UrbanAI for Green Buildings

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Objectives of the service

The biggest challenge in terms of green buildings is data integration into a common digital infrastructure as well as data gathering/aggregation from different service providers: energy, natural gas, water, satellite data, 3D model, etc. all in one place, while respecting all GDPR rules. There are no common and standardized ways to monitor green buildings. Furthermore, there are no common data models or standardized protocols for green buildings monitoring. Also, green buildings are mostly monitored by companies from sensors located inside the buildings and not from outside. In general, the green building industry needs a solution for area monitoring for the surrounding green building. It can be based on data fusion of remote sensing data with available green buildings external data sets. Drone imaging including thermal images of green buildings will bring added value regarding heat leaks information and conditions of insulation that influences the internal state of green buildings. It can help green buildings to solve the issue of data standardization since all satellite, drone or traffic will be in one place in the Green buildings Urban AI software.

Users and their needs

The cities of Tampere (Finland) and Tartu (Estonia) have committed to be involved as test pilot customers in this feasibility study. They are interested in applying innovative technologies such as earth observation data for accessing up to date state of green buildings and built environment. This will allow them to monitor the state of the urban areas remotely and have the full picture of urban environments in terms of environmental, energy, infrastructure state of urban areas. Proposed feasibility study by Zero Gravity will help the City of Tampere in its journey to decarbonization by 2030. The data aggregation and environmental impact calculator, which are part of Green Building Urban AI, will help Tampere to estimate emissions for sustainable housing constructions and develop nature-based solutions for infrastructure construction maintenance to increase the urban nature within the city to compensate the emissions as well as increase the diversity of urban nature and the comfort of residential areas.

By providing building digital twin from earth observation data and city energy grid, the City of Tartu can better plan and find location for green energies initiative and help to put milestones and monitor the progress towards zero emission city development while monitoring past and current emission state. 

Service/ system concept

The system architecture is centred around a user interface that takes the form of a web interface. This web interface communicates with the backend using several technologies. The original data coming from satellite, drone or other sources is stored in various format and is fetched by the backend using various protocol. It is the role of our backend to translate this data into a common format and transpose it in the same way towards the user interface. The analytics and AI algorithm is also located on the backend.

Space Added Value

Multi source data will be combined, which include: SAR data, air quality data, urban temperature, solar illumination from the Copernicus/Sentinel program and local sensor readouts from city municipalities and green buildings, high-resolution data from Airbus (e.g. Pleiades) or MAXAR.  if available, city energy grid data as well as available meteorological data can be added to the data fusion.

RPAS sensors will also be integrated for optical and thermal footage hence GNSS is necessary to pilot the drone.

Current Status

At the moment the user requirements were defined. Around 10 potential users were interviewed from smart city sector, green energy operators and smart buildings companies.

A 3D model of the Tartu Green buildings area has been created using high-resolution optical satellite data and drone images  acquired on 20.11.2020 from flights done by Zero Gravity Oy.

 Image credit : Cedric Bodet

 Image credit : Cedric Bodet


Prime Contractor(s)


Status Date

Updated: 04 December 2020 - Created: 04 December 2020