Foto: Fenster des Freihofs Sulz

FM.Comfort/FM.Ware - Software for optimizing the use of energie and other resources in the virtual house

The expert system FM.Comfort/FM.Ware realizes the so called virtual house (vh). The virtual house is the computer model of a real building. This computer model supports the optimization of the use of energy and other resources by analysis of the life and work habits of the residents and the positive influence on inhabitants-behaviours (user motivation).

Short Description





The main aim is to develop a software system called FM.Comfort/FM.Ware (fmw.vh), which is able to represent a model of a complete description of a building. This computer based description should be suitable for visualizing, technical modelling and analyzing of the building infrastructure and the influence and behaviour of the inhabitants.

This software should be tested in a real-time-environment at several demonstration-installations where the optimization-effect is to be analyzed.

In order to reach this aim, know-how from the areas of energy-management and information-technology was brought together, to produce an acceptable result.


The project-work is divided into several main working-modules, whose content is described as follows.

A) Database and adaptive procedures of information-representation

A database forms the kernel of the virtual house, who describes the building and also all building-parts in a structural and graphically manner. However this database also regards the technical properties and manages the relationship between the facilities. This description is done in the form of a relational database-system, that is realized with Oracle.

This static description of the database of the virtual house is supplemented by a dynamic model of the technical properties of each single building-component and also the relationships between the building-components. This model describes the relationships of the technical installations among each other - particularly in the sense of energy- and resource-consumption (for: heating, water, water-preparation, air conditioning, electricity), of an individual facility as well as parts of an individual facility. We expect to find a description-technology which can be simply adjusted by unexperienced users.

B) Intelligent self-learning controls (ISS-software)

The database and models of the facilities in the database should be computed and handled adaptive. That means, that the data structures within the database and models of the facilities refine itself continually and self-reliant (without interventions of technicians).

This task is taken by an "intelligent software", by intelligent self-learning controls. So, it can "be learned", that for a resource-optimization, the analysis of a certain users-behaviour (e.g. water-consumption) is not necessary all the day but only during certain times (in the evening and in the morning). But within this period the analysis is done more accurate to achieve better results for the analysis of the water-consumption.

Furthermore, it should be tried to analyze the users preferences. You can learn when a user is active (during the daytime but not during the nighttime), when does he requires energy and resources. Does he require more on weekend or always the same? It is also important not to presuppose the unified-user in a building, but either to handle the multiplicity of different life-styles. Not each user and therefore every utilization-unit can to be regarded as identical.

Finally it is also important that an user can announce his preferences and can also take an influence on the control of the installations (e.g. no demand for midday; or new working times, therefore no demand in the evening; or certain shift work period, therefore demand during shift work period)

C) Mobile input-appliances and sensors

That measuring- and recording-network of many classic controls is completely statically implemented. This project should also experiment with the possibility to use, mobile components and components which can easily be adjusted to the adaptive control structure of the virtual house (e.g. mobile temperature-tentacles, mobile energy-consumption-recording-units, ...).

An important possibility, to improve the models for the optimization of the energy-consumption, exists in the attempt to include the users into the optimization-processes. This should be done by using of process-wizards and interaction with the user through units of the daily use, like (mobile phone, pocket pcs or internet pcs).

D) Modern motivation-technologies for resource-optimization

The users of a building, an utilization-unit or an apartment should be stimulated to a change of behaviour regarding optimal resource-utilization. Mainly by the automatic providing of information about the energy and resource-consumption of a building and the individual utilization-units, the user will be stimulated to the optimization. This is done by information like Time series for total-consumption or user-consumption.

Also in this area modern communication-units of the daily use (mobile phone, Pocket PC and internet) will find their utilization.

Personal optimization-plans or optimization-steps for each person or organization should stimulate to a change of behaviour.

Enter into a competition with others: This applies to users of a building - who is "the energy-saver"; who is the one, who has mostly improved his performance. But this is also applicable for the "resource-optimized" buildings among each other - we need charts for the best driven buildings or charts for the most innovative improvements.

Global competitions, passing on of cost-saving to the consumer: It should be examined: What is the reaction of passing on cost-savings to the users or the giving an award to the consumers. It should be quantified if there is a significant change in users behaviours in respect to the aim of energie-optimization.

The result of this development is an internet-portal (a content-management-system), that can fulfil the described tasks for every project. We also want to prove this feasibility at several demonstration-projects.

Project Partners

Project management

Ing. Hartwig Willfort,
Energie- und Gebäudemanagement GmbH

DI. Bernhard von der Thannen,
von der thannen & partner - informationstechnologie

Contact Address

Ing. Hartwig Willfort
Energie- und Gebäudemanagement GmbH
Obere Donaustraße 63,
A 1020 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 31317-3672
Fax: +43 (1) 31317-3700

Dipl. Ing. Bernhard von der Thannen
von der thannen & partner - informationstechnologie
Obere Donaustraße 63/Stg. 3/1. Stock,
A-1020 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 2163554-20
Fax: +43 (1) 2163554-11

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