AUTH & S3 secondment: results & outcomes

November 13, 2023 0 By admin

In view of the unprecedented challenges brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic, Konstantinos Chatzikonstantinidis has been immersed in a compelling study since commencing his secondment at S3 (Space Systems Solutions) in September. The study examined the complex interaction between smart building technologies, energy management, water conservation, and crisis situation requirements. Through a meticulous exploration of the literature, an in-depth analysis of the real-world case study, and the specialized use of advanced technologies, this research sheds light on key strategies and innovative solutions vital for navigating the complexities of energy and water resource management in smart buildings during crisis. 

The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst, highlighting the importance of resilient and adaptable smart building technologies. The study revealed a paradigm shift in residential buildings in terms of energy and water consumption patterns, highlighting the need for a proactive approach to managing these resources. The lockdown caused significant changes in occupancy rates, leading to fluctuations in energy and water use. Smart buildings, equipped with IoT sensors, Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), and data analytics, emerged as indispensable tools in adapting to these dynamic circumstances.

The research highlighted several challenges faced during the pandemic, ranging from fluctuating occupancy levels and stagnant water concerns to data anomalies and communication hurdles. In response, innovative solutions were proposed, emphasizing real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, automated leak detection, water recycling, touchless fixtures, and user engagement. These solutions not only optimize resource utilization but also enhance occupant safety, thereby demonstrating the crucial role of technology in crisis mitigation.

The case study, conducted on a pilot residential complex of buildings in Larnaca, serves as a pertinent example of the dynamic interplay between external crises and resource consumption within urban settings. The in-depth analysis of energy consumption data, driven by the case study, shed light on remarkable trends. The substantial rise in energy consumption during the lockdown period, especially within residential buildings, is indicative of the shifting roles of homes during the pandemic. This increase, closely tied to the rapid transition to remote work and learning, signified the multi-faceted role played by residences during the pandemic. Homes transformed into not only living spaces but also workplaces and educational hubs, driving up electricity usage for lighting, temperature control, and electronic devices. Beyond this, the seasonal spikes in energy consumption during the holiday season and hot summers reinforced the need for adaptable energy management practices in smart buildings.

Similarly, water consumption in residential buildings exhibited a parallel surge during the lockdown. Increased time spent at home translated into heightened water usage, primarily attributed to frequent handwashing, sanitation measures, domestic cleaning, and the growing need for cooking. It is evident that the directives issued by the World Health Organization regarding hand hygiene and food safety have directly contributed to this rise. The data presented herein demonstrates that the very act of staying at home during a crisis triggers a cascade of alterations in resource utilization patterns. Water utilities confronted the challenge of aligning their supply systems with these dramatic changes in usage. The case study illuminated the vital role of innovative water management practices in ensuring the sustainability and resilience of smart buildings in a crisis.

The findings gleaned from this case study underscore the importance of developing adaptive strategies for smart buildings, especially in the face of unforeseen crises. This involves a multifaceted approach, encompassing real-time monitoring and control of resource consumption, data analytics for predictive maintenance, and innovative solutions to mitigate water quality risks. Water recycling and reuse, as demonstrated, are promising avenues for conserving resources. Moreover, the case study provides valuable insights into the significance of digital twins, BIM, and data visualization tools for resource management. The seamless integration of these technologies facilitated comprehensive data analysis and allowed for the visualization of complex relationships between external factors and resource consumption.

The study provided valuable insights into the symbiotic relationship between technology and crisis management. It elucidated the importance of data-driven decision-making, seamless integration of building systems, and proactive emergency preparedness. Moreover, the research emphasized the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, involving architects, engineers, data scientists, and policymakers, to foster holistic solutions. As we move forward, it is imperative to leverage these lessons to inform policy frameworks, industry standards, and academic curricula, fostering a collective approach toward building resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented backdrop against which resource management in smart buildings has come to the fore. This study transcends the confines of traditional energy and water management paradigms. It not only underscores the pivotal role of smart building technologies in crisis scenarios but also advocates for a holistic, human-centric approach. By embracing innovative solutions, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and prioritizing occupant well-being, smart buildings can evolve into dynamic, adaptable ecosystems capable of navigating the complexities of our ever-changing world. The implications of this research extend beyond the realm of academia, shaping the future of sustainable urban living and resilient infrastructure. In such turbulent times, harnessing technology, informed decision-making, and adaptable strategies is imperative for a sustainable and resource-efficient future.

Case study: Larnaca Pilot Buildings iModel with energy and water meter data.

Konstantinos Chatzikonstantinidis, who has dedicated significant effort to the development and analysis of this groundbreaking study, has also actively participated in the 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy Sources & Energy Efficiency held in Nicosia during his secondment period in Cyprus.

During the conference, Konstantinos seized the opportunity to showcase the outcomes of his study through both a paper (in collaboration with Agis M.Papadopoulos) and a visually engaging poster, which served as powerful tools to effectively communicate the findings of the study.  Although the full paper is not currently available to the public, we can offer a sneak peek into some compelling details from the abstract:

Evolution of legislation framework on occupants’ comfort in the context of Zero Energy Buildings

Nearly Zero Energy Buildings are no more a vision; they are reality. However, the reduction of energy consumption continuous to be among the most popular pillar of the policies set for the building sector without clearly stating the determination and limitations set regarding the occupants’ comfort conditions. In this line of approach, a variety of legislative and regulatory measures have been introduced the last 20 years in Europe aiming to the realization of the creation of an energy and carbon free building. Considering this trend, a review analysis over these issues is carried out and presented in this paper. In detail, the paper denotes the frameworks that have been established over these years in the EU and discusses their main outcome. Furthermore, an analysis is conducted regarding the impact of the frameworks on the occupants’ comfort. Main conclusions of the paper focus on the parameters that have to be considered as part of the evolution of the regulations in the years to come.

Authors: P. Antoniadou, E. Giama, K.Papakostas, K.Chatzikonstantinidis and A.M. Papadopoulos. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Mechanical Engineering, Thessaloniki, Greece. 


For a closer look, you can also view the poster below: 

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