SINOM: A platform for strategic maintenance and renovation planning of housing portfolios
Researchers Claudio Nägeli and Abolfazl ”Amir” Farahani have developed a desktop tool to make it easy for housing owners to make financially feasible and long-term maintenance and renovation plans. The unique optimization algorithm of the tool enables the user to create perennial plans for maintenance and renovation, forecast the energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions and to keep track of building components and service-life. The tool Sinom is not only welcomed by housing owners, this unique concepts has granted the researchers a spot on the IVA (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences) 100 list of 2021: “From knowledge to sustainable emergency readiness”.
– What we strive for as researchers is for our results to be utilized and create value, for people in their everyday life and for the environment. So, an acknowledgement like this from the IVA feels very positive, says Claudio Nägeli.
The Swedish building stock is relatively old and in need of extensive renovation measures in order to meet today´s building standards and targets for energy performance improvements. Having limited resources, housing owners face a difficult situation in planning for maintenance and renovation, which often lead to measures being postponed, resulting in an even worse situation when improvements aren’t executed in time. This is where Claudio Nägeli’s and Abolfazl Farahani’s tool comes in. The name Sinom is a wink to the Swedish phrase” i sinom tid” (in due time) which captures both short-term needs and the proactive and long-term approach that the researchers want the tool to contribute its users with, by the distinct visualization and incorporation of future needs and objectives presented in the tool.
– For housing owners the use of the Sinom tool will mean help working proactively and to prioritize measures in line with budgetary preconditions. And for residents, they might experience that improvements actually are being executed in time, without too big of an increase in rent, says Claudio Nägeli.
About Sinom and the researchers
Parts of his research is also described here (in Swedish): Stegvis planering blir modellen för allmännyttan
The collaboration was initiated in the end of their doctoral studies after realising their research areas had many common denominators. With them in the Sinom project is also Professor Jan-Olof Dalenbäck, the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, division of Building Services Engineering. The work in the project involves houwing and real estate companies like Stena Fastigheter, Familjebostäder and Bostadsbolaget. The project is financed by Energimyndigheten (the Swedish Energy Agency) platform E2B2, and the researchers are in the final phase of finalizing the prototype of the tool.
Refrigerators to balance the energy grid
Another ACE connected researcher who has been awarded a spot on the IVA 100 list is Tommie Månsson, Doctor from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Division of Building Technology, with his concept for using supermarkets as thermal buffers for renewable electricity grids. Tommie Månsson has a doctorate from 2020. Link to his doctoral thesis: Supermarket refrigeration systems for demand response in smart grids
Tommie Månsson describes his innovation as follows :
"Our supermarkets make for an important and underused resource in the shift towards a sustainable energy production – they offer flexibility through the possibility to store energy in their cooling systems. When the sun is shining and the wind blows, sustainable energy is being generated, but unfortunately, we cannot regulate the production to match our needs. Instead, we need to shift and make energy consumers adapt to the existing energy capacity. For this purpose, we have developed a concept where the supermarkets cooling systems contribute the electricity grid with its flexibility and hence contribute to an decreased climate impact from the energy production.”