SRI ASSESSMENT CASE STUDY: GREEN POINT BUILDING

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 are approximately 11.000 m2 (apartments and offices) https://green-point.at.

The building is characterized by the very high level of insulation (A+ energy performance certificate) and own energy production: solar panels on the roof and on the balconies (225 kW) with battery storage. The building 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 EV charging points installed, DC with max power 50 kW and AC with max power 22 kW. All energy loads and sources are monitored by the modern BACS allowing residents to have insight into consumption and profiles.

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

To improve the safety and comfort of residents, the modern system for the alarming in case of water leakage is installed.

Based on the information, we can tell right away that the building was built in a smart way with the basic 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. The total production of PVs could be above of the total demand, on maximum levels, during when most of the produced energy is supplied back to the grid.

EV charging is controlled not to exceed the maximum allowed power and to distribute the charging power between chargers, and users can have insight using mobile app.

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

 

MONITORING AND CONTROL:

All energy meters are monitored by the BACS system. The system comprises of single control computer collecting the meter data and cloud-based software for presentation and analysis.

 

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 SRI score of 20%. According to information about SRI assessments the maximum score for real life buildings 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. There should be no disappointments with results in any direction, only boost for the new steps and new improvements.

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 for the SRI again. We are hoping for bigger numbers!

SRI scoring sheet in April 2024