The “SMART Building” demonstrator

Learn more about the “Smart Builiding”

In June 2017, CESI inaugurated its dedicated demonstrator for intelligent and connected buildings called “SMART Building”.

As a reminder, the latter was designed and produced with the assistance of CISCO, Philips Lighting and Vinci Energies, notably through its subsidiaries Axians, Valentin and SDEL.

This industrial partnership is based on the “CESI – Cisco – Vinci Energies” teaching and research chair.


The 200m² building is made on the basis of 16 recycled maritime containers, resting on a load-bearing structure specifically designed to meet the site’s constraints. Similarly, the central part is custom-made to meet ERP standards. The SMART Building integrates different technologies and data sensors to detect various physical parameters. These include LED lights powered and controlled by POE (Power Over Ethernet), sash sensors, POE temperature and humidity sensors in each room, POE cameras and a weather station on the roof.

Note that the LED lights supplied by Philips Lighting can also detect the level of light, the presence of people and can transmit data via the light emission. All this data is collected by a server that ensures the technical control of the building. This server also has access to all the air handling information from the air handling unit and the VMC, which are controlled by the server.

Thus, the demonstrator allows the collection of data on luminosity, temperature, presence hygrometry, opening of doors and windows, energy consumption and occupancy. The server is capable of controlling the systems and modifying the thermal and luminous ambiences.

The activity

The research activity is developed on the following main axes:

  • Intelligent building control based on artificial intelligence algorithms such as Deep Reinforcement Learning. The principle is to enable the building to learn by itself on the basis of the data collected and to decide on the best control scenarios. This management must meet two paradoxical objectives: user comfort and energy performance.

  • Model studies and improvement of the energy performance of the building.

  • BIM implementation methodologies and implementation of BIM Operation (building maintenance) in connection with virtual and augmented realities.

  • Studies and improvement of connectivity protocols.

  • Data management and analysis.

Two ERDF research programmes have been deployed: the LaVI&Co project, Virtual Laboratory for Industry and Construction, from 2017 to 2019, and the GPS Grid Power Sustainability project, started in 2019. In addition, a thesis has begun on this demonstrator.