In 2020 Europe went through a significant economic and social crisis, as a response to the disease of the COVID-19. Over 200 million European citizens were obliged to observe restrictive measures, in some cases lock down measures, in order for governments and local authorities of the Member States of the European Union to address and limit the problem of the spread of the virus. Through this situation a number of problems emerged, one of which relates to the management of building utilities systems, including energy, water, telecommunication and waste systems, which have been asked to act immediately in response to these unprecedented conditions, putting extreme pressure to the public utilities systems.
Most of the activity of the European Economy shifted from the office environment to homes, leading to problems related to the completeness and integrity of utilities such as power outages, water shortage and insufficient internet connection.
Defining the project goals
The aim of the project Development of a Utilities Management Platform for the case of Quarantine and Lockdown – eUMaP is to implement multi-disciplinary activities that will lead to the development of an open platform through which local authorities will be able to plan and manage the demand and supply of building utilities in case of a quarantine or a lock down, including energy, water, waste and telecommunication networks.
The platform will be developed through a Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) program. eUMaP platform will be based on the rational of earth observation, and the recording of the required network information in open BIM platforms of five European capital cities (Rome, Nicosia, Tessaloniki, Kaunas).
The platform will be piloted in study areas with the aim of optimizing it and delivering it as an open platform upon completion of the program.
Work in progress
WP1 ensures the realization of the project objectives, an efficient and effective management of the secondments and resources and the communication with all partners and with the European Commission. ALMA, the coordinator of WP1, manages the project and coordinates the technical and scientific actions performed among the different WPs, towards achieving the levels of quantity, quality and interdependency as defined for the objectives and the deliverables of each work package. WP1 is subdivided in three different tasks: T1.1 Consortium Agreement, T1.2 Periodic Reports and Quality Management and T1.3 Data Management and Ethics and it is linked to three deliverables D1.1 Project Management Plan, D2.2 Quality, Risk, Ethics and Data Management Plan and D3.3 Annual B(I)M(S) Progress Report.
WP2 aims at: (a) Developing an exploitation plan that prepares the ground for a successful setup of business models to support the potential market exploitation of the project results; (b) ensuring the participation of representatives building services providers to update the exploitation plan conclusions; (c) ensuring extensive and active dissemination of the project; and (d) ensuring extensive and active communication of the project.
WP2 entails three tasks which are T2.1 Exploitation and Business Plan Design, T2.2 Communication & Dissemination Plan and Review and T2.3 Communication & Dissemination Material, Digital Presence & Activities. Three deliverables are foreseen for this WP: D2.1 Project Digital Presence Online, D2.2 Dissemination and Communication Plan and D2.3 Annual Dissemination and Communication Activities Report
WP3 objective is to record the features and patterns of the building utilities that arise in case of quarantine and lockdown under crisis situations at a neighborhood level. The documentation of the patterns is distinguished in four separate categories which represent four types of building utilities, namely (1) energy, (2) water, (3) waste and (4) telecommunication networks. WP3 aims to establish practices to be followed to document the augmented building services generation and/or consumption patterns in case of lockdown and it will develop proposal models of spatial and temporal forecasting and projection of demand and/or supply for each of the building services. Implementation of space syntax based mathematical modelling/analysis/predictions of crucial/most vulnerable areas in the investigated territories in terms of utilities will take place. Mathematical spatial graph will be supported by various weights representing census data and information about services. Four different tasks are envisioned for WP3: T3.1 Documentation of energy supply and demand patterns at neighborhood level, T3.2 Recording of water usage patterns, T3.3 Recording of waste generation patterns, including recyclables and T3.4 Documentation of capacity requirements for telecommunication networks. Likewise, four deliverables are linked to the mentioned tasks: D3.1 Energy supply and demand patterns at neighborhood level, D3.2 Water consumption patterns, D3.3 Waste generation streams and patterns and D3.4 Requirements for telecommunication networks.
