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Case Studies

The work presented on this site aims to gather and report on the technical details, business cases, and stakeholder stories associated with examples where data-driven solutions have been implemented in the real world. Each case study focuses on a particular building, technology, or dataset. Individually, the case study descriptions aspire to highlight a particular facet of applying data-driven smart building technologies. Collectively, the case studies help garner an understanding of the current state of practice and possibly help identify a path forward to critically understanding some of the benefits and challenges associated with data-driven smart buildings.

This page is a work-in-progress. In the coming two years, we will be updating the site with case studies contributed by Annex participants and their collaborators.

ZUB Building
The ZUB office building (Center for Environmentally Consciou ...
The ZUB office building (Center for Environmentally Conscious Building) was designed in 2001 with the purpose of testing low-energy and carbon technologies. With the building having primarily heating demands, the annual heating demand was estimated in design to be less than 20 kWh/m2. Energy demands in operation were 16.5 kWh/m2, achieving the best possible rating according to the German Energy code "Wärmeschutzverordnung 95". The energy concept of the building included construction with very low U-value, triple glazed windows, and design to use natural lighting and natural ventilation. Solar gains meet most heating demands through the south-facing façade. When additional heating is required, this is delivered through a communal district heating network. Cooling demands are met by a ground-source heat pump placed under the ZUB basement. As the building is air-tight, an 80% heat recovery mechanical ventilation system is used. The characteristic that defines the building is the high inertial behaviour due to the weight of the building walls and the massive radiant systems installed to deliver heating and cooling. These types of high thermal mass slabs allow water supply temperatures close to the internal ambient temperatures, i.e., use low-water temperatures during heating while using relatively high during the cooling period. Combining these strategies leads to reduced energy consumption by maximising the exergetic use of the climate control systems.
LBNL “Building 59” Office Building
United States
The LBNL Office Building (i.e., Building 59 or Wang Hall) is ...
The LBNL Office Building (i.e., Building 59 or Wang Hall) is a medium-sized office building located inside the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) campus in Berkeley, California. The building has 10,400 m2 of conditioned spaces on four floors. The lower level provides space for mechanical systems, the second level is the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and the third and fourth levels are office spaces. The ground office floor (third floor) is primarily closed office space, while the second office floor (fourth floor) is primarily open office space. The building was built in 2015 and retrofitted in 2019 to improve its energy efficiency. Model Predictive Control (MPC) technology was implemented in the BAS to optimize HVAC operations (supply air temperature setpoint, air damper position, fan speed, hot water valve position) for saving energy.
OMV Head Office Building
The OMV headquarter is an existing building located in Viert ...
The OMV headquarter is an existing building located in Viertel Zwei in Vienna. It consists of two wings – an 80-meter-high tower (the so-called “Hoch Zwei”) and a lower rise cuboidal volume (known as “Plus Zwei”) linked by a glass bridge. The head office currently consists of open space offices both in the Hoch Zwei and Plus Zwei buildings, while the Plus Zwei building also houses the employee restaurant, the occupational health centre, the post office and the copy centre. 
EV Building, Concordia University
This building is in one of the city's main intersections (Sa ...
This building is in one of the city's main intersections (Saint-Catherine St and Guy St), exposed to a large population moving around and through the building. It has two parts: Engineering Computer science (ENCS) building and Visual Art (VA). They are connected but have different heights and usage. ENCS tower has 16 floors on the ground surface, including offices, conference rooms, and some mechanical and chemical laboratories on the 12th – 16th floors. Each of the three floors has a unique atrium. On the 17th floor, there is a mechanical room divided into five rooms plus one electrical room. Two underground levels connect to the metro station, underground restaurants, and a tunnel connecting to the library building and Hall building. The VA tower also has some offices and workshops. It has eleven floors above the ground, with one floor dedicated to a mechanical room on the 12th floor. The gross floor area of the EV building is 69,204 m².
Infineon Research and Development Building
The building is a research and development building of Infin ...
