The Madrid office building

5 September 2012 — Self-learning software, which will help buildings which optimise how they consume energy and resources using wireless sensor technology and data mining methods, is being implemented across Europe.

Manchester’s University of Salford reports it is taking part in the project to develop the technology which will apply to new and existing buildings and help to reduce the estimated 35 per cent of the continent’s carbon emissions that come from the built environment.

At the university, computer scientists will be responsible for applying self-learning software to the system which will allow the buildings to become more efficient over time as data is gathered by sensors.

Called SEEDS, the project’s first demonstration sites are at the University of Stavanger campus in Norway and an office block in Madrid, Spain.

They were chosen for their high levels of energy use and contrasting local lifestyles and weather conditions. Scientists will collect data such as temperature, humidity, luminance and occupancy via wireless sensors and the software will then learn to optimise heating and ventilation so that user comfort is satisfied but energy consumption is minimised.

Salford’s School of Computing, Science and Engineering Professor Sunil Vadera said the project was of major importance “as it brings together scientists from different specialisms and locations”.

“Using software in this way has the potential to make our buildings much more energy efficient without having to rely on every single person using them in the correct manner,” he said.