Theme IV

Smart Building Operating Strategies

Theme Leaders

  • A. Athienietis
  • R. Zmeureanu


This Theme will develop ways to integrate the control of all building subsystems so as to optimize the net renewable energy fed into the grid and the electricity demand profiles. Techniques such as predictive control based on weather forecasting and online prediction of building response will be employed. Integrated design and control will be emphasized (this is linked to Theme 5). 


The building’s renewable energy system, its HVAC system, its appliances and lighting need to be operated in an optimal manner in order to reduce energy consumption, to achieve substantial peak electricity demand reduction, reduce operating cost and store energy for later usage. Optimal building operating strategies need to be considered at the building design stage so as to avoid over-sizing of the HVAC equipment and to allow more efficient utilization of solar gains. An example-planned project is the predictive control of a net-zero energy house based on weather prediction (e.g., 1-2 days ahead) to optimize energy utilization, production and economics while accounting for varying electricity-pricing schemes (i.e., time-of-use billing). An electric/PHEV will be considered as possible electric storage linked to an energy-positive house and different charging strategies will be studied linked to car/house usage patterns. Implementation of continuous commissioning strategies for renovated buildings, as a means of approaching net-zero energy consumption, will also be studied. Finally, groups of buildings linked to common energy storage systems, such as borehole seasonal thermal storage, will be studied to optimize generation/demand at the community level.