UCC Campus Buildings [University College Cork, Ireland]

Campus Description

University College Cork, Ireland is a third level institution with 120 educational, research and sports buildings varying in age from 1849 to 2009 spread over approximately 33 hectares.

Aside from Campus Wide experimentation and demonstration, this project focusses on two very different educational buildings, the 1910 Civil and Environmental Engineering Building (CEE) and the more modern 2006 Environmental Research Institute building (ERI).


The entire campus is operated by a single organisation called “Building & Estates”. The wide variety of buildings host approximately 16,000 students for academic and research purposes.

The CEE Building hosts undergraduate and post graduate students and staff of the Civil Engineering Department. The ERI building hosts offices and laboratories for approximately 150 Postgraduate researchers in environmental and natural science fields.

Technical Details

UCC operates a CHP system which generates Electricity, Steam and Hot Water for 11 buildings around the central campus. The CHP plant runs based on the demand for electrical energy on campus.

The CEE Building Heat is supplied from the UCC 2MW CHP plant through connection to Campus Distribution System. A Siemens BMS system operates in the building which is being upgraded as part of the Campus21 project.
The ERI Building is geographically seperated from much of the campus. The building provides a demonstration site with renewable energy sources such as solar thermal and geothermal systems. In addition it is supplied with gas for hot water boilers and electricity from the national grid for lighting and running other electro-mechanical systems.


Because a large volume of building energy performance data is available throughout the campus network, better understanding of building operation can provide energy savings and optimisation of operation. Furthermore having a large group of varied buildings in close proximity which are owned and operated by the same entity provides a unique opportunity for cross building and campus wide savings.

Following a detailed Gap Analysis exercise, additional installations have been undertaken including occupancy information from new presence detection systems and more comprehensive gathering of Building Energy and Control Data from Utilities, BMS systems and sensors/meter.


A number of use case scenarios are proposed for the UCC Campus, both at campus wide scale and at building level to develop the CAMPUS 21 objectives.

  1. At Campus Level, Operational record data and current operational data is available for the CHP plant, buildings served and meteorological conditions.  An algorithm is being developed to optimise usage using the integrated systems for energy use, weather data, occupation data and scheduling data.
  2. In the CEE Building a detailed use case scenario is being developed to optimise energy usage of systems based on occupancy, weather conditions and HVAC systems usage. This can be scaled up for use at campus level.
  3. In the ERI building, façade optimisation tools are being developed based primarily on solar and other meteorological conditions. This Use Case can also be scaled up for use at building wide and campus level.


To date in early 2013 monitoring and gathering of additional data and initial testing is progressing well.


Prof Karsten Menzel
University College Cork, Ireland
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