Methods for the optimization of building operation

Energy and Resource Efficiency − Efficient. Environmentally Friendly. Sustainable.

© Fraunhofer ISE
Chilled water distribution loops in a laboratory building.

The actual energy performance of buildings often falls significantly below the expected performance, due to deficiencies in commissioning, faults in the building operation or because of occupants’ influences. In many cases building managers are not able to identify energy saving potentials as they do not dispose of adequate tools for analysing data from the building management system efficiently. At Fraunhofer ISE monitoring systems and data analysis techniques are developed, which allow for a continuous analysis of the building operation and which automatically detect and diagnose faulty operation. With the provided information Facility and Energy Managers are enabled to supervise their buildings, implement predictive maintenance strategies and optimize the building operation before large amounts of energy are wasted or thermal comfort is affected.

Furthermore, scientists at Fraunhofer ISE develop models which predict the energy demand during operation, based on weather forecasts and occupancy models. The estimates can be used as a basis for model predictive strategies, for example to optimally control the operation of thermally activated building systems (TABS).

The demonstration of these methods in real buildings has shown that energy savings between 15 percent and 25 percent can be reached. Fraunhofer ISE continues developments in this field with academic and industrial partners, for example within the framework of the projects CASCADE (, OBSERVE (, HIT2GAP (, TOPAs (