To realize the goals of the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050, buildings have to become more energy efficient and the share of renewable energy sources have to increase. This requires solutions to optimally transform buildings through combined retrofitting and renewable energy solutions and to make them fit for the integration into multi-energy networks.

Within the Swiss Competence Center of Energy Research on Buildings (SCCER FEEB&D) the Chair of Building Physics and Empa’s Urban Energy Systems Laboratory jointly develop modelling techniques to help integrating renewable energy systems in our buildings and districts. Thereby an integrative solution approach is followed to address both the design and operation of buildings and urban energy systems.

Models include solutions to address the ideal retrofitting of individual buildings in a neighbourhood to decrease the high number of fossil fuel based building systems. To enable the use of local resources (such as solar energy, lakes, ambient or waste heat) together with storage potentials (such as bore holes) integrative modelling techniques are being developed with high temporal and spatial resolution. At a higher level, solutions are investigated to optimally distribute and exchange energy within a district, through Multi-Energy-Grids, which allows to overcome the supply-demand mismatch of renewable energies and buildings at diurnal to seasonal scale. The design of building and system interventions face often uncertain future planning horizons, which need to be properly addressed in modelling. Decision-making under uncertainty, fluctuating energy supply and demand, as well as future energy market designs are considered in the development of design and operational strategies for buildings.

Modelling strategies to address the various aspects from buildings energy performance, renewable potentials and the integration of multi-energy grids.

More information about his research area can be found on the webpage of the SCCER FEEB&D.

The ESC Member involved in this project is Prof. Jan Carmeliet  Dr. Kristina Orehounig from the Chair of Building Physics from the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering (D-MAVT).

The research is organised in collaboration with the Laboratory of Building and Technology of EMPA, where the experimental facilities are housed. It covers different scales going from material, to building and built environment. Three focal points can be distinguished: (1) multiphysics of multiscale materials, (2) sustainable buildings and (3) sustainable cities / urban physics / engineering fluid flow.