Building Energy Epidemiology

The Chair of Building Energy Epidemiology will focus on performance analysis, diagnosis, and optimization of energy systems in operation at the level of buildings and the building stock.

This will be achieved by combining statistics and data analytics with thermodynamics, building physics, behavioural sciences, and systems’ dynamics:

  • to develop new methods for analysis and interpretation of large combinations of data sets in the building stock, neighbourhoods and buildings
  • to better understand the complex interactions between buildings, indoor climate equipment, and occupants
  • to develop methods for diagnosis, optimization, and prediction of operational performances of energy systems. 

The research field of the chair offers new opportunities for energy policy assessment and for the identification of efficient measures and systems for buildings in use. This is relevant to two new developments. On the one hand, the complexity of buildings’ energy systems is increasing a lot, as a consequence of multiple integrated conversion, distribution, and buffering systems inherent to the use of renewable thermal or electrical energy. Unlike industrial systems, buildings’ energy systems work in a strong interaction with the building itself and its occupants, being responsible for the quality of the indoor climate. This complexity often leads to disappointing operational performances. 

On the other hand, a huge potential for feedback on actual operational performances comes from the quickly growing availability of cheaper sensors, smart meters, building management systems, and large databases, including the cloud and the internet of things. The available data could be used for the optimization and design of systems, as well as for the monitoring of energy policies. However, suitable analysis methods are necessary in order to do so.

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