With smart IT systems, modern buildings can manage heating, cooling and lighting on their own – on a sunny day they will, for example, automatically close the blinds. But there are many factors influencing a building, and getting the programming completely right is not an easy task. Construction specialist Paul Wurth Geprolux has joined forces with the University of Luxembourg to use big data analysis in order to get an in-depth understanding of how buildings behave and thus improve its automation systems.

With its extensive experience of managing major building projects and expertise in the technical engineering of buildings, Paul Wurth Geprolux knows the potential for enhancing existing systems. “In every up-to-date building, large amounts of data are permanently generated by thousands of interconnected devices that operate various systems: heating, air conditioning and so on,” explains Paul Schummer, Project Engineer at Geprolux. “This data could tell us a lot about what is going on in the building, how the automated systems respond and what the results are – for example, whether the building is capable of keeping a constant, pleasant temperature without excessive use of the heating or air conditioning.”

Analysing these enormous series of data is, however, a daunting task that requires advanced skills in big data analysis, algorithm development and innovative data treatment techniques. In 2015, Paul Wurth entered a four-year research collaboration with the SnT, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust of the University of Luxembourg. The two partners have started by collecting building data in a large school in Luxembourg for almost a year, and more than 18 million data sets are currently being analysed by the SnT. “Applying our models on a real-life case and working with Paul Wurth’s smart building experts allows us to optimise our algorithms in a way we could not have done on our own,” says Jacques Klein, Senior Research Scientist at the SnT.

And the knowledge is already being put to practical use. “We are developing visual dashboards that provide an easy overview of what goes on in the building and help detect anomalies,” says Mr 16 Schummer. “Our goal is to help facility managers identify situations when they need to intervene, by reprogramming certain automatic actions for instance. We also want to help everyday users understand why certain actions have been programmed so they don’t manually override them in a way that has a negative impact on the use of resources. If the blinds close when the sun is not yet very strong, it might be to avoid that the building quickly gets too hot and uses more energy for cooling down than what would otherwise be needed.”

The strength of the collaboration lies in bringing together the complementary skills of the partners. “We are confident that the combination of our two worlds will lead us to fruitful results,” Mr Schummer concludes.

Read more

LGX goes Digital


For its 2020 edition, the Luxembourg Gaming Xperience is adapting to the circumstances. It will offer, from 18 to 20 December, a 100% digital version which should delight all lovers of geek culture, e-sport and other new technologies.
Read more

Smart voice messages: a tool for patient-doctor and customer-company communication


Luxembourg start-up SoftBrik is developing an artificial intelligence-based system for capturing customer feedback via voice messages. One of the winners of the StartupsVsCovid19 competition, the company is also transforming its solution into a tool helping doctors receive and respond to messages from patients in a timely and efficient manner.
Read more

10 key technologies shaping the post COVID-19 economy


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our ways of living, working, consuming and travelling, and has had a huge impact on companies’ and consumers’ use of technology. Luxinnovation lists 10 key technologies that will play a crucial role in the economy over the months and years to come.
Read more

DigiJourney: Digital transformation journey for SMEs


The DigiJourney projet, of which Luxinnovation is a partner, has released a Design Options Paper providing recommendations for European innovation agencies on how to improve their digitalisation support services for companies through a well-designed client journey.
Read more

A new centre for technology development


In 2019, Luxinnovation supported a growing number of international companies opening offices in Luxembourg. One of them, HighSide, has chosen Luxembourg
as a centre for developing its highly secure messaging and files platform that protects users against phishing, spoofing, mass data breaches and insider threats.
Read more

All news