Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 2 - HOLISTEEC (Holistic and Optimized Life-cycle Integrated SupporT for Energy-Efficient building design and Construction)

Project Context and Objectives:
Buildings currently use 40% of world energy, emit 40% of world carbon footprint, and use 1/5th of world available water.. Good products are necessary but do not guarantee the final high quality result – it is how they are combined and their impact as a whole which matter. Also, current practices tend to consider separately design activities on one side and assessment ones on the other - basically assessment starts at the very end of the design stage. The fact that minor changes and corrections in one domain may have an important impact on other domains is generally ignored. This becomes even more significant when considering buildings as part of their neighbourhood, where partial optimization of multi domain requirements often leads to conflicting solutions (e.g. acoustic-focused vs. thermal-focused design).
These concerns, and others such as increased competition in the AEC sector, have fostered innovation in the construction industry, convincing its stakeholders to push forward an innovative digital and software-intensive design paradigm: the Building Information Model (BIM). BIM is now widely recognized as a cornerstone of future tools and practices in the construction industry.
Despite recent evolutions of tools/practices in the Architecture Engineering, Construction and Facility Management have already resulted in considerable advances some limitations remain, related to the complexity and variability of building life cycles, addressing building end user awareness and participation, lack of new business models, life cycle fragmentation, limited interoperability of the ICT supports.
The concerns listed above call for a global and multi domain building design approach, based upon interoperable digital tools, upon shared and updated information, enabling highly collaborative workflows and featuring advanced design optimization support, for both new buildings and retrofitting design. The main objective of HOLISTEEC is thus to design, develop, and demonstrate a BIM-based, on-the-cloud, collaborative building design software platform, featuring advanced design support for multi-criteria building optimization.
HOLISTEEC main assets are:
• An innovative feedback/loop design workflow;
• A multi-physical, multi-scale simulation engine;
• A unified data model for Building and Neighborhood Digital Modeling;
• A full-fledged open software infrastructure for building design tools interoperability leveraging available standards;
• Innovative and flexible user interfaces.
The overall HOLISTEEC project concept is summarized in figure annexed where the links and workflow of the aforementioned project objectives are shown. HOLISTEEC project has a structure of activities that can be divided in different parts: indeed the first two work packages are mainly devoted to the development of a new building design methodology, its initial validation and then to the creation of a framework where it is possible to define business models that can enable partners to exploit the methodology. The most active actors within this part of the project were the end users of HOLISTEEC platform such as architects, designers, construction companies and engineers involved in the design process of a building. The second block of activities is related with software development: indeed WP3, WP4 and WP5 focus respectively on the creation of the architecture of HOLISTEEC platform, on its relationship with BIM and on the different software tools that will constitute the platform and its interfaces software with end users. The most active members of consortium in these activities have been therefore software developers and researcher in the fields of BIM. Finally there is a part that is dedicated to validation of methodology and testing of tools and software: this is the meeting point where software developers meet with designers.
Main objective of HOLISTEEC is therefore not to bring to the market just another software, but instead a set of tools integrated in a collaborative platform capable of swiftly relate with existing software for building design. The HOLISTEEC project value proposition consists of a set of tools and services, i.e. software platform, that enables the proper execution of building design and simulation workflows, considering also the impact with the surrounding city environment. The platform enables a collaborative working environment, based on standard formats (IFC, CityGML, BCF), which goes beyond traditional design coordination, since it involves simulation experts in design loops.

Project Results:
HOLISTEEC project was launched in October 2013. In the first 36 months, substantial progresses have been made towards the achievements of its objectives. This period constituted the core part of the project, as the focus was software development on the basis of the results and findings achieved within the first two years of the project. Specifically the HOLISTEEC building design methodology drove the development activities related to HOLISTEEC software platform implementation. HOLISTEEC Platform is conceived indeed as a collaboration platform where a heterogeneous number of tools and actors participate. The platform supports the realization of different use cases and workflows within the framework of performance based building design and simulation in accordance with the Design Methodology developed at the beginning of the project in WP1.
Additionally, the end of this reporting period together with the release of the first integrated prototype of the HOLISTEEC software platform corresponds to the full start of the demonstration and validation activities to consolidate and optimize project results achieved so far by testing their effectiveness on real case studies.
The main result achieved in the framework of the second reporting period can be summarized by the annexed picture showing the latest update of software platform architecture.
HOLISTEEC Platform is conceived as a collaboration platform where a heterogeneous number of tools and actors participate. In order to achieve the aforementioned collaboration, the platform implements different communication, issue management, model exchange, model enhancement and model transformation mechanisms to enable proper and unambiguous information flow during the different project phases.

