Over the course of the HIT2GAP project, our partners have installed and trialled the BEMServer platform and modules in four demonstration buildings: in San Sebastian, Paris, Galway and Warsaw. Each of the four buildings has presented its own set of challenges and successes. The buildings include a variety of ‘BEMS’ systems, renewable energy devices and data display interfaces which all had to be addressed by BEMServer. Following feedback from the trials, refinements have been implemented in the platform and associated modules to address problems and implement opportunities for improvement.
Details of our conclusions in relation to implementing BEMServer in the four buildings will be given in two of our forthcoming reports: D5.3 and D5.4, which will evaluate the performances of the modules in each of the buildings taking into account satisfaction among the users of the modules. These reports will define and rate the impact of the actions notified or recommended by the HIT2GAP solution, and will provide an evaluation of the energy savings achieved in comparison to the baseline situation in accordance with the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) framework. The performance evaluation which is to be provided in the forthcoming reports will consider relevance of alerts raised by BEMServer, user-friendliness/ergonomy, investment return, user-satisfaction and precision/accuracy. Performance evaluation will include examination of benefits delivered to facility managers of large estates (e.g. avoidance of excess energy use), benefits delivered to individual users (e.g. avoidance of thermal discomfort) and lessons learnt during the development, deployment and testing of the modules when applied to real buildings.
The evaluation of BEMServer will also include consideration of its ability (from the point of view of Facility Managers) to map actual performance and update predictions, explore scenarios to mitigate performance problems, investigate conflicting performance goals, and identify faulty or misconfigured components (where simulation results are considered to represent the ideal state).
At this stage, project partners envisage that key lessons for future BEMServer development will include the need for:
- criteria for assessment invocation;
- automation for predictive actions, exploratory studies and trade-off evaluations;
- closer integration of the modules,
- improvements in the consistency of user interfaces; and
- better understanding of principal model parameters to support model calibration.
Project partners are confident that the work undertaken to date has created a novel data platform that supports the data requirements of different modelling tools and provides a template for use by tool developers aiming to add new functionality as required by particular estates, local legislation or different application sectors such as industry and agriculture. As a proof of concept, the HIT2GAP project has delivered a novel contribution that enables the more routine use of performance simulation to support building operation. The lessons learned can be used to guide the future refinement of existing modules and the development of new ones.
The code of BEMServer has been published an made available to the open source community HERE