Improving building energy efficiency through user behavior change driven by co-created ICT interface
The consumption of buildings is strongly influenced by the behavior of its occupants. Therefore, it is important to make users aware of their consumption and help them reduce it. The designed method gives an important role to the user, while increasing use and acceptance, which is sometimes difficult to achieve with fully automatic solutions.
To achieve this, a user-building interface (ICT application on a tablet) was developed. This tool provides occupants of two monitored offices with information on their electricity and heating consumption, comfort indicators (temperature and air quality), light control and hints & tips on how to improve their behavior. The implemented architecture system is multiprotocol in order to communicate with sensors and actuators of any type and any manufacturer. A 32 weeks measurement campaign has led to a significant reduction in the electrical consumption of lights and electrical appliances. Air quality in the working environment was also improved thanks to the user interface. This research highlighted that including occupants early in the design process of a user-building interface that meet their expectations is a good way to inform them and make them realize the impact of their behavior on the energy consumption.
* This publication was presented during the Status Seminar in Zurich
Knowledge base on efficient behaviours
Within this report the theoretical background of behavioural change and different types of interventions to increase energy efficiency and hence lower carbon emission are introduced.
The results are summarized in recommendations for ICT development. In addition, the focus is on the four main target groups (students, private households, workers and tourists) and seven pilots, which are described and linked to the knowledge base. Households often are willing to behave in an energy efficient way, but concrete actions are not taken to the greatest extent possible. For organisations, often a "strategic" decision has to be made by decisions-makers. In the end it is the behaviour of students, workers, tourists and residents that will create the impact.
Development of a dashboard for evaluators and high level users
Within the scope of the THE4BEES project, a dashboard to monitor and compare sensor measurements enables the project partners to visualize data they collected.
Our project builds on the hypothesis: Energy is consumed by people rather than by buildings. Thus, THE4BEES focuses on the behavioural changes of users in public buildings, and there are numerous challenges we are facing: how to encourage behavioural changes for energy efficiency, how to monitor energy consumption trends and savings, how to make ICT an effective tool for achieving significant energy savings, and how to design innovative ICT tools to engage and motivate energy-conscious behaviour.
Development of IT Tools to Support Virtuous Behaviours - Joint development of user-centric storytelling flagship apps based on a platform that integrates identified spatio-temporal resources
The aim of a geo-temporal aware storytelling platform is to bring all the different parts together – such as created maps, websites, online dashboards, photos and other project results –in a meaningful and visually appealing way.
Storytelling maps are modern means for communicating specific topics combining different types of multimedia content (e.g. maps, text, websites, videos, photos, etc.). Due to the rather non-professional users (regarding the development of own story maps), it is important to provide a tool for creating storytelling maps in an easy and intuitive way. Thus, we use ESRI Story Maps to provide different guided storytelling templates and apps that can be filled by the users easily.
Overview and analysis of relevant projects and apps linked to THE4BEES
The project THE4BEES aims at reducing GHG emissions and energy consumption in buildings through more efficient behaviours, thanks to innovative awareness raising actions and through the support of ICT tools jointly designed by users, decision makers and actors of innovation.
THE4BEES builds on the hypothesis: Energy is consumed by people rather than by buildings. Although most of the strategies to achieve energy efficiency in buildings focus on technical mitigation measures to reach the ambitious goals on Low Carbon set by EU and Alpine Strategy (AS), both structural and soft approaches shall be considered in a complementary way across the AS area. THE4BEES focuses on the behavioural changes of users in public and private buildings needed to achieve reduction of energy consumption.
Awareness is the basis of behaviour change and awareness raising is the core of the overall project concept. This work package has the objective to consolidate and grow knowledge on the relationships among behavioural changes, energy efficiency, carbon emissions and the benefit of ICT, consistently with art.12 of the Energy Efficiency Directive.
Within this report past and running projects whose results can be capitalized by THE4BEES are presented and analysed. This inventory includes projects from national and EU programmes and local initiatives. As the focus of THE4BEES project is on ICT tools, not only relevant projects were identified but also apps that could serve as basis or useful example for our works. The results will be discussed among project partners and in the CCLabs, to develop effective methods and tools to reach a large number of energy users and maximize the impact.
In order to gather valuable information on EU and national level about relevant projects on behaviour and energy issues, a template was prepared and distributed among all partners within the project team (figure 1). Every partner made a research on possibly relevant projects so that we now have a database of interesting projects about the topics of THE4BEES project.
Methodological framework for CCLabs
THE4BEES project builds on the hypothesis: Energy is consumed by people rather than by buildings. To approach this hypothesis, the project focuses on behavioural change of users in public buildings. It is based on an inclusive collaborative approach traditionally addressed as open innovation. More specifically it introduces Co-creation labs, a form of labs evolving from the Living Labs methodology.
In the existing literature the therm Co-creation lab is not yet in place as a specific method. Instead there exist vast theory on living labs and co-creation techniques, but not on “Co-creation labs”. Co-creation labs term, is usually used as an adjective to the specific open innovation place, usually run by a specific institution - for example “BMW Group Co-Creation Lab”. Within THE4BEES project the “co-creation labs” term is used as a place, where co-creation is implemented. Co-creation follows general method (PLEASS method) and is more specified in each region’s CCLab plans – served as an action plans. Co-creation labs should therefore be understood as an open-innovation arena, where inclusive activities from all technical work packages will take place.
Co-creation labs (CCLabs) are established in each of 7 pilot regions:
- Piedmont, Alpine Huts and Lodges in Susa/Chisone Valleys, Managers/Tourists/Students
- Lombardy, Social Houses in Sondrio, Tenants/Building Managers
- Rhone-Alpes, High Schools, Teachers/Students
- Salzburg, High Schools, Teachers/Students
- Savinjska, Saleska and Koroska, High School in Velenje, Teachers/Students
- Fribourg, BlueFactory Co-working space, startuppers/researchers
- Baden-Wuerttemberg, Factories in BWCON cluster, Managers/Employees.
CCLabs should be understood as an organizational form using the same principles and building upon the same methodological guidelines, but they differ one from another due to the different content and stakeholder reality, as well as the different groups they are addressing.
The proposed methodological guidelines helps the CCLabs to prepare their individual Action plan (CCLabs Plan D.3.1.2), where each co-creation reality is addressed more specifically. The Action plans serves as roadmaps for working with target groups and achieve project results.