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CityGML Based District Energy Simulation

Company: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.

Combining geographical and building information with energy simulation, allows for quantifying energy related as well as potentially other indicators for city districts.

What Exactly is CityGML?

CityGML is an open data model and XML-based format for the storage and exchange of virtual 3D city models. It allows reuse of, among other things, building location, geometry and other related data for different application fields. 

VTT has been studying ways to apply the public CityGML as an information source to suggest solutions for energy positive blocks using simulation techniques. Such a combination of up-to-date data reduces the time required for the collection of input data and allows the simulation to take into account the most recent buildings’ information, which mainly include their geometry.

The Benefits of this Technology

Example view of online energy prediction model for Sello in Action E6-1. This is a short term view (2 days prediction for electricity demand for 1 electricity metering point.

The variation of main building parameters in simulations allows for the study of different scenarios of building renovation and alternative energy supply solutions, including the solutions proposed for building blocks to achieve energy positivity. Prior work was done in EU MODER projects and parts of this work are being further improved and reused in SPARCS. The energy system of buildings and districts are modelled using a simulator (e.g., Apros simulation software) having an interface to CityGML. The main benefits are faster and higher quality decision making due to the use of up-to-date city objects’ data for energy simulation. In SPARCS, the procedure is tested in cooperation with maintainers of the data and is further developed to be useful for the test city.

Who Gains from this Innovation?

Potential users include urban energy and sustainability planners, building consultants and other interested stakeholders involved in building renovation and developing sustainability programmes. These users can utilise the open building data to propose or evaluate effectiveness of energy efficiency, local energy production solutions or other improvement measures being considered on a district scale. 

The utilisation of CityGML combined with building block energy simulations may help improve quality of decision making and speed up overall design process of energy solutions for city blocks. Such efficiency gains may allow processing larger city areas and achieving a higher impact, for example by better targeting available investments.

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