Paris schools in the age of IoT

The City of Paris was able to meet the ambitious challenge of lowering CO2 emissions and energy use by 30% in 140 schools in just two years through an Energy Performance Contract between ENGIE Cofely and Artelia Bâtiment et Industrie.

With the goal of radically transforming buildings to make them smarter and more energy efficient, the project involved renovating spaces and boiler rooms, setting up a smart system to remotely control and monitor energy performance, and installing innovative technology using connected objects.

Central to the project is a powerful digital platform for connected objects and services, developed by Vertuoz by ENGIE, Ubiant, and Overkiz.

Setting and controlling classroom heating from a smartphone

Overkiz has provided an end-to-end IoT infrastructure consisting of smart gateways, a cloud, and software tools. As many as 1,000 white-label Minibox home automation boxes have been installed, operating over an Ethernet connection with a router and communicating with connected objects using EnOcean battery-free, wireless technology.

A total of 15,000 temperature sensors, CO2 sensors, presence detectors, switches, and radiator valve servo motors have also been installed. These sensors make it possible to regulate the site temperature based on the schedule of when the site is in use, implementing smart technology that learns from user habits. For example, if the heating is set to be stopped every day at 4:30 p.m., except on Mondays when classes go an hour longer, the system uses this data to reprogram itself automatically.

The IoT cloud, central communication, and data security

Sites are regulated (set temperature and time schedule) using Vertuoz Pilot, a centralized cloud-based control system, available through a web application and smartphone app, that can control the heating for a building (or set of buildings) with the touch of a finger. The application also offers comfort-level features, such as how a site’s temperature feels so that the temperature can be adjusted up or down. It even reports potential technical problems, such as when there is too large of a difference between the system data and what users are reporting. The embedded software provides cloud-to-cloud wireless communications, 100% Over-the-Air (OTA) management, and end-to-end secure data management.

We chose Overkiz for this massive, innovative project because of their ability to offer us a robust and sustainable infrastructure. The installed hardware (Minibox) and their cloud services provide the backbone of our overall solution, which manages the comfort of occupants (students and teachers) while minimizing carbon emissions, using artificial intelligence algorithms from Ubiant.

Jean-Christophe Bourgeois, Director of Innovation and IoT for Vertuoz by ENGIE

The project in numbers

1,400 equipped classrooms

1,000 deployed Overkiz Minibox gateways

15,000 installed sensors

9,160 LED lights

6,800 installed remote control thermostatic valves

Created in 2012, Vertuoz by ENGIE is a service operator for smart buildings based on its platform, by the same name, which makes use of building data from multiple sites, multiple data sources, and multiple services, along with an ecosystem of loyal, innovative partners within the Vertuoz circle. Vertuoz strives to make buildings smarter, more efficient, and thus more comfortable for users.

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