As part of Sustainable Places 2018 ( the TOPAs Project (www.TOPAs-eeb.Eu) will host a workshop: Tools & services for upscaling energy management from buildings to blocks of buildings highlighting the key achievement of the project in addressing  post-occupancy performance management for blocks of buildings through an open IoT platform that provides a reference architecture for the integration of blocks of buildings to address scalability of energy management, eliminate vertical data silos and enable holistic management and verification of energy usage.  

In partnership with complimentary projects in the energy efficiency building domain, TOPAs in conjunction with MOEEBIUS (, HIT2GAP (, E2District (, INSITER ( and HOLISDER ( projects will present a joint workshop:Reducing the performance gap between predicted and actual energy performances at the level of buildings and blocks of buildings that explores the cross cutting challenges related to ,Data Management, Citizen (occupant) engagement, Replicability & Business Modelling, Upscaling Energy Management, Building Performance Optimisation & Gap Reduction. If you would like to include your project as part of this discussion please feel free to contact me directly to discuss.    

If you are interested in participating in these workshops registration details can be found at:

The ability to create a knowledge base within computers is a crucial way for utilities to improve services, reduce costs and provide new services that increase revenue.

In an Engerati webinar, held on April 19, 2018, Gianluca Mauro, Founder of AI Academy and Ronnie Dibbaut, Subject Matter Expert MPO and Product Innovation, Ferranti Computer Systems, discuss and present the use cases for AI in utilities, and how exactly machine learning develops.
The full article and a link to the webinar are available here:


As we mark the successful achievement of our 5th milestone - Complete System Validation & Replication  Evaluation, we are pleased to update you on recent developments in the TOPAs project since the last newsletter was published. 
The English and French versions of the Newsletter are available at Newsletter.


The energy consumption of buildings lies often far above the performance objectives of the design phase. This is due to several factors, among others serious deficits in the energy operation of building services. TOPAs adopts the principle of continuous performance auditing by not only considering energy use but also knowledge and understanding of the buildings use and their climatic state. Thus it provides a holistic performance auditing process through supporting tools and methodologies that try to minimise the gap between predicted and actual energy use. TOPAs offers an open BMS IoT driven framework. This framework is composed of core services to connect to any BMS and aggregate all the information in an open platform. Add-on services are also available to improve the understanding of buildings and reduce further the gap.

The paper, jointly written and presented by CEA, CIT, IBM & FHISE is available here:


Quality management and building commissioning are key tools in closing the gap between designed and actual energy performance of buildings.  Continuous commissioning and technical monitoring through the building life cycle can ensure that buildings reach, and maintain the intended performance levels.  However, the building commissioning process is often not properly implemented despite the benefits of this approach.
This article summarises the concept, existing initiatives and evidence, initiatives and projects demonstrating the benefits of quality management in buildings.
For the full article, follow the link below:
The following article was published by the European Council on December 19th, 2017.
On December 19, the Estonian presidency reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on a revised directive on the energy performance of buildings.
The directive encourages energy efficiency and will increase energy savings in the building sector.  It brings the existing rules up to date by taking into account recent technological developments.
For the full article, follow the link below:

The "Dresdner Smart Systems Hub" is an event which focuses on an interconnected cooperation to exploit the digital possibilities, and to be effective in the swift competition to make innovative developments and to increase their added value.

TUD presented their work on the AUTERAs tool at the "Dresdner Smart Systems Hub" which took place on December 7th, 2017, as part of a session on the Automated Design of Room Automation System (for Smart Building, Smart Home).  
A service chain was discussed which is able to allow biggest possible assistance. It goes from the early planning phases of buildings over the construction phase up to the management of running buildings with involved partners like planners, manufacturers, system integrators and system operators. The 19 attendees were very interested in the possibilities of the shown Automated Design Process.