WP4 focuses on the selection and evaluation of earth mapping satellite/airborne and in situ observation (GIS) data, data updates and the management and integration into the eUMaP, as well as to the development of the required interfaces and tools for communication of real-time crisis documentation data to competent authorities (with GIS maps). WP4 consists of four different tasks: T4.1 Exploring existing 3D raw and ready Earth Observation data, T4.2 3D imagery to BIM construction, T4.3 Utilities Cadastre and lack of infrastructure design in GIS environment and T4.4 Design of a GIS multidiscipline integrated support system for spatial planning service supporting sustainable utilities networks. Four deliverables are linked to these tasks: D4.1 Exploring existing 3D raw and ready Earth Observation data, D4.2 3D imagery to BIM construction, D4.3 Utilities Cadastre and lack of infrastructure design in GIS environment and D4.4 Design of a GIS multidiscipline integrated support system for spatial planning service supporting sustainable utilities networks.
WP5 focuses on existing open BIM platform and their integration into the eUMaP, as well as on the development and integration of BIM data for monitoring the requirements, in the sense of digital twins. WP5 aims to explore the technologies and deliver the tools that are required or could facilitate the integration between BIM data on building services usage and data management solutions. It will start with the definition of the required hardware to be installed in buildings for the real-time monitoring of building services demand and/or supply. Based on the existing BIM platforms and the Digital Twins concept, the interoperability of the smart devices will be examined leading to the development of protocols for the optimization of data transfer and management. WP5 main purpose is to integrate the real-time data on building services usage into the eUMap platform to be developed under the project and it is subdivided in T5.1 Definition and documentation of required hardware for eUMaP, T5.2 Interoperability and development of protocols and T5.3 Integration of data into eUMap platform. Likewise, it entails three deliverables: D5.1 Listing of required hardware for eUMaP, D5.2 Protocols for smart devices interoperability and D5.3 Building services data integration interface.
WP6 objective is to draft and deliver the methodology of planning and managing building utilities under crisis conditions. More specifically, the practices to be followed for risk management in building utilities, including (1) energy, (2) water, (3) waste, and (4) telecommunication connection, in cases of lockdowns will be described in detail. Particular emphasis will be given to the energy management mechanism, which incorporates the supply of grid electricity to the buildings and the off-site and on-site renewable energy generation and connection to the grid. WP6 activities will identify the processes by which the real-time data obtained from smart devices installed in buildings is communicated to the building services operators and the interactions between them in order to enable the establishment of adequate, secure and sustainable supply of services. Findings of this WP will provide the input for WP7 for the design and development of the eUMaP platform. WP6 is subdivided in four tasks: T6.1 Energy management, T6.2 Water management, T6.3 Waste streams collection and management and T6.4 Telecommunication networks management and in four deliverables: D6.1 Risk management methodology for energy systems, D6.2 Risk management methodology for water resources, D6.3 Risk management methodology for waste streams and D6.4 Risk management methodology for telecommunication networks.
WP7 aims to integrate the knowledge acquired and technologies explored in previous WPs into a holistic open-source platform for recording and managing of building utilities in case of crisis. The integration will be divided into three separate steps/tasks: (T7.1) platform design and development, (T7.2) platform application, and (T7.3) platform evaluation and improvement. The results will be a fully operational platform, readily available for application. Five deliverables will be developed accordingly: D7.1 Final design of eUMaP, D7.2 eUMaP prototype, D7.3 Report on case studies, D7.4 Report on eUMaP evaluation and D7.5 Improved eUMaP.
WP8 seeks to maximize the impact from the combined knowledge and technical know-how of the inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary eUMaP consortium and to exploit the complementary competences of the partners. WP8 outcomes include the sharing of knowledge, the acquisition of new skills and the further development of the careers of the participating research and innovation staff members. The main objective is to boost innovation and foster exchange of knowledge through seminars, trainings and workshops. WP8 is structured in three different tasks: T8.1 Organization of workshops and training events, T8.2 Organization of open lectures and T8.3 Scientific publications. The list of deliverables includes: D8.1 Annual report on Workshops and events, D8.2 Training materials and presentations and D8.3 Annual Scientific publications reports.