The building is a research and development building of Infineon Technologies Austria AG, world-leading provider of semiconductor solutions. It is a new building completed in 2020 with a total building area of 20,000 m2 on 5 levels. It includes office areas and meeting rooms for around 600 employees as well as 5500 m² of laboratory space.
CSIRO Synergy Building
With every chilled plant being unique, human optimisation is ...
With every chilled plant being unique, human optimisation is time consuming and there is a serious shortage of engineers skilled to do this work. Optimal setpoints for chilled water plants can deliver significant energy savings without equipment upgrades or new controllers, but these optimal setpoints are challenging to determine. Exergenics’ cloud-based chilled plant optimisation software interfaced with CSIRO’s Data Clearing House (DCH) to extract and process historical chilled plant data from CSIRO’s Synergy site in Canberra, resulting in the production of optimal control setpoints for the site’s chilled plant, which were implemented to reduce the building’s energy consumption. The Synergy site is served by 3 Air-Cooled York Screw Chillers, each with a capacity of 830kWr. The primary chilled water system is served by 3 primary chilled water pumps. The system serves 3 secondary chilled water loops and includes a thermal storage (buffer) tank.
Cooling plant in a Factory-S
The target system is a cooling plant for air-conditioning in ...
The target system is a cooling plant for air-conditioning in a factory building, which demands high cooling load throughout the year. The onsite operators have a lot of works except for the energy savings, therefore, Automated Fault Detection and Diagnosis (AFDD) methodology was developed and demonstrated it in real time. Operational data is diagnosed every day and each morning it is possible to confirm the AFDD result of the day before.
Post am Rochus
Post am Rochus is a large multifunctional building (47300 m ...
Post am Rochus is a large multifunctional building (47300 m² gross floor area) combining office and retail space. It was designed to the Passive House Standard and was completed in 2017 for the Österreichische Post AG. A 5000 m² of retail space is located at the ground floor, first floor and lower ground floor of the building, while the upper floors house the Austrian Post headquarter offices. The building has a complex energy supply system. The project received a number of 1st Prize awards. 
Campus Inffeldgasse
Several buildings on the TU Graz campus were used as case st ...
Several buildings on the TU Graz campus were used as case study within the Austrian national project "Cool-Quarter-Plus" to develop and test machine learning methods to predict energy consumption, and occupancy based on indoor air quality measurements and external weather data to inform intelligent cooling control strategies.
TU Delft “Building 28”
The TU Delft Building 28 is one of the living labs within th ...
The TU Delft Building 28 is one of the living labs within the Brains 4 Building project, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate. The living labs will be used for small-scale testing and prototyping algorithms and methods to reduce energy consumption, increase comfort, respond flexibly to user behaviour and local energy supply and demand, and save on installation maintenance costs. After successful small-scale testing, other buildings will serve as use cases and validation cases for demonstrating replication and upscaling. TU Delft Building 28 is a medium size (10.787 m2) office (88% of floor area), education (8% of floor area) and low-tech lab (4% of floor area) at the TU Delft campus. The building was built in 2002 and fully renovated in 2018 to an energy label A. The energy systems include two high-efficiency natural gas-fired boilers.
POLITO Campus (Photovoltaic Plant)
The Cittadella Politecnica is an extension of the main campu ...
The Cittadella Politecnica is an extension of the main campus of the Politecnico di Torino, covering an area of approximately 170,000 square meters. The hub includes converted industrial buildings that have been repurposed as classrooms, as well as new buildings for research centers and laboratories. To meet the increasing electricity demand of these buildings, the Cittadella area has been equipped with two photovoltaic plants: a 31 kWp plant installed in 2012 and a 600 kWp plant installed in April 2017. The 600 kWp plant not only reduces the energy demand of the Cittadella buildings, but it can also provide energy for the consumption of other areas of the POLITO campus if necessary. Given the size of this plant and its impact on the energy expenditure of the POLITO campus, a continuous energy monitoring system and an anomaly detection tool were installed to enable photovoltaic load forecasting and real-time alerting in the event of malfunctions or poor performance at the site.