The figure annexed reflects which components have been developed from scratch for HOLISTEEC purposes and which ones are existing solutions integrated in the platform. There are some components which are based on existing solutions, but some extended implementations have been performed to adapt them to HOLISTEEC.
Finally the figure reflects the layered approach of the platform, following the typical three-tier software development scheme: data > business logic > presentation. The underlying principle is that any component in a given level can access the functionalities offered by another component in lower levels through APIs (in the form of web services, which in most cases are deployed using REST technology).
Further to that, a dedicated kick-off meeting to launch validation and demonstration activities was organized at the beginning of the second reporting period. During this period validation activities have been performed for platform components ready to be tested as separate components.
Additionally, non-technical objectives were also achieved. Here a list of the most relevant ones:
• Identification of relevant exploitable results and preliminary exploitation strategy
• Organization of an Exploitation Strategy Seminar dedicated to the discussion of the identified project’s exploitable results, with a focus on the definition of business models for exploiting HOLISTEEC building design methodology and software platform;
• Business model definition deepening the discussion carried out during the first HOLISTEEC Exploitation Strategy Seminar;
• A workshop dedicated to HOLISTEEC project was organized in the framework of the CIB world building congress 2016 (held in Tampere in June 2016) to present project concept and results and to collect feedback from the audience by distributing ad-hoc questionnaires;
• Participation to international dissemination events
• Release of newsletters
• Publications on conference proceedings

Potential Impact:
The HOLISTEEC project aims at providing the European AEC/FM industry with a comprehensive design approach taking into account the whole building life-cycle and the influence of the neighborhoods, with the objective to make a decisive contribution to improve the energy efficiency of built environment. By means of HOLISTEEC, all the actors involved in the building value chain including architects, designers, contractors, owners, component suppliers, users and related public authorities will be able to effectively interact in the different design, construction, operation, and maintenance phases of the building, ensuring that the best construction techniques are applied, possible problems and drawbacks early detected and correction strategies promptly applied, contributing to boost high quality new energy efficient buildings design and construction.
The HOLISTEEC platform and tools will be at the end suitable for the application within real cases, validated by five pilot projects (North light and Pole star Engie headquarters, Brussels (GDF), Urban block development Utrecht (BAM), A school Dormitory (SEN), Residential complex, Turkey (ACCIONA, PAA), and a Student dormitory (NTUST). Pilot projects were selected to demonstrate the new holistic approach in different contexts and typologies of building projects, proving its potential for market replication.
Moreover, the project is structured to specifically develop value-added products and services that support a replicable business plan to exploit project results well beyond the pilots projects and project duration. The consortium as well is also constructed to support the long-term replication of project results, and will develop an ICT-based holistic platform which will create new market opportunities for innovative ICT technologies. Furthermore, HOLISTEEC will be an important step forward towards the proliferation of the next generation of high performance buildings by improving not only the design as a stand-alone phase, but the whole building life cycle.
HOLISTEEC is expected to have a direct impact at a macro level on the construction sector as a whole, through the following aspects: improved overall process efficiency, improved stakeholders collaboration and conflict resolution, lifecycle cost reduction, reduction of errors and reworks. These impacts will be quantitatively evaluated during the demonstration and validation phase of the project, where the proposed design methodology and tools will be extensively applied to real construction projects, in parallel to standard design approaches.
During the second reporting period relevant information has been collected in order to prepare the Second draft of the Plan for Use and Dissemination of Foreground (PUDF). As presented in the figure of platform architecture the Platform is composed by a nuclear core which is the basis for the exploitation strategy, i.e. the built-in features that will be exploited as a core pack. Additionally extended features have also been developed within the project and are integrated with the core components through lightweight API integration, but which can have different exploitation routes being one possibility to be offered with the core platform as optional additional services. For this reason a high number of possible exploitable results have been identified as presented in tables below. Those results will be further characterized and analyzed during the last year of the project to be then included in the final PUDF.
Specifically the main project results are:
• ER1 HOLISTEEC software platform
• ER2 HOLISTEEC building design methodology
Nevertheless, being ER1 platform the integration of different components, services and tools, additional exploitable results have been highlighted by partners with reference to components, services and tools that could be exploited individually.

Therefore in the annexed table additional results are presented clustered with reference to three main groups:
• Platform components;
• Simulation tools;
• Platform additional components/services.

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