News - Energy management in buildings HQE with Topkapi

Energy management in buildings - HQE with Topkapi

Expert article

If there is one area where the use of supervision software can result in quantifiable savings and rapid payback, it is that of energy management in buildings.

In terms of technical building management, supervision brings many advantages: comfort and quality of service, flexible and efficient time programming, rapid remote intervention, data collection and recording.

But beyond the instant technical alarm and the a posteriori observation of unsatisfactory results on energy balances, there were still avenues to be explored in order to perfect supervision:

  • Facilitating the implementation of applications in a field where one is more used to using integrated systems than to setting up supervisors and programming PLCs.
  • Find indicators halfway between alarms and reports.

To respond to these concerns, AREAL has launched a research and development programme in partnership with the CSTB, with financial assistance from ADEME. Based on the work carried out by the CSTB for schools and swimming pools (EMMA software), the following functions have been developed for the Topkapi supervision software:

  • creation of standard models dedicated to the monitoring of heating, allowing rapid implementation of the applications by non-specialists ;
  • creation of comfort and over-consumption fault indicators with sensitivity adjustment (this adjustment enables priority attention to be given to the most serious faults);
  • automatic generation of energy balances;
  • comparison tools to evaluate the performance per m2 of each building, in absolute terms, compared to other buildings or to the previous year, taking into account the DJU (Unified Day Degree).


An initial pilot project was carried out in collaboration with the Urban Community of Strasbourg. The latter has a strong expertise in the needs of the field, with experience in remote management of its built stock carried out since 1985. Equipped with Topkapi supervision software since 1996, it has a long history of data that will enable it to judge the benefits of new developments.

We already know that, beyond the savings in consumption, controlling energy balances makes it possible to better size the new equipment: in fact, we have noticed that, due to a lack of precise data, the power chosen for the heating appliances was in the past most of the time too much higher than the needs.

In addition, the Topkapi supervision software was chosen by the town of Les Mureaux to equip the BMS for its new administrative centre. Winner of the ADEME call for projects on the HQE (High Environmental Quality) certification experiment, this work is designed in compliance with the essential requirements of the HQE approach. In February 2005, it will be the first of the 22 winners on the list of works selected for this experiment.