An Energy Conservation Measures Catalogue as core feature of the OptEEmAL platform

07.09.2017 – The Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) Catalogue will be one of the main elements for making the OptEEmAL platform work. TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION, which is leading this central task of the project, explains what role the ECM catalogue plays and how it can help in identifying the best solutions for energy retrofitting measures in cities or districts.

What is the ECM catalogue and what is the connection between this catalogue and the OptEEmAL project?

The Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) catalogue is one of the main features to be implemented in the OptEEmAL platform. It sets the basis for the calculation of retrofit scenarios by applying a series of conventional and innovative solutions – both at building and district level. This catalogue will be filled with existing data sets containing information about materials and equipment. The concept of how to energetically refurbish a district to meet the guidelines set by the various European and global directives and roadmaps is related to the theory of "Trias Energetica" (see Figure 1), which is a simple and logical concept that helps to achieve energy savings, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and save the environment. Based on this theory, the ECM catalogue will include a wide range of possible measures to reduce the district energy demand and consumption

  1. ENERGY CONSERVATION (Passive ECMs): Based on passive measures (e.g. ventilated façade, new windows, insulation of the air chamber, etc.), the aim of this section is to reduce the demand for energy by avoiding waste and implementing energy-saving measures.
  2. USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY (Renewable ECMs): Use sustainable sources of energy like wind, the sun, water and the ground to generate energy (for example solar thermal panels, photovoltaics, geothermal, etc.).
  3. EFFICIENT USE OF ENERGY (Active – control ECMs): Use fossil fuel energy as efficiently as possible and only if sustainable sources of energy are unavailable (for example efficient boilers, biomass boilers, thermostat or plant control systems, etc.).


Figure 1. Trias Energetica scheme

The ECM catalogue will be central for the generation of applicable scenarios. It will provide the key information on how to overcome existing barriers in the district or building scale (architectural protection levels, maximum value of the façades that could grow externally, difficulties to connect to natural gas grid, etc.) and how to be compliant with platform end user objectives in terms of efficiency improvement, cost boundaries, financial schemes etc. The specifications about the implementation of the proposed measures will also be included, as well as relevant information on how to cover further steps within the value chain: execution, maintenance and operation of the different ECMs.

The ECM catalogue will provide the inputs required for the implementation of the ECMs and the generation of building/district models in order to evaluate the different scenarios. They need to be compliant with the user defined goals, taking into account the targets, barriers and boundaries of the users.

How is the ECMs catalogue used in OptEEmAL?

The information stored in the catalogue should cover all the informative, semantic and technical aspects, parameters and values needed for the right operation of the platform related with the ECMs.

There are three kinds of relationship of this repository with the OptEEmAL services and components: the relation with the data insertion module, the relation with the data management module and with the exportation module.

Figure 2. Integration of the ECMs catalogue within the OptEEmAL platform

What is currently happening in the project?

The main objective at the moment is to develop the final version of the ECM catalogue repository before August 2017. Therefore, the main activities are focused on the definition of a new classification system and a new ECM structure. In addition, the OptEEmAL consortium partners are working on the connectivity of the ECM catalogue with other modules of the OptEEmAL platform, updating the different improvements developed during the last months.

What are your reasons for taking part in the project? What can your organisation bring into the project – and get out of its involvement in OptEEmAL?

The OptEEmAL project is a strategic project for our organisation, because we are sure that the future of the energy refurbishment projects for buildings and districts will be focused on these kinds of tools or platforms. Another reason for us to take part in OptEEmAL is the technical complexity of the project. This complexity is related to all the different issues that are going to be assessed and integrated in the same project: optimisation algorithms, prioritisation processes, dynamic simulation, environmental, economic and social performance indicators, the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach, BIM models, cityGML etc.

Finally, TECNALIA is participating in different topics of this project. For example, it is leading the Work Package related to the ECM catalogue, the checking of the BIM and CityGML files and the development of the optimisation algorithm.

Thank you very much for your answers!


TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION is a private, independent, non-profit research organisation and one of the main Research & Technology Organisations in Europe. At TECNALIA, we are organised in seven fully interconnected Business Divisions: Sustainable Construction, Energy and Environment, ICT-European Software Institute, Industry and Transport, Innovation Strategies, Health, Technological Services. We have more than 1,415 members of staff (including 200 PhDs). TECNALIA is taking part in 353 approved European FP7 projects, leading 76 of them.

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