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Next-generation Dynamic Digital EPCs for Enhanced Quality and User Awareness

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - D^2EPC (Next-generation Dynamic Digital EPCs for Enhanced Quality and User Awareness)

Reporting period: 2022-03-01 to 2023-08-31

Considering that buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of the final energy demand and 36% of CO2 emissions, EU has proposed a set of directives and policy tools towards phasing out inefficient buildings. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) comprise an essential part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and are a mandatory requirement in Member States when constructing, selling or renting a building. Although the EPC calculation process is based on a comprehensive set of standards, it still overlooks some important determinant attributes such as indoor air quality and daylight, which can negatively impact on occupants’ experience in buildings. The revised EPBD (2018/844/EU) requires the integration of human centric elements to the energy performance calculations as well as Smart Readiness Indicators (SRI) into the energy calculation procedure. Although significant progress has been achieved in the past decade in the field of buildings digital design, most of the software used in EU MSs is based on simplified architecture.
In this context, D^2EPC aspires to deliver the next-generation of dynamic EPCs for the operational and regular assessment of buildings energy performance through a set of cutting-edge digital design and monitoring tools and services. D^2EPC relies upon and adjusts accordingly to the smart-readiness level of the buildings and the corresponding data collection infrastructure and management systems. It subsequently builds upon actual data and the ‘digital twin’ concept to calculate energy, environmental, financial and human comfort indicators. In this context, D^2EPC is based on BIM literacy, integrating smart meters, actual performance-related data and activities profiling into the buildings’ digital twins. The proposed scheme provides sufficient background for the redefinition of EPC related policies, through regular benchmarking and upgrade of the reference buildings, as well as with the integration of geolocation and “polluter pays” practices into the EPC rationale.
D^2EPC has analysed the quality and the drawbacks of the current EPC schemes, identifying technical challenges that currently exist and proposed means to overcome them. The adoption of the operational rating methodology is a forward-thinking move, as it shifts the focus from theoretical estimates to actual energy consumption data, providing a more accurate representation of a building’s energy performance. In this context, the creation of a new standardisation working group was achieved covering the operational rating of the energy performance of buildings, with D^2EPC members acting as Convenor (FRC) and Secretariat (UNE).
In addition, the D^2EPC project presented a series of indicators that address smart readiness, thermal comfort, and LCA dimensions, incorporating monetary and cost-optimum Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), providing stakeholders with a comprehensive understanding of building energy performance.
The project is based on BIM literacy, integrating smart meters, actual performance-related data and activities profiling into the buildings’ digital twins.
The project has succesfully delivered a holistic digital solution, the D^2EPC WebPlatform that not only issues the next generation EPCs, but also extends EPCs applications and usability. In particular, the Added value services include the provision of customised recommendations for energy performance upgrades (roadmapping tool), the provision of performance forecasting (AI-driven forecasting tool) and the provision of notifications and alerts (notifications and alerts tool). Further to that, the project provides extended applications that include buildings performance comparison in more than one normalised metrics as per the SRI framework as well as verifying the credibility of the data collection and processing. Furthermore, the D^2EPC WebGIS tool visualises generated EPCs in a GIS environment, empowering users to perform various types of spatial and attribute queries.
Two guidelines were developed, the generic guidelines for policy makers and the technical advisory for building professionals and end-users for successfully linking EPCs with building passports while the project lays forth a strategic framework encompassing four distinct award schemes for conscious energy users, incorporating penalties and award schemes that drew on successful theories and practices of the EU ETS.
D^2EPC scheme has been successfully validated and demonstrated under real-life conditions in six buildings in Greece, Germany, and Cyprus.
All members of the Consortium have worked closely together to identify and outline the project’s main exploitable results and the respective target groups. In overall, 9 main KERs have been identified while those can be further subdivided considering the different sub-modules of the Added value services suite and dEPCs Application Toolkit, reaching 12 KERs in total.
D^2EPC consortium utilized the Horizon Results Booster Service as well as the Horizon Results Platform for three KERs, allowing greater visibility and accessibility to interested parties.
Starting with the EPC methodology, the project develops and delivers a dedicated tool for the asset energy performance rating of buildings according to existing European standards (EN ISO 52000 series) while it also introduces and aims to establish the concept of the dynamic EPC (dEPC), an operational certificate to be calculated and issued regularly. The operational rating scheme is used for the calculation, and a complete list of 25 data results is obtained from 4 categories.
The project introduced multiple indicators related to building smartness, environmental performance, financial performance, and human comfort aspects. The inclusion of these indicators further augments the utility of EPCs, providing stakeholders with a comprehensive understanding of building energy performance and enabling targeted interventions to improve energy efficiency.
D^2EPC applies the concept of digital twin to connect and fuse data. This process provides a more realistic representation of the building and its energy characteristics as well as reduces the required efforts for producing an EPC. Further to that, the project emphasizes on the vision of next generation EPCs being an extensive data source of building’s energy performance. This is highlighted by the additional D^2EPC services and tools, developed within WP4 for performance monitoring, upgrade and benchmarking. Finally, the WebGIS Tool provides a single easy-to-use online 3D GIS tool with all the necessary ‘energy-wise’ information available at a building scale.
Concerning the evaluation and impact assessment of the D^2EPC project, a total of 17 KPIs were defined to reflect the level of success in achieving the project's initial objectives or in reaching the expected impact while both numerical analysis and qualitative survey methods were employed for their calculation. The level of acceptance achieved, the innovative implementation and the successful impact on energy efficiency confirm that the project has been successful in achieving its objectives and delivering the expected impact.
On top of the described R&D results, the project’s impact is highlighted by the 14 available publications and the participation in numerous dissemination activities and events as invited project.
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