Certifying Minergie Compliance

Developed in 1994 by Swiss researchers Heinz Uebersax and Ruedi Kriesi, the Minergie® building standard specifies high-grade, air-tight building insulation and continuous renewal of air using an energy-efficient ventilation system. Minergie is now a registered Swiss quality label for new and refurbished low-energy consumption buildings.

Construction of Minergie buildings is done based on planning specifications: there is no guarantee that these values are actually met once the building is completed. As Minergie buildings are more expensive to construct, certifying compliance is important to buyers who pay the extra price for energy efficiency.

To ensure compliance with the standard, a Swiss sensor company teamed up with qiio2 to develop an end-to-end IoT monitoring system that measures and processes temperature, humidity and heat flux readings along walls and windows throughout Minergie buildings.

Collection and processing of sensor data from inside and outside indicates whether walls and windows are in compliance with Minergie specifications. Sensors run on a 7-day battery pack and transmit data every 2 minutes. Readings are collected over 5 days to ensure that good, ISO-compliant data is collected and relayed via Swisscom cellular network to qiio’s cloud platform for real-time storage and analysis.

An end-to-end IoT building monitoring system

In the past, sensors were installed using cumbersome cabling requiring holes drilled through walls. Data was manually collected by technicians who drove out to each location which wasted time when they arrived before sufficient data was ready, or if sensors had malfunctioned.

To solve these problems and lower costs, qiio developed a modular, remote sensor monitoring system based on qiio’s “IoT Concentrator” hardware, LoRaSC (868/915MHz) concrete-penetrating wireless link to connect sensor clusters, and cellular connectivity to qiio’s cloud-based management platform.

Based on qiio’s IoT reference design which includes all standard wired and wireless interfaces, an end-to-end prototype solution was created. The reference design supports popular wired interfaces such as USB, CAN-bus, I2C, SPI, UART etc. as well as Cellular (2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-M), short- and mid-range radio interfaces such as Wi-Fi, LoRa and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

The result: a low-cost, portable, robust cloud-based measurement solution enabling the Swiss sensor company to deliver an end-to-end, remotely managed Minergie certification system from sensor to cloud.