Under the leadership of the Climate and Energy Agency of Baden-Württemberg, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is involved in the NEQModPLUS research project. Its overall goal is the combination of integral energetic building renovations and innovative supply concepts within the framework of ambitious energetic neighborhood renovation projects, in order to improve overall cost-effectiveness, living quality and energy efficiency and thus contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

The objective of the research project is the development of methods and instruments for the Support of decision-making processes and the implementation of low-energy neighborhoods (NEQs) both in the refurbishment of existing buildings and in the new design. The primary energy balance should be improved by at least 70%.

The target group of the project are neighborhoods with residential and/or public administration buildings, University campus. Besides the expert level, the project results enable in particular also decision-makers, city and neighborhood planners, project developers, financiers, municipal utilities and energy service companies to drive the development of sustainable NEQs in a structured manner.

The object of the project is to develop a consistent and simple process for the actors to Applicable methodology for step-by-step development and implementation in line with targets and operational management of NEQs. In particular, the network-relevant combination of Energy efficiency with supply measures in these individual steps in focus. Beyond existing approaches, NEQModPLUS also includes mobility in the energy design.

The steps of an ambitious and innovative neighbourhood redevelopment will be examined, a consistent guideline for action for the entire process will be developed and mapped with correspondingly networked tools. For each of the steps, the following will be linked together functionally and methodically linked tools have been developed that can be used by the various parties involved in the process. In addition, quality assurance and validation of the modelling are pursued in order to increase the reliability of the models. To the aforementioned tools count:

a) A modularized tool on the basis of an optimized cost-benefit ratio for the initial feasibility assessment and rough dimensioning of the essential rehabilitation and supply parameters of a neighborhood.

b) Networking of previously modular modelling tools for the detailed illustration of the energy concept, in particular the network-related provision and use of renewable energies and the energetic refurbishment. The aim is to achieve the most automated process possible for simulating energy consumers and sources in a neighborhood by using 3D city models and parameterizing them. By interacting with the neighborhood control system and monitoring, the modelling provides continuously refined forecasts for the iterative process of ongoing operational optimization.

c) An innovative, modular and cost-effective neighborhood control system incorporating IoT (Internet of Things) solutions for efficient data transfer for measurement, optimization and control. With the establishment of a strategic control hierarchy, a connection to the simulation tools for generating optimized timetables is created; interfaces to decentralized building control systems and their data and control structure are also created. The aim is an optimal networking of central and decentralized energy systems, buildings, storage facilities and electric vehicles as consumers, taking into account thermal and electric storage facilities in the neighborhood, as well as the integration of the upstream supply networks with regard to network serviceability and resilience.

d) A simple monitoring and controlling tool based on IoT to record the respective operating situation of the neighborhood and to feedback simulation forecasts with the actual performance of the neighborhood. The behavior of users and residents in the neighborhood is taken into account, as are any changes in behavior as a result of feedback and sensitization. The monitoring provides data for continuous (automated) re-calibration of the modelling approaches and is clearly combined on a management platform.

e) A new business model to be developed which designs the services for the investment and operational implementation of the lowest energy concept as well as the associated value added, remuneration and payment flows in such a way that the energy service company has an incentive for the most efficient implementation of the lowest energy concept. A financing concept is developed for the investment, which is essentially based on the value added reflected in the business model. A transparent quality assurance system is developed to make them bankable (financeable).

It is planned to integrate the project into the research network of the IEA, e.g. in order to include corresponding experiences of the US-American military in the modelling and in particular the implementation of low-energy quarters as well as Danish research institutions in the solarization of local heating supplies for the benefit of the German research project. Furthermore, the transfer of the methods to the energy- and import-dependent Baltic States should contribute to increased resilience and security of supply at the neighborhood level.

This is intended to continue the cooperation between German and US experts on the subject of “Business models for energy efficiency in buildings”, which was begun in IEA Annex 61, and to extend it to districts as well as to Korean experts. The first presentation of the project idea took place at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the “Implementing Agreement on Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Communities” (IEA EBC) in Oslo in June 2016; the project idea was accepted and transferred to the working phase as IEA EBC Annex 73 “Towards Near Zero Energy Resilient Quarter” at the meeting of the Executive Committee in Ottawa, CAN in November 2017.

The project has large overlaps with the Carbon Neutral Renovation project at SKKU. A transfer of knowledge between the two projects will be generated by alternating guest stays of Korean researchers in Germany and vice versa working on both projects.

Contact Person: Jan Riel


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Hochschule Karlsruhe – Technik und Wirtschaft | Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences                 Universität Sungkyunkwan                 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie                 Land and Housing Institute (LH-I)                 Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart