About the Project
Energy performance of commercial premises heavily relies on three interrelated spatio-temporal groups of factors: Business processes, facility characteristics & occupant behaviour under specific context conditions. OrbEEt aims to establish a holistic organizational energy performance framework that will build on top of contemporary and standardized energy performance rating practices by incorporating business and behavioural information. This will be realized through the fusion of three (currently disjoint) worlds:
- Building Operational Rating (OR)
- Business Process Modelling (BPM) and
- Organizational (& Behavioural) Change
Treating building occupants as organizational actors as well as the main catalysts of sustainable operations. To this end, ORBEET will establish a trusted Systemic Enterprise Operational Rating framework, that will also present the ability for real time building monitoring, continuous measurement of the impact of different activities on the overall building energy performance and most importantly, for timely, relevant and personalized feedback that will aim at triggering sustainable behaviours. Thus, within ORBEET energy efficiency will be achieved through progressive improvement of organizational efficiency, while energy performance will be optimally balanced with business performance and occupant preferences to avoid organizational performance degradation or loss of occupant comfort.
More specifically, OrbEEt aims to leverage existing standards and methods of Building Operational Rating (OR) to deliver a mechanism for real-time extraction and calculation of detailed, fine-grained, dynamic parameters and subsequently provide continuous feedback on the present value estimation of the Building Operational Rating. More specifically, the OrbEEt framework will continuously capture and analyse real time building information from low-cost, off-the-shelf non-intrusive sensors and convert this into meaningful real-time energy rating information (real-time Display Energy Certificates).
However, the main innovation brought by OrbEEt is the alignment of building energy data with organizational operational activities, thus allowing for a more systemic and holistic view over the organizational energy performance. Buildings will be treated as hosts of occupants and activities rather than passive structures. Consequently, operational ratings will be calculated at the level of business processes and organizational units establishing direct accountability of the latter to the overall organization energy performance.
Furthermore, behavioural change will be triggered in the scope and context of organizational dynamics and business activities, treating occupants not only as individuals but also as members of an organizational ecosystem. The establishment and availability of enhanced DECs will facilitate the design and implementation of comprehensive behavioural change strategies that touch upon both intrinsic and extrinsic human motivators. OrbEEt proposes a two-faceted behavioural change strategy: a) intra-organization rolling team competitions with rewards for best performing teams, and b) social collaboration at the organizational level to conserve funds to fuel commonly agreed Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that will acknowledge the contributions of “green” employees toward society at large.
OrbEEt Business Framework and Use Cases
The identification and definition of business scenarios and use cases are fundamental steps towards delivering a complete architectural design of OrbEEt project. This section aims at presenting the OrbEEt high level business framework and subsequently the detailed use cases derived in the scope of these scenarios.
Initially, taking into account the objectives of the project, two key business scenarios are identified in order to define the high layer business perspective of OrbEEt project:
The 1st business scenario is about continuous visualization of energy related information in public buildings. The availability of historical as well as real time information describing the energy-related characteristics and states of the different sub systems of a building will enable the extraction of dynamic Display Energy Certificates (DECs).
In addition, the power of games to immerse and motivate and the capabilities of games to change perceptions and views set the basis for the 2nd business scenario. Behavioural change relies on the provision of timely and actionable feedback to the employees. User commitment, however, largely relies on engaging user experiences through eco-visualizations and in-display visualizations to find aesthetically pleasing ways to present the necessary information and feedback through several communication channels.
Following the definition of high level business scenarios that set the application baseline for the implementation of the proposed framework, we further proceed with the definition of the system use cases, fully addressing the needs as expressed by the end users of the platform. The list of Uses Cases is presented, setting the framework for the development of OrbEEt platform:
- Use Case UC-01: Enriched visualization of building operational rating for the facility managers. An enriched visualization of building status (KPIs with different granularities) provides insights on the operation of the building to further support the establishment of an energy efficient environment.
- Use Case UC-02: Enriched visualization of building operations and business processes rating for facility managers and business analysts. The information related to the processes will enable the facility manager and business analysts to know the operational status on premises so as to identify organization’s needs and assess the organizational model towards the establishment of an energy efficient environment.
- Use Case UC-03: Gamification framework through the provision of direct personalized feedback about actions that can be immediately undertaken to improve energy efficiency. The building occupant is engaged by the game, and develops an interest in adapting their energy behaviour to meet the personalized feedback targets the game sets.
