The purpose of BUILDSMART was to demonstrate and mainstream cost-effective technologies and methods in the design of buildings with very low energy consumption in different European climates, since energy consumption in buildings varies greatly throughout Europe due to differences in climate, socio-economic factors, building techniques. The project also had a strong focus on energy-related behavioural issues, recognizing the role end-users play on energy use in buildings. All actions implemented were analysed from a systemic perspective, where the whole energy system is included, thereby calculating the primary energy need for different technology choices as well as its life cycle costs. Building Information Modelling (BIM) as an innovative ICT tool was used to generate and manage data during the life cycles of participating buildings.
Project demonstration sites
BUILDSMART project built and demonstrated a number of very low energy buildings, residential and non-residential, with a total gross floor space of 81,300 m2. The large-scale demonstration buildings are characterised by the following innovative techniques:
- Energy-efficient building envelopes with high airtightness and low energy losses;
- Energy-efficient installations resulting in minimised energy use;
- Techniques for minimising cooling needs such as efficient windows and shading equipment;
- Close connections to surrounding infrastructure, such as energy systems that optimise energy use and reduce peak loads for both heating and cooling;
- Waste management system created for maximum recycling and energy recovery, including treatment of the biological waste fraction.
Moreover, new forms of incentives were developed and implemented to increase the involvement of the inhabitants where the inhabitants can actually benefit from lower energy costs and a better environment.The systematic monitoring and performance evaluation in all the included buildings made it possible to compare the effect of different energy-saving techniques on different locations.