Green Building is one of the cornerstones for creating Smart Cities. As such, we will find numerous initiatives around the world aimed to develop buildings that can produce more energy than they need to operate, achieving an energy balance ratio higher than 1. Usually, these initiatives employ traditional energy-saving technics, such as sensors to optimize the air conditioning temperatures, automate the operation of lights based on people’s presence, and using energy-efficient building materials. However, an excellent example of innovation to achieve energy efficiency is the GreenSoul project in Europe. In addition to the traditional technics, the GreenSoul project wants to use human behavior to significantly reduce energy consumption and help to achieve a positive energy balance in buildings, where a building can produce more energy than it uses. The main objective is to increase energy efficiency in public buildings by altering the way people use electric powered devices. To achieve this goal, GreenSoul is implementing a dual strategy action plan:
- Increase energy awareness and change electronic consumption habits through a variety of techniques, from persuasive social applications to physical interaction mechanisms linked to networked devices.
- Incorporate intelligence into networked devices to allow them to decide autonomously about operating mode for energy efficiency purposes. GreenSouled devices will learn about users’ habits, acting only when wasteful energy behavior is detected, or users do not pay attention to the suggestions provided by the decision engine.
GreenSoul’s aims the energy-saving potential for public buildings. There, the persuasion of users is particularly challenging because they do not perceive the benefits of having an ecological behavior; as the building users do not need to pay for the electricity bill.
GreenSoul designs and develops an integrated ICT platform to:
- Improve users’ awareness of their energy consumption;
- Study the ecological behavior of people in shared environments;
- Analyze the effectiveness of different persuasion techniques;
- Assist users through the recommendations of a decision support engine;
- Provide socio-economic services that demonstrate the viability of the proposed changes.
GreenSoul aims to demonstrate that a combined behavioral and ICT interventions in public buildings result in energy savings exceeding 20%. Currently, six pilot projects have been deployed in different climatic areas and will be associated with different uses and facilities, ensuring data collection from multiple scenarios, which will allow a comprehensive analysis of the results and a clear understanding of the impact provided by each one of the methodologies selected for the pilot project.
Wellness TechGroup, a Spanish company providing solutions for the GreenSoul project, is applying its technology to gather the information from different sensors into a closed feedback loop, using AI to learn from human behavior and to apply this learning to save energy. The company is currently conducting a pilot project in four countries in Europe (United Kingdom, Spain, Greece, and Austria) with sensors installed in six public buildings.
According to Mr. David Garcia, the CEO of Wellness TechGroup, “ the main objective for this pilot would be to confirm that our solution, combining sensors, AI and behavior change policies, would reach the objective set for the reduction in emissions between 15-30%, and consequently a reduction in energy costs and lower carbon footprint”
Additional information about the GreenSooul Project