Climate-proofing of buildings

  • ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAInfrastructure & Smart Cities, Energy, Environment, Wildlife and Natural Resources

Objectives of the service

Energy auditing determines the level of a building’s energy performance and identifies energy-saving opportunities before the renovation of a building.

The key component of any energy audit is historical climate data:

  • Outdoor air temperatures, in the form of heating degree days, are used to assess the performance of building’s heating systems;
  • Solar radiation is used to assess the performance of photovoltaic energy generation systems.

However, available climate data for energy auditing have significant limitations:

  • High-quality climate data are of limited availability – the only available data source is weather stations placed mostly in airports 10s of kilometres away from an audit site;
  • Getting the data usually requires labour intensive process of identifying and searching through available data sources, such as online databases, even technical magazines. 
  • Freely available weather station data require further manual processing;
  • Paid weather station data are often too expensive.

By employing machine learning algorithms to process satellite meteorological measurements, MeteoInsight online app provides easy access to monthly and hourly climate data for any audit site worldwide. The data is in the format for work in excel or design software and requires no further processing.

Users and their needs

The service providing historical climate data is beneficial mainly to Energy auditors.

These are companies or individuals responsible for assessing the energy performance of a building and proposing options for reducing its energy consumption before the renovation.

The needs of Energy auditors are to have: 

  • Easy access to climate data that require no further processing;
  • Data prices that do not increase the overall price of the audit too much.

A variation of the service is beneficial also to Construction companies.

These are companies bidding for the realization of construction projects. Climatic conditions directly influence the capability of workers and machinery to perform their work, e.g. pouring concrete in negative temperatures requires additional investment into on-site countermeasures. To submit more competitive bids, historical data are used to create long-term climate predictions. These predictions inform construction planners e.g. about the number of days with negative temperatures for each month of the upcoming year so the costs of the on-site countermeasures can be more accurately estimated in their bids.

The needs of Construction companies are: 

  • To prepare more competitive bids;
  • (In the construction phase) To manage weather-related risk and reduce downtime.

Service/ system concept

User can access the climate data for any site in any country of his/her activities.

Getting the data requires only three steps:

  1. Select the site on the map,
  2. Choose the desired data type, 
  3. Download the data in a ready-to-use format.

The step 2. of the service providing climate data for energy auditing can be seen in the picture here below.

The service combines the most accurate geographical and meteorological information available with advanced machine learning algorithms to provide users with site-specific climate data.

Space Added Value

Practice in the building industry is to use weather station measurements to create usable climate data. The problem is that the building sites are usually located 10s of kilometres away from the nearest weather station. Elevation, urban density, the proximity of a water body, all significantly influence local climatic conditions. Therefore, data even from the nearest weather station yields suboptimal engineering results. To illustrate, most of the climate data for energy auditing comes from airport weather stations located on the city periphery not subjected to the urban heat island effect as are more densely populated areas of the city.

Satellite-based meteorological datasets play a key role in complementing the data of the weather stations. By combining them with weather station measurements, topographical and urban information, the service is capable of extracting climatic profile for the exact location of any building site, worldwide. This profile then provides an accurate site-specific baseline for the creation of climate data for energy auditing and construction planning.

To assess the accuracy of the approach, climatic profiles have been extracted for the locations of more than 2 000 weather stations across Europe and compared against measurements of these stations. Very high accuracy was achieved as shown in the picture here below.

Current Status

Regular discussions with clients and potential users enabled the team to assess their requirements associated with the provision of the climate data. These requirements constituted a baseline for the creation of the service mockups. The proof of concept of the energy auditing and the construction planning service was validated.

Status Date

Updated: 13 September 2021 - Created: 17 February 2021