Buildings and neighborhoods: energy efficiency and environmental impact

WT SA, Sottas Building SA, Amstein+Walthert Genève SA et Aeby+Mouthon Architectes SA

Jacques Robadey
Skills directory

January 2019 - August 2021

PCM-based solutions for building heating & cooling. The real estate heating/cooling consuming 34% of the Swiss energy must be improved. The main issue is the refurbishment of old buildings. We propose to replace their heating by low cost PCM heat exchangers that store heat and cold with available renewable energy and restore it when required.

This temperature control system works as well in winter and summer.

Heating and cooling represents 34% of Swiss energy consumption and the 2050 energy strategy plans to reduce it by one third. Although this goal is feasible for new buildings, it remains a challenge for the refurbishment of existing buildings. Furthermore, any envisioned solution must enhance the use of renewable energy while remaining compliant with the numerous standards and affordable for end-customers.

So far, PCM remains poorly used due to low thermal conductivity; our research addresses this issue through simulations of conductivity & convection to improve thermal extraction and optimize the modular design accordingly. At HEIA-FR premises, a digitally controlled demonstrator highlights the gained performance and allows to test the compliance to SIA standards.

The PCM products large storage capacity, modular construction, multiple functionality and easy integration in new and refurbished buildings make them attractive on the market. Architects expressed therefore their interest to use the product when available. 

Watch the presentation of the project (in French).