BIM (Building Information Modelling) is in many EU countries high on the agenda.  This article is focusing on the potential of BIM in relation to the energy performance of building assessment and also in relation to a better quality of the works.
The following article was published on the 'Build Up' portal website on December 19th, 2017.
Augmented reality (AR) and its variants virtual reality, assited reality and mixed reality, is one of several emerging technologies that is set to take off in a big way and offers the promise of bringing new value to the energy sector.
The following article was published on the 'Engerati' website on December 19th, 2017.


The following article was published by CEA in the Journal of Internet Services and Applications in November 2017.
A smart environment is equipped with numerous devices that are possibly distributed over different locations (e.g., rooms of a smart building). These devices are automatically controlled to achieve different objectives related, for instance, to comfort, security and energy savings. Controlling smart environment devices is not an easy task. This is due to: the heterogeneity of devices, the inconsistencies that can result from communication errors or devices failure, and the conflicting decisions including those caused by environment dependencies. This paper proposes a design framework for the reliable and environment aware management of smart environment devices. The framework is based on the combination of the rule based middleware LINC and the automata based language Heptagon/BZR (H/BZR). 
A case study with concrete devices, in the field of building automation, is presented to illustrate the framework.



As we approach the end of the second year of the TOPAs (Tools for Continuous Building Performance Auditing) project, we are pleased to update you on all the exciting developments that have happened since our last newsletter was published
The English and French versions of the Newsletter are available at Newsletter.


The IFAC - International Federation of Automatic Control, World Congress is the forum of excellence for the exploration of the frontiers in control science and technology. This Congress is attended by a worldwide audience of scientists and engineers from academia and industry. It offers the most up-to-date and complete view of control and automation techniques, with the widest coverage of application fields. It is held once every three years.


This year, the 20th IFAC World Congress was held in Toulouse, France on July 9-14, 2017 and was a great success with more than 3000 attendees, 2400 papers, 33 sessions in parallel, 5 days of conference, and the celebration of the 60th anniversary of IFAC.


CEA together with CIT presented a paper - "Application of Distributed Model Predictive Approaches to Temperature and CO2 Concentration in Buildings"


ifac 2017.pdf


The paper below was published in the German journal "at - Automatisierungstechnik", on June 12, 2017


The design of building automation is not seamless but divided into different fragment (HVAC, lighting, sunblinds etc.). Improvement is possible if the first design step includes all fragments to enforce an integrated design workflow. A knowledge based tool supports a nearly automatic design workflow with fast results.


Early Design of Building Automation TUD.pdf

Leti, a technology research institute at CEA tech, is a global leader in miniaturization technologies enabling smart, energy-efficient and secure solutions for industry. 

This year, TOPAs has been presented in the 'Environmental Transition' section of the "Leti Innovation Days" event, held on June 28-29, 2017.

 LETI Posters V5 BD EN21 PE4.pdf

Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017) is the 5th annual conference organised by the RESILIENT and PERFORMER European projects.

It brings together researchers and developers from industry and the academic world to report and debate on the latest scientific and technical innovations in the application of energy-efficient buildings (EeB) and smart home, community, or grid implementations. 

The event was held on 28-30, June 2017, and hosted by Teesside University (TU) in Middlesbrough, UK.

In this conference, CEA presented the current status of TOPAs, leading to fruitful discussions in the session “Innovative data models for the built environment”, and initial results on advanced controllers developed in TOPAs: "Thermal Control in Buildings using Model Predictive Control under Air Quality Constraints", in the session "Energy consumer engagement models & load profiling".

TOPAs at Sustainable Places 2017 Conference.pdf

TOPAs Poster v4.pdf

2017 Sustainable Places SLesecq.pdf


This paper was presented at the 26th International Symposium on Industrial Electronics, held on June 19-21, 2017, in Edinburgh, UK. 
The communication between different partners to handle the different tasks during the life cycle of buildings is far from being perfect. Fragmented engineering, lack of data consistency, insufficient system documentation or sensitivity for data sharing are only a few of many problems in this field that have not been efficiently handled through researches as well as in practice. This paper focuses on a deeper analysis of these problems mainly in the planning and engineering phases (they are the basis for all other phases) from both technical and economical point of view. An approach to handle these problems will be presented and thoroughly discussed.