Varennes Net-Zero Energy Library (Building & Controls)
The Varennes Net-Zero Energy Library is a 2000 m2 municipal ...
The Varennes Net-Zero Energy Library is a 2000 m2 municipal library building located in the town of Varennes, about 40 km away from Montréal. This library, developed through an initiative of the municipality of Varennes, with the collaboration of CanmetENERGY (Natural Resources Canada) and Concordia University, was designed through an integrated design process ("design charrette") that brought together a strong team of architecture and engineering professionals from the Montréal region. The building was inaugurated in 2014. Technologies integrated into the design of the building include ground-source heat pumps (GSHP), hydronic radiant slab, Electric Vehicle charging stations, motorized windows for natural cooling, horizontal exterior louvers on south façade for daylight control. One of the key technologies featured is a 110 kWe building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system; 1/6 of the roof area also works as a building integrated photovoltaic thermal (BIPV/T) system that preheats the ventilation air. These systems, along with energy efficiency measures and a design made to optimize solar energy utilization, has led to a near net-zero energy performance.
Varennes Net-Zero Energy Library (Energy Platform)
The transactive energy aspect aims to contribute the global ...
The transactive energy aspect aims to contribute the global ongoing energy transition for Quebec. This approach expects to model and control of residential, institutional, and commercial users loads to participate with their flexibility in the local energy market and evaluate their impact on the grid system. Furthermore, in partnership with the Hydro-Quebec team, the project aims to develop automate agents that transact the energy, flexibility and price between neighbourhoods and the grid. Each agent needs to control loads and learn the occupancy preferences of the user before interacting with the local market. The building agents to be developed will have a focus on the institutional building of Varennes library as a case study to increase the knowledge on the impact of the occupancy behaviour and preference on the local market. The library is in the city of Varennes near Montreal, it offers an environment conducive to learning with unique and innovative features.  The library includes a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system, geothermal heat pumps as the main heating/cooling source, and hydronic radiant slab for thermal storage. This building and their associated assets will be integrated into the local energy market testbed being created. The building agents will take the electrical and thermal constraints as well as some of the occupant preferences constraints into account. In this case study we use a market price, where buyers submit bids to purchase energy considering their costs and preference, while sellers make tenders to sell energy by maximizing their profits. A transaction will be established when their requirements are matched. The bids and transactions can be made either in exchanges or bilaterally. In addition, transaction platforms are virtualized as software applications on the “cloud”. Marketers are responsible for managing transactions and reducing the imbalance between energy demand and supply. With large-scale, frequent, and efficient transactions, the market price will gradually stabilize, and balance supply and demand. This integration will provide an understanding of economic and technical constraints and learn how to achieve dynamic energy exchanges tailored to the needs of participating customers and market conditions of the electricity network.
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Smart Energy Analytics Campaign
United States of America
This case study features information and data gathered from ...
This case study features information and data gathered from over 100 commercial organizations that participated in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign (the Campaign). The Campaign was managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and ran from 2016-2020 to provide free technical assistance to organizations implementing Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS).
Government Offices in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
The government office complex (GOC) located in Kowloon, Hong ...
The government office complex (GOC) located in Kowloon, Hong Kong consists of two office towers (of 16 and 18 stories respectively), totalling over 98,000 m2 of space for government bureaus and departments. The complex has a central chiller plant located in the basement that supplies chilled water to the towers’ air conditioning systems through a network of pipes. The chiller plant contains three 3517 kW water-cooled chillers (two operational, and one backup), along with one 3517 kW heat recovery chiller for added cooling and heating capacity. The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) developed AI models for cooling-load prediction and overall chiller system’s coefficient of performance (COP) evaluation by means of historical data from the building management system (BMS) and real-time data collected from internet of things (IoT) sensors.