Project Details


Transition to a low-carbon future calls for lowering energy demand and an increased use of intermittent energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Buildings account for roughly 40% of all energy use (for heating-cooling) and have, therefore, a prominent role in this transition. Buildings should, however, not be seen in isolation.

There are several reasons for considering buildings as part of the energy system. First, energy savings in buildings may be balanced by related energy systems’ initiatives; second, building technologies should be developed related to specific local infrastructures; and third the inclusion of buildings into the energy infrastructure may deliver flexibility services if buildings can be used to store energy as heating. Buildings can thus serve as distributed system generators, and improvements in building design can furthermore contribute substantially to energy savings.

To realize these potentials, technical developments within smart energy systems and buildings technologies are needed. However, if substantial advances are to be made, then these technological developments must be based on a greater understanding of the residents’ social practices, i.e. how they interact with and understand heating technologies and indoor comfort.

The integration of buildings into the energy infrastructure will impact building design, existing modes of heating/cooling, and affect relations between energy providers and buildings owners/residents.

Successful integration of residential buildings into the energy system to achieve energy savings and flexibility requires, therefore, new knowledge of the changing relationships between energy providers and households and of the roles different buildings technologies can play in this. This calls for interdisciplinary research involving social sciences to understand everyday household practices and the complex changes in energy infrastructure, humanistic research to understand the involved actors’ sense-making and communication patterns, and technical research and development in building technologies. The InterHUB project will be dedicated to providing this knowledge, and we will argue that the question of integrating buildings into the energy systems represents a very strong case for why interdisciplinary research is needed.
Short titleInterHUB
Effective start/end date01/04/201830/09/2021


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