Energy efficiency classes A to D also for smart buildings

(July 21, 2021) Many people are not aware of the energy-saving potential of a smart building. However, there are also standardized efficiency classes (A to D) – similar to those for consumer goods. There are also tools for customer advice such as the AUTERAS configurator.

Energy efficiency classes for buildings

When a building goes smart, it can save up to 30% energy. However, this only works if the building and room automation performs very specific automation functions. For example, heating, ventilation, lighting and blinds, for example, then have to work in a presence-dependent manner and switch to standby mode as soon as there are no people in the room.

The European EN 15232 classifies the savings potential according to the example of consumer goods in classes A to D and will soon be continued in a more precise form as the international DIN EN ISO 52120. Automatic functions that have to be implemented by the smart technology are specified for each efficiency class.

When building owners or architects generally decide on the components of a smart home, this relationship between the desired functions and the achievable efficiency class is usually not clear to them. In doing so, they finally determine the savings potential, especially in this early decision-making phase (service phase LPH 1 according to HOAI). Timely advice from specialist planners or contractors (craftsmen) would be particularly necessary and effective. So far, however, there has been no instrument to systematically and clearly explain all functions and resulting efficiency classes in customer discussions so that customers can understand the consequences of their decisions.

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Clear advice to the customer

The AUTERAS configurator, which can be used free of charge in every browser, now supports this communication between experts and customers, but is kept so simple that it can also be used independently by laypeople.

The configurator asks the user step-by-step questions about their functional requirements for each individual trade and shows the energy efficiency class (A to D) already achieved after each answer. Each function is explained with texts and videos if required, so that the tool could also be used as a learning platform for room automation. All functional customer requests are then translated into standard functions according to VDI guideline 3813 so that they are clearly and legally defined and correspond to the recognized rules of technology.

The tool also recognizes whether these functions can still be implemented using a conventional electrical installation or whether smart components are required. In this case, examples of suitable product combinations are shown that could meet all functional customer requirements. All customer requests, resulting standard functions and efficiency classes are logged and can be downloaded as text or tables. The room types defined in this way can also be exported to room books as used by architects and contractors.

Forwarding to the following construction phases

In the age of BIM, the configurator must not stop in LPH 1, but must pass on (export) all design decisions and data to the following service phases. If required, an automation concept for LPH 3 can therefore be generated from the customer’s wishes. According to VDI guideline 3813 (in future also VDI 3814 new), this is still neutral with regard to technology (e.g. KNX, ZigBee, EnOcean) or make (manufacturer).

This graphic describes all the necessary functions and the necessary information flows between them. It is explained in detail by a function description text that is also generated. In the future, there will also be a data-continuous export for implementation planning (final product selection in LPH 5) as well as to the construction site and the integration tools there (e.g. as an ETS project for KNX).

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