scored domain (56,6%), but since heating domain bears the highest weighting factor in Austria, the resulting score is degraded.



This assessment exercise was very useful in the way that we have enlightened what SRI assessment is and what to expect from the resulting scores. It states that smart technologies are not reserved for the newest buildings and that small investments could make us smarter, more efficient, more flexible and supporting the energy transition. This is a boost for the new steps and further improvements in the future.


For the Green Point building, implementation of smart technologies for optimal control of energy flows and flexibility services to the grid should significantly increase the SRI score, together with the possibility to install more RES in form of heat pumps to also allow higher comfort. We will stay in contact to follow them in their new ventures and check the SRI again. We are hoping for increased numbers!


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