IsZEB DIH (Intelligent Solutions for Zero and Positive Energy Buildings DIH) is the Greek Cluster dedicated to the construction sector. Located in the region of Central Macedonia and established in 2020, IsZEB is based on the triple helix “Industry – Research Institution – Public Association”. Its flexible corporate structure, includes the leading Greek companies and authorities in the field of Smart Energy Buildings, covering the sectors of Research, Energy, Informatics, Constructions, Building Materials, Automation Systems, Security, etc. It provides services in the fields of “Research & Development” of new Products and Services, “Innovation Management”, “Development of Ecosystem” and “Training & Education”.
The cluster fully covers the lifecycle of a building, from design and construction, to operation, maintenance and recycling, aiming to meet the specifications that will enable it to be identified as a Smart Energy Building. Thus, IsZEB is working towards the combination of ICT technologies with Energy Solutions in order to establish Smart Building Energy Certificates that leverage existing and new technologies, such as the Energy Performance Certificates, Energy Labels, Smart Readiness Indicators, as well as a guide of best practices on the creation, operation and maintenance of Smart Zero-or-Positive Energy Buildings. The cluster aims to completely digitise the construction sector, and provide tools and guidelines for the entire building’s lifecycle.
The NZEB Smart Home DIH – which is part of IsZEB – is a unique nearly zero-Energy Building based on state-of-the-art building materials (insulation, glass panes etc.) with "smart" technologies that allow the exploration of various ICT research domains, such as Robotics and Assisted (Tele-) Health services, or optimized energy efficient building management while simultaneously automating the Renewable Energy Sources use. The Smart Energy Home is used as a pilot program for validation/testing of new technologies and services provided by the research community in general. It is equipped with a multi-sensorial network that measures in real-time almost all parameters that consist open challenges for a modern home/workplace (energy, occupancy, health, etc.). Robotics and cutting-edge equipment for Virtual and Augmented Reality are also part of the technologies being used, and in combination with various smart devices and innovative solutions (e.g. grey water recycling, clean measurement, etc.) equip the building with the most innovative and research-promising technologies.
It constantly evolves by actively participating in different research projects and through the collaboration with local, national and cross-border companies. Hence, as an evolving DIH, it can adapt to the highly diverse market requirements.
The nZEB Smart Home (Fully operational DIH since 2017) aims to become a cornerstone DIH for R&D and commercialisation of cutting edge digital solutions in line with the National, Cross-border and European digitisation objectives. It has participated in many H2020 projects and EU Initiatives (e.g. DIHELP, AI DIH Network, DIHNET, DIH^2 etc.), as well as national projects (KRIPIS I, KRIPIS II & ORION). The Smart Home and its coordinator (CERTH/ITI) are part of the Big Data Value Association (BDVA member) as well as active member of the German Initiative Industrial Data Space (IDS), which are main leading initiatives linked with European Policy Initiatives (i.e. IDS is linked with Industry 4.0 in Germany). Furthermore, CERTH (and the nZEB ecosystem) is actively contributing to EFFRA (European Factories of the Future Research Association), through its participation to relevant European & National funded projects.
IsZEB and nZEB Smart Home are both located in the campus of CERTH (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas), in Thessaloniki – Central Macedonia, Greece.
The founding partners of IsZEB are established in the region of Central Macedonia, ranging from small to big size companies, research institutions and public associations, all working in the construction field. They represent the entire value chain, reflecting the changing trends in technologies, processes, and projects. IsZEB constitutes of 16 highly technological capable Founding Partners with the necessary heterogeneity to support all aspects of the project, whereas due to the nature of its structure, it offers strong market ties with multiple private stakeholders That holistic approach is needed to define the construction value chain, so all relevant stakeholders can jointly develop strategies, exploit emerging technologies and commercialize services and products. Most of the partners have participated in multiple R&D projects and agglomerate extended results over research and innovation on the construction sector. The cluster consists of 16 partners (11 SMEs, 3 Large Companies, 1 Research Center, 1 Association):
ΕΚΕΤΑ // CLOCKWORK // ELBIS // FIBRAN // GNOMON // ΚΛΙΜΑΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΗ // MLS // WATT AND VOLT // ZARIFOPOULOS // IDRIAC // INTERPLAST // EΛΔΙΑ // EUROCONSULTANTS // MINDMED // PRAGMA-IOT // ΣΕΒΕ
IsZEB is also a member of “Elevate Greece”, an Initiative launched by the Greek Government, intended to identify promising start-ups and support their growth. IsZEB joined the innovation ecosystem of Elevate Greece as Innovation Cluster. Additionally, IsZEB participated as a partner in the cluster "SYNERGINN HUB" of the Region of Western Macedonia, which aspires to become an EDIH. The SYNERGINN HUB succeeded in the national phase.
Furthermore, the nZEB Smart Home has been regionally and nationally recognized as a crucial element of the digital industry that facilitates cooperation between national and regional authorities, SMEs, universities and enterprises. Outside the CERTH environment, the nZEB Smart Home already collaborates with members from the private sector, ranging from SMEs of different sizes to large industrial stakeholders, that are considered to be key players in their respective domain. Collaboration also exists with more than 200 EU and National Organisations (all Greek Universities and Research Centres and more than 70 companies, governmental organisations (municipalities, hospitals, etc.) and industrial user partners in various domains. The regional ecosystem of companies includes sectors such as Robotics, Automation, ICT solutions, Telecommunications, Energy, Electronics, Elevators, Consulting Services, Building Materials and Health Solutions.
Infrastructures and services
The services of IsZEB include “Research & Development” of new Products and Services, “Innovation Management”, “Development of Ecosystem” and “Training & Education”.
Apart from the services mentioned above, IsZEB is working on the development of a new standard for the construction sector. It includes a methodology to assess the energy efficiency and the smartness of a building accompanied by the relevant Standard and Certification Process and an analysis of existing standards and methodologies on a national and international level. It is a dynamic Standard, as the following versions will include more domains (ex. LCC, LCA, Building Pathology).
Also, IsZEB is developing a calculator to assess the smart readiness of buildings, based on the European methodology SRI and launch of pilot tests and is working on the creation of the online platform «IsZEB Hub», which will integrate the IsZEB Tools and software (SRI Calculator, ΙsZEB Calculator, IsZEB Certify, IsZEB Charge, IsZEB Assist AR etc.)
The nZEB Smart Home was constructed based on state of the art materials (insulations, windows, etc.) with smart sensing technologies that provide an advanced and innovative technological testbed infrastructure. A variety of sensors, actuators and devices is installed and is currently applied in many R&D projects, including but not limited to: Energy related IoT equipment, Health related IoT equipment, Prototype Robotics, VR & AR platforms, HPC, 3D Scanners & Printers and much more.
The nZEB Smart Home is an active liaison between research and the markets, acting as a driving force for empowering market-oriented stakeholders with innovative digital solutions. It offers a variety of services, which are categorized as follows:
- Research & Development: Specific R&D, Feasibility study, Proof of concept, Access to infrastructure, Concept validation, Fast Prototyping, Trend Analysis and more…
- Innovation Management: High level Technology Readiness Management, Provision of Infrastructure, Provision of Cutting-edge equipment, Training on innovative products and solutions, Connection to funding sources.
- Ecosystem: Technology Scouting, Brokerage, Ecosystem building, Training on technical & Soft skills, Communication of best practices, Access to a vast pool of partnerships