TOPAs - Towards a Comprehensive life cycle approach of Building Automation Systems.pdf


This paper was presented at the Coordination Models and Languages, held on June 19-21, 2017, in Neuchatel, Switzerland. 
During the last decades a lot of coordination models and languages have been proposed in the literature. These approaches have proven that they can greatly improve the development of distributed applications that are now common. However, to be used by many developers, there is still a gap regarding the available tools.
This paper details a set of tools that have been built to develop applications in LINC, a coordination environment rooted in Linda tuple spaces and Gamma chemical machine approaches. These tools allow developers to design better coordination rules, to monitor and update a running distributed application. The tools proposed here include design and debugging tools. 


The 15th Dresden's Researcher Night, held on June 16th, 2017 delighted more than 38000 visitors. Over 680 events were organized by the university, colleges, private institutes and companies of Dresden. 
TOPAs' TUD team has shown the TOPAs demonstrators and discussed with approximately 600 visitors about the future usage of TOPAs' technologies in the Faculty of Computer Science of the Technical University of Dresden. Many people were very interested in learning about energy consumption prediction, failure detection and management, as well as system reconfiguration (in case of failures or additional user's requirements). The TOPAs demonstration has fully addressed the visitors' expectations to learn about innovative solutions to energy problems within buildings.

The TOPAs System Prototype Integration and Validation Execution Report presents the achieved system integration and validation status up-to M18 (Prototype Phase) and establishes the basis for the TOPAs full-system integration and validation due M30. This document presents the overall integration achievements and details the tests performed at three pilot sites in Ireland and France.

The report is available at

TOPAs - System Prototype Integration and Validation Execution.pdf

TOPAs provides a holistic and complete system for the management of energy with associated performance indicators to allow continuous checking and corrective action. 

Through the availability of performance indicators related to all aspects of energy use, TOPAs allows energy performance to be monitored continuously, with building level and site level performance indicators, reported on a continuous basis.  The TOPAs set of tools assist in identifying potential energy conservation measures and in setting an energy saving action plan. 

The report is available at

TOPAs - Common indicators for continuous performance auditing.pdf

The TOPAs consortium issued the Newsletter summarizing the main Project achievements by Q2 2017. The English and French versions of the Newsletter are available at Newsletter


This paper was presented at the ARM workshop in the ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware Conference, held on December 12-16, 2016 in Trento, Italy.  
Adaptive systems behaviours can be intuitively programmed, using rule based middleware, as a set of rules. The rules verify conditions and perform actions in order to achieve a set of objectives. However, this raises several problems. First, inconsistencies may result from the fact that an action is not actually performed due to a communication error or a hardware failure. Second, the rules may be conflicting and their sequential chaining may lead to undesirable behaviour. This paper proposes an approach that combines transactional and behavioural reliability (i.e. consistency and no conflict) in adaptive middleware. This approach is implemented using the middleware LINC and the automata based language Heptagon/BZR. A case study, in the field of building automation, is presented to illustrate the approach 

Combining Transactional and Behavioural Reliability in Adaptive Middleware.pdf


This paper was presented at the SystemSim workshop in the International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Communications, held on November 13-17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  
Optimization of the energy consumption of sensor networks is traditionally performed either at the sensor node level or at the network level. However, more energy savings can be obtained if the application that makes use of the sensor nodes is considered. In order to achieve such extra energy gains, control theory can be applied. This paper summarizes control strategies implemented to minimize the energy consumption of a set of sensor nodes, while ensuring the application Quality of Service, this latter being mainly expressed with a minimum number of samples that must be available at the application level at each sampling time. With the Control strategies proposed, the sensor network lifetime is increased compared to the case without control strategy at application level. The control strategies have been implemented and evaluated on a real testbed composed of heterogeneous sensor nodes, and using the LINC middleware for node coordination.  


