BuildFit - Fast Retrofitting Assessment for Buildings in Balkan Region
Energy dependence represents economic and political burden to the Eastern European countries seeking EU membership. One of the most efficient ways to mitigate this dependence is through improved energy efficiency. In fact, it is widely considered that around 60% of total energy consumption in the countries of former Yugoslavia is contributed to buildings of different kinds. Accordingly. it is estimated that potential energy savings in this field may be above 30% which would represent significant positive impact on sustainable development of these countries resulting also in remarkable economic and political benefits. The main objective of the BuildFit project is to design and develop innovative methodologies for reliable energy performance assessment (EPA), enabling efficient building design and retrofitting. Such an instrument would help optimizing energy management systems according to the requirements of given target scenarios. Nevertheless, this represents a very challenging task requiring comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach. To achieve this goal, we propose a novel, customized EPA solution in this project. We are embracing a holistic approach that takes diverse aspects of buildings' energy performance (with specific attention given to particular local conditions) and does a comprehensive dynamic selection to both reduce the number of monitored variables while increasing their significance. This is to lead to a better and more accurate energy performance prediction. Following this prediction, the BuildFit performance estimation approach will provide methods to improve energy performance based on different optimization criteria. The result of the project would be an instrument to enable energy efficiency assessment that would facilitate retrofitting of buildings helping decision making process. The methodology would be optimized for the Balkans region taking into account several main characteristics such as: climate, construction patterns, human behavior and local environment. It is important to mention that civil engineering approaches across former Yugoslavia (and elsewhere in Eastern Europe in particular former USSR area) have been mostly unified and characteristic for certain periods (especially in post WWII period). Coupled with similar climate and human behavior it provides a solid basis for establishment of building portfolios providing specifications relevant for energy performance and retrofitting assessment. We aim at providing holistic view on the topic through multidisciplinary approach. There-fore, the proposed project brings together relevant institutions from the Balkan region active in different fields related to building automation systems, embedded systems for monitoring and civil engineering. The project also aims at strengthening the research management potential, increasing human and technology potential in Eastern European countries to better match their socioeconomic and environmental needs. The projects foresees a set of instruments to reach these objectives. These include: know-how and technology transfer between Swiss and leading Eastern European research centers, organization of workshops, conferences, summer schools and other dissemination events as well as a number of staff exchange activities.