A greater uptake of smart technologies is expected to lead to significant, cost-effective energy savings, while also helping to improve indoor comfort in a manner that enables the building to adjust to the needs of the user.
Smart buildings have also been identified and acknowledged as key enablers of future energy systems for which there will be a larger share of renewables, distributed supply and demand-side energy flexibility.
In the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), one of the focal points is to improve the realisation of this potential of Smart Ready Technologies in the building sector.
Therefore, the revised EPBD requires the development of a voluntary European scheme for rating the smart readiness of buildings: the “Smart Readiness Indicator” (SRI).
The SRI aims to make the added value of building smartness more tangible for building users, owners, tenants and smart service providers. The present technical study was commissioned to support the development of this indicator.
The SRI-scheme is intended to raise awareness about the benefits of smart buildings - in particular from an energy perspective - and thereby stimulate investments in smart building technologies and support the uptake of technology innovation in the building sector.
It is also within the scope of the SRI to enhance synergies between energy, buildings and other policy segments, in particular in the ICT area, and through this contribute to cross-sectorial integration of the buildings sector into future energy systems and markets.
A Smart Readiness Indicator for buildings therefore provides information on the technological readiness of buildings to interact with their occupants and the energy grids, and on their capabilities for more efficient operation and improved performance through the use of ICT technologies.
For building occupants, owners and investors of both existing and new buildings, the SRI is designed to provide information on the smart services the building could deliver.
Valuable information on the smartness level of the building - and potential improvements - could steer investment decisions.
A transition towards ‘smarter’ buildings will induce multiple benefits to the users of the buildings, such as better energy efficiency, health and wellbeing, comfort and convenience.
By providing a common language for all main stakeholders, the SRI can help boost the market uptake of smart ready technologies through the establishment of a credible and integrated instrument.