Phase II (2011-2013): Application to Demonstrator Building

While Phase I of the OptiControl project was entirely based on extensive simulation studies, in Phase II the developped control strategies will be implemented in a representative Swiss office building to ensure their testing and evaluation in a realistic setting. The project team includes participants from the ETH Zurich, Siemens Switzerland Ltd., and Gruner AG. The weather forecasts are provided by MeteoSwiss.

A Typical Office Building

The chosen demonstrator building is located in Allschwil close to Basle. It is is owned by the company Actelion. Since its construction in 2007 the building operates reliably and provides good occupant comfort. It has six levels with a conditioned floor area of ca. 6'000 m2. The architecture is cubical and uncomplicated. The construction (thermal insulation level, insulation glazing, window area fraction of 50%) can also be considered as typical. Heating and cooling are mainly done with the aid of thermally activated building systems (Tabs). Hygienic air change is ensured by an air handling unit including energy recovery. The usage is also representative for an office building.

Expected Energy Savings

Prior to the demonstrator building's selection the expected energy savings were assessed with the aid of thorough simulation studies. They indicated a theoretical energy savings potential of up to 20%. The potential reflected mainly a reduction in heating energy cosumption due to a more efficient exploitation of solar gains thanks to the use of predictive control. Next to the total energy usage the new control strategies will also be evaluated in terms of monetary cost, occupant comfort, peak power demand, and their acceptance by the facility manager and the occupants.


The OptiControl tests on the demonstrator building will start in Autumn 2011 with a planned duration of 18 months. By then it should become apparent in as far the expected energy savings can be realized in practice. First modules of the software could be integrated in Siemens products already by 2013.

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