Skip to main content
European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Holistic Energy and Architectural Retrofit Toolkit

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - HEART (Holistic Energy and Architectural Retrofit Toolkit)

Reporting period: 2020-10-01 to 2022-07-31

To achieve the nZEB standards, HEART addresses a deep renovation of outdated multi-storey residential buildings, typically characterized by very low energy performance levels. To implement the enormous potential in energy reduction of buildings, the project’s geographical focus is the Central and Southern Europe, where the moderate climate affects the heating demand, but also the overheating and cooling issues. The project’s application target is thus represented by multi-storey residential buildings of the second half of the '900 located in the European areas with moderate climate.
HEART’s objectives may be summarized as follows:
• To develop systemic and cost-optimal solutions for energy retrofit: the main objective of the project is to develop a holistic and multifunctional toolkit based on the synergistic interaction between building technologies and technical systems. The solution will decrease installation time by at least 30% compared with normal construction practices and to ensure pay back periods lower than 15 years;
• To develop, update and adapt innovative technologies for their systemic integration: HEART toolkit will systemically integrate different types of subcomponents-envelope technologies, technical systems, renewable energy sources and building energy management systems-offering high levels of performance and communicating with each other;
• To foster building’s smart upgrade: The developed solutions will enable to convert existing buildings into Smart Buildings;
• To support and improve the decision-making process: through an iterative simulation of various feasible solutions, HEART selects and sizes the most effective one, providing a detailed prediction of the achievable cost-performance-benefit ratio;
• To promote energy efficient financing: HEART reduces energy consumption, optimizes overall performance through a continuous monitoring and makes a building’s operating transparent. This aspect translates into an effective conduct of a retrofit intervention and a constant documentation of its performance.
HEART anticipates the energy legislation, and assumes a significant social dimension transforming consumers into promoters of wise energy use and rising awareness towards energy and environmental related matters. Moreover, the development of systemic solutions that integrate aspects typically treated within different sectors, greatly facilitates the advent of a new generation of multidisciplinary SME contractors or business networks.
Since the project start, scientific activities have been monitored continuously regarding the progress of the project. Several management tools were developed for a smooth running of the activities. Eight consortium meetings were successfully organized.
On the development of HEART Toolkit, datasheets of the basic toolkit products were collected and then technical specifications of each component updated until the final release at the end of the project.). Information on life cycle inventory models (LCA/LCC) was also continuously collected among the partners. All the features about the subcomponents were constantly updated by all the partners.
An integrated data analysis workflow was prepared for DSS/BEMS platform. Simulations activities for building the Virtual Building Performance Model were performed and the DSS and BEMS logics were defined. The final version of the could platform including the DSS and the BEMS tools was released.
The final manufacturing design of each HEART component (DC heat pump, thermal storage, smart fan-coil, MIMO converter, façade panels, PV tiles, IoT devices and components for windows retrofit) was successfully completed before the end project.
Retrofit works on the 2 case study buildings were successfully carried out. Following the delays and difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, some completion works and fine-tuning activities (mostly related to technical systems) at the French case study, in EST's lead, are currently being finalized.
The monitoring phase of the Italian case study was regularly started and continued after the retrofit intervention. To face delays due to COVID-19 activities that limited the duration of the post-retrofit monitoring (especially in the French building), a detailed simulation model of the 2 case-study buildings was validated on the basis of partial monitoring periods and then has been used to fully confirm the expected energy and CO2 savings on a broader period.
The work aimed at identifying a set of “sustainable” business models for the adoption of HEART toolkit in the EU market was completed. During the last reporting period, based on the results of the analysis done in the previous reporting periods, a final definition of the business model for the exploitation of HEART toolkit has been achieved.
Concerning C&D activities, the project Website was regularly updated, the visual identity was finalized, the stakeholder analysis was completed and several dissemination activities were organized by partners. The Knowledge Transfer Conference and the final conference were successfully organized.
HEART introduces a technological advancement beyond current state-of-the-art, by proposing not only the development of innovative products but also system innovation. In detail, it consists in the integration of different retrofit components and tools in a single holistic solution specifically designed to address all the challenges involved in the energy retrofit process. All its elements (building envelope solutions, HVAC systems and ICT) optimize mutual synergies and ease their installation/interaction. This approach limits unnecessary components, maximizes overall energy efficiency, ensures affordability and improves users’ comfort, thereby improving the sustainability of the building. The toolkit allows to support the retrofit process starting from its early stages, through the presence of a cloud-based DSS and BEMS which optimizes interventions and building management. HEART allows an effective dialogue between its components and devices via WiFi or also Narrowband IoT. HEART’s user interface is easy to use and allows to fully interact both with the single aspects of home energy management and to have a learning from experience, evolutionary vision on the system as a whole.
HEART’s impact focuses on the achievement of a more competitive, secure and sustainable energy system, granting the greenhouse gas reduction in a long-term perspective. In such respect the application of HEART toolkit ensures up to 80-90% energy saving on heating, cooling and DHW preparation, with a payback time period lower than 15 years, by boosting the application of sustainable and cost-efficient solutions.
The system provides, hence, a strong signal to the energy market, encouraging investments in low carbon technologies, energy production from renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement. The development of systemic solutions that integrate aspects typically treated within different sectors, in fact, greatly facilitates the advent of a new generation of multidisciplinary SME contractors and business networks. In addition, the deployment of renewable energy systems, combined with energy retrofit interventions, has the potential to create a large number of new jobs throughout the entire value chain.
Finally, the innovative business models developed within HEART strengthen the conditions (social and financial) for the achievement of the goal.
The image higlights the interaction and impacts between the system's core and all the end users
The image sums up all the elements composing the HEART toolkit