Intelligent Control for Comfort, Energy and Flexibility Optimisation

iBECOME is a 42 month Horizon 2020 project which aims at demonstrating a combination of novel technologies and new business models in the form of a virtual Building Management System (vBMS) for optimizing buildings energy performance and comfort conditions, while reducing the operational costs by leveraging demand response. 

The vBMS will utilise both physics-based dynamic building simulation and data-based ML techniques to optimise thermal and visual comfort, energy performance and flexibility while its openness will be accommodating 3rd parties to make use of its functionalities and data to provide additional type of services. Smart meters and smart thermostats along other ICT technologies (e.g. IoT devices) enable the deployment of those services to any building and facility.

The virtual BMS concept

The building’s architecture and fabric features, along with HVAC and DER information, will be used to develop a building simulation model of the facility.
On-site meters and sensors will be feeding real time information of the building performance in the iBECOME Data Management platform along with real time information of energy markets and weather.

The three streams of real time data (facility, energy markets, weather) will provide the first level of the iBECOME energy management functionality which will include visualisation of performance metrics, display of insights and suggestions for manual interventions at the operational conditions of the building energy systems by the facilities managers. Those functions will be displayed in the iBECOME dashboard.

The second level of functionality uses the data streams from the facility and the weather to calibrate the building simulation model. That process will be fully automated, requiring on-site data from at least a smart meter and a smart thermostat.

The calibrated physics-based building simulation model’s runs will generate output to train ML techniques to develop data-based models that will be used to calculate comfort and flexibility. The physics-based and data-based models will be used interchangeably (according to which one is the best fit for the particular application) for the determination and deployment of the iBECOME control routines that will enable the iBECOME energy
services. The control routines will be called from the iBECOME vBMS and fed into the on-site BMS or other controlling ICT equipment.

A fully deployed version of the iBECOME vBMS could evolve into an operational digital twin of the building or the facility since its different components (data management and analytics platform, 3D geometrical representation of the building through the building simulation model, bidirectional integration with the building assets) constitute a digital replica of the actual physical assets both in real time and in potential (what-if) scenarios.

The third level of functionality refers to the capability of the iBECOME platform to interconnect with 3rd party platforms for the collaborative provision of other energy or non-energy services. 3rd party service providers can either use data from the iBECOME platform or use the iBECOME vBMS to send signals to on-site equipment and endusers
or do both.

Project Progress

IEQ virtual sensors and flexibility determination 100%
Development of virtual BMS architecture, technical specifications and interoperability features 100%
Development of control functions for intelligent energy services (energy efficiency, occupant comfort, demand response, fault detection, measurement & verification) 75%
Demonstration in real buildings in operation 15%
Demonstration in real buildings in retrofit conditions 20%
Development of new business models for valorisation of energy resources in buildings 20%

Engagement Activities

Project Workshops

Interactive engagement sessions with multi-disciplinary entities and potential end-users.


demonstrate and test the innovative energy services in real buildings

Training Sessions

Internal and external training initiatives on integration and interconnectivity


Showcase the capabilities and expected impact of the vBMS in live and recorded virtual sessions

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 894617.

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