Systems and buildings integrated into the city and the territories: SITE

On the scale of an urban territory (by 2050, two thirds of humanity will be living in cities), the building must be seen as an active node of the energy system: an energy producer, connected to the electricity grid, interacting at the neighbourhood level, subject to a poorly understood microclimate and inhabited by occupants whose behaviour is also poorly understood.

This theme deals with the study and optimisation of the performance of buildings or groups of buildings in their environment with a resolutely global approach. The interactions between buildings via energy networks can be studied up to the scale of a territory. It will be a question of considering the specificities related to the spatio-temporal scales considered in terms of input data, modelling, experimental characterisation and performances to be optimised.

Scientific orientations

Concerning energy production, we are working on the development of "improved" solar cadastral tools that take into account the specificities of the urban environment and its full extent


Solar potential modelling on PV plants (Diva for Rhino4Diva - G2Solaire project)



In addition to the efforts made to evaluate the production potential (thermal and electrical), it is necessary to improve the match between supply and demand. In order to respond to this problem, urban energy networks make it possible to pool local sources of renewable energy on a massive scale, based on the abundance of resources and needs in a given area, with the aim of collective self-consumption. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of urban heating networks towards low temperatures (4th generation networks) allowing the massive integration of renewable and recovery energy sources ( OREBE projects supported by the AURA region and RETHINE financed byADEME).

Thus, buildings will potentially be prosumers (producers/consumers) and will participate in satisfying needs through decentralised production. The bi-directional substations, which will then make it possible to make the most of these local production capacities, constitute a development axis which will contribute to the energy efficiency of the territory connected to the network. The intermittent nature of renewable energies implies the inclusion of energy storage solutions in order to manage the time lag between production and need. This issue is reflected in a strong demand for multi-criteria decision support tools (energy, environmental, economic, etc.) for stakeholders in the field to help them undertake this energy transition in an informed manner. The integration and sizing of these different technologies requires a dynamic systemic approach, based on an exergy analysis to characterise the qualities of the energies involved (thermal, electrical, etc.), for a rational use of energy in a territory.