Making buildings smarter
Smart buildings, both renovated and newly built, have an important role to play in our future energy system. Thanks to Internet of Things and cutting-edge ICT-based solutions such as smart energy management systems it has become possible to effectively control and monitor the energy efficiency and flexibility of a building. Not only is this beneficial on your energy bill, smart applications also guarantee all needs of a consumer are met and a lower energy consumption and carbon impact is achieved.
Additionally, integrating smart technologies in buildings can be a very effective way of getting us towards a healthier and more comfortable built environment. It can also help to reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions. These technologies will also be essential to integrate buildings in future energy systems with a high demand for renewable energy.
Smart Readiness Indicator
To accelerate investments in building renovations and boost smart, energy-efficient technologies in buildings in Europe, the European Commission launched the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI), a methodology to assess how smart buildings are and to what extent they are ready to interact with their users and their connected energy grids. EnergyVille/VITO coordinated two technical studies for the European Commission, which developed the SRI. More than 800 national and international stakeholders were closely involved within these studies. The first building that was used for testing the SRI, was the EnergyVille 1 building, which scored very well at 77%. In the meantime, the method has been tested on no less than 100 other buildings and Europe. The results of these studies can also be found in the report at the bottom of this article.
The SRI as an official tool for European member states
The European Commission has now officially approved the implementation of the SRI within Europe. The Smart Readiness Indicator has thus become an official tool to support the digitisation and modernisation of buildings in Europe. Although optional for member states, the SRI is a nice addition to policy instruments and initiatives aimed at improving the energy performance of buildings, such as the renovation wave or the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ('EPBD').