Energy Management of a set of sensor nodes at application level using the LINC Middleware

This paper was presented at the ACM International Conference on Embedded Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environment - BuildSys, held on November 16-17, 2016 Palo Alto, CA, USA. 

Sensorized commercial buildings are a rich target for building a new class of applications that improve operational and energy efficiency of building operations that take into account human activities. Such applications, however, rarely experience widespread adoption due to the lack of a common descriptive schema that would enable porting these applications and systems to different buildings. Our demo presents Brick, a uniform schema for representing metadata in buildings. Our schema defines a concrete ontology for sensors, subsystems and relationships among them, which enables portable applications. Using a web application, we will demonstrate real buildings that have been mapped to the Brick schema, and show application queries that extracts relevant metadata from these buildings. The attendees would be able to create example buildings and write their own queries.   


The Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) Concerted Actions (CA) recently held a live streamed workshop on ‘Smart Buildings for a greener Europe: Emerging Policy and Practices”.

The Concerted Action EPBD (CA EPBD) addresses the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). It aims to contribute to the reduction of energy use in European buildings, through the exchange of knowledge and best practices in the field of energy efficiency and energy savings between all 28 European Union Member States plus Norway.

The European Portal For Energy Efficiency In Buildings “BUILD UP” recently published presentations and video recordings of workshop “Smart Buildings for a greener Europe: Emerging Policy and Practice”.

Have a look at >>    

This paper was presented at the ACM International Conference on Embedded Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environment - BuildSys, held on November 16-17, 2016 Palo Alto, CA, USA.  

Commercial buildings have long since been a primary target for applications from a number of areas: from cyber-physical systems to building energy use to improved human interactions in built environments. While technological advances have been made in these areas, such solutions rarely experience widespread adoption due to the lack of a common descriptive schema which would reduce the now-prohibitive cost of porting these applications and systems to different buildings. Recent attempts have sought to address this issue through data standards and metadata schemes,but fail to capture the set of relationships and entities required by real applications. Building upon these works,this paper describes Brick,a uniform schema for representing metadata in buildings. Our schema defines a concrete ontology for sensors, sub-systems and relationships among them,which enables portable applications. We demonstrate the completeness and effectiveness of Brick by using it to represent the entire vendor-specific sensor metadata of six diverse buildings across different campuses, comprising 17,700 data points, and running eight complex unmodified applications on these buildings. 

Brick: Towards a Unified Metadata Schema for Buildings.pdf

This paper was presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON), held on October 23-27, 2016 at the Palazzo dei Congressi, Florence, Italy.  
This paper describes the creation of an IoT driven architecture to support the realization of an OpenBMS approach to managing blocks of buildings. The objective is to overcome the complexities of integration, operation and management of heterogeneous building systems by leveraging existing IoT approaches. The goal is to eliminate vertical data silos and enable the holistic management of energy across existing and new building blocks.  

This paper was presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON), held on October 23-27, 2016 at the Palazzo dei Congressi, Florence, Italy.  

Reliability is one of the biggest challenges when using Wireless Sensor-Actuator Networks in control systems.  This paper exploits the transactional guarantees offered by the LINC coordination environment to provide reliability and robustness in wireless control systems. 


Reliable Control through Wireless Networks.pdf

This paper was presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON), held on October 23-27, 2016 at the Palazzo dei Congressi, Florence, Italy.  
The paper presents our work on the Coordination Scheme Editor (CSE). This editor provides a web interface to design building automation rules.  The CSE also offers a monitoring interface to know which scenario is impacted by one or several faulty sensors/actuators. The CSE relies on the LINC middleware to provide coordination across several building automation systems and sensors/actuators technologies.

Project Information

Project Acronym: TOPAs
Project Number: 676760
Call Topic: EeB-07-2015
Project Start Date: 01 November 2015
Duration: 36 months
Coordinator: Boris Kantsepolsky
Organisation: Motorola Solutions Israel