Interior from HSB Living Lab - water meters
​Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist

Resources and equipment

A large number of sensors and monitoring systems was installed in HSB Living Lab during construction, forming the backbone of an advanced infrastructure intended to facilitate research and innovation projects aimed at both how we design and construct our homes and how we lead our lives. Projects that are approved within the HSB Living Lab will have the opportunity to access on collected data - from detailed disaggregated direct utility consumption (cold and hot water and electricity) to ambient space parameters (temperature, humidity and CO2) and to indirect utility consumption (district heating and ventilation). Below is a desctiption of the most significant sensor systems. For a more detailed description on sensors and cost, go to the sensor data portal.

Water and wastewater metering (measurements)
Water consumption is measured on every individual access point throughout the building. Where applicable hot and cold water are measured separately. In total 240 water meters are installed in the HSB Living Lab measuring flows from 0.2 liter per minute, and water temperature.
For technical reasons only temperature is measured on the waste water side.

Electricity metering (measurements)
Disaggregated electricity consumption is monitored on individual socket level by 530 sensors. Current power (W), as well as the total accumulated electrical energy consumption is measured with 1% and 0.1 kWh resolution respectively. Temporal resolutions goes as low as 1 s-1. This setup opens up for very detailed studies of for example usage patterns of individual appliances, but also real time feedback.

District heating meters
District heating and energy consumption is monitored on each individual dwelling. The resolution of the district heating metering is 10 Wh, corresponding to using a water kettle (2000 W) for about 18 seconds. By monitoring the energy used for space heating it is possible to correlate heating demand to for example occupancy, impact of custom façade elements and fittings and, together with other data, occupant behavioral profile.

Ventilation monitoring
In the ventilation system we have installed sensors monitoring air flow (4%), air velocity (2%), relative humidity (3% rH) and air temperature (0.15 °C), accuracy given in brackets. The data provided by this sensor system facilitates for example energy balance calculations.

Ambient room parameters
In major part of the rooms and public areas there is a sensor array measuring temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels. There are over 80 of these smart boxes installed, constantly measuring comfort parameters.  The accuracy of the sensors are 0.6 °C, 2.5% rH and 50 ppm for temperature, relative humidity and CO2 respectively.

Positioning sensors
Every floor in the building is covered by a high-precision, real-time positioning system. By attaching tracking tags to objects or asking people to wear them, it is possible to follow their movement with 20 cm resolution, every 0.2 seconds. It is possible to enable triggers based on movement and zone positioning, opening up for interesting research applications based on movement and position.

Weather data
On the rooftop of HSB Living Lab a weather station has been installed which measures temperature, wind, solar radiation, air pressure, CO2 concentration  and precipitation. There are also four façade mounted stations which measure temperature, wind, solar radiation and air pressure which give researchers access to detailed local weather data.

In-wall sensors
For the purpose of monitoring moisture transport and insulation performance of façade elements there are several pre-mounted in wall sensors measuring humidity and temperature.

Other systems
There is a large range of sensors and data generating systems in the HSB Living Lab, including usage data from washing machines, elevator, fire alarm, entrance access and other project specific sensing systems. These systems however, are not considered being a part of the core research infrastructure, and their installation, maintenance and development varies and depend on external funding.

Data storage, security and accessibility
Together the sensors in HSB Living Lab generate over 100,000 lines of data every day, or approximately 100 gigabyte (GB) data per year. The data is relayed and managed on six servers and eight intermediate databases, before being stored in a Hadoop database optimized for large volumes of data. To maintain data security and protect the privacy of inhabitants the collected data is anonymized and encrypted.
Data is being made available to researchers either through batch queries (historical data) or through a private key API (real-time or pseudo real-time data). Data access is restricted based on project specific requirement and contractual agreement. The data delivery system is also being considered an integral part of the infrastructure.

Infrastructure maintenance
The HSB Living Lab research infrastructure maintenance and development is financed partly by funds from Chalmers university of technology, and partly by charges applied to research projects for accessing (parts of) the infrastructure and the generated data.
How can I get access to the data?
The short answer is: by submitting a research project proposal or application describing your project with clearly stated intended use of the data. If the project proposal is approved your research project will be given an encrypted key that can be used to access data as per the project contract. A fee for accessing the data will be applied to the project. Read all about the application process here

Published: Mon 16 Sep 2019.