- Use Case UC-04: Behavioural triggering framework through the definition of generic actions to improve energy efficiency operation of the building. The building occupant reads and learns energy-related best-practices and discusses information and thoughts with peers, which stimulates a positive energy culture in-office.
- Use Case UC-05: Social media based gaming- comparative. OrbEEt participants are motivated and actively enrolled in the motivational framework to improve the game competition ranking by means of undertaking more energy efficiency actions.
The next schema depicts the mapping of project Use cases with OrbEEt business scenarios that will further enable the development and evaluation of the ICT framework:
Figure 1 OrbEEt Business Framework
Along with the extraction of OrbEEt business framework, we proceed with the definition of system architecture, highlighting the system components that consist of the OrbEEt platform
OrbEEt Platform Reference Architecture
The overall OrbEEt environment consists of frameworks providing real-time monitoring, along with the required mechanisms to automatically model and forecast various contextual building’s aspects (such as business processes, operational ratings etc.) in order to provide means towards the extraction of eDECs and the implementation of the behavioural triggering framework. The main conceptual elements of the reference architecture are further described along with the presentation of OrbEEt Reference Architecture.
Figure 2 OrbEEt Reference Architecture
Information Management Layer: This layer is responsible for the delivery of the low-level technology framework (sensors & gateway properly integrated) responsible for collecting energy use data and pre-processing them for Enhanced OR generation. This data stream is captured automatically, appropriately processed, analysed and then fed into the OrbEEt Systemic Enterprise Operational Rating Engine and business processes Management Layer, addressing specific types of loads/sensors.
By incorporating Energy Performance Metrics into the Organization Skeleton Activity Models, we eventually establish a higher granularity Operational Rating framework, in which overall building performance is broken down and further allocated to specific organizational processes, units as well as spaces. This is the goal of Business Process Management Layer, to incorporate business processes (or building activities) in the overall OrbEEt platform, increasing in that way the dimensions and the flexibility of the system.
The Systemic Enterprise Operational Rating layer is the core layer of the OrbEEt project. This is the component responsible to collect and aggregate all information ranging from energy to business process analytics and building information in order to generate the Enhanced Display Energy Certificates which will provide dynamic, fine spatio-temporal grained view of the energy use of individual building offices, business processes or organizational units
On top of data management applications, we have the enhanced Display Energy Certificates Engine which is responsible for visualization of eDECs and further the delivery of the gamified feedback to the end users in order to stimulate engagement and achieve behavioural change. The Behavioural Change Engine is the medium where all the information collected from the Systemic Enterprise Operational Engine are being analyzed, customized, determined in nature, content and frequency and then visualized in order to provide personalized, direct normative and comparative feedback through the Ambient User Interfaces.
Evaluation holds a significant position in OrbEEt, since it comprises the means towards validating cost effectiveness, techno-economic feasibility and the social impact generated by the OrbEEt Organization Behavioural Change Framework, while assessing the realization and satisfaction of the project’s strategic environmental and sustainability objectives, its transferability and replication potential, along with user acceptance and organization behaviour change effects in various contexts and diverse buildings of public interest.
The Innovative OrbEEt solutions will be validated in real-life conditions over an extensive 18-month piloting period, in a variety of public buildings/ organizations (hospitals, municipal administrative offices and multi-faceted – offices and museum – buildings), incorporating a wide range of administrative/ business processes and services to the general public (generating wide visibility of results) and under different environmental, social and cultural contexts in four dispersed geographical areas (Innsbruck in Austria, Erlangen in Germany, Pernik in Bulgaria and Asparrena in Spain).
Even though the high diversification of the pilot sites poses significant challenges to the ability of OrbEEt to be seamlessly ported, applied and successfully perform in different settings, at the same time it offers a representative variety of requirements that will verify the soundness and robustness of the validation process, while enhancing the transferability and replication potential of the project innovations. The validation phase of the project will involve over 100 employees and dozens of diverse business activities towards the establishment of the framework for concrete evaluation of project results.
All the details about OrbEEt project, news and publications are available through the following portal: http://orbeet.eu/
Konstantinos Tsatsakis and Eleana Hatzoplaki (Hypertech S.A.), Jon Martínez (Solintel M&P SL).