iNSPiRe partners met in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in October for the third official project meeting to discuss the progress of the work to date and plan for future developments and strategies. While, of course, the four-year project has a long way to go before achieving its overall aims and objectives, it was clear at the meeting that progress is being made in key areas, most notably with the demonstration of the micro heat pumps, the development of heating and cooling technologies and the initial planning for the demonstration buildings.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation by the Lord Mayor of Ludwigsburg, who outlined the efforts the city is making towards achieving similar goals with its public buildings as iNSPiRe. A few procedural and management issues were then swiftly dealt with before each Work Package made presentations about its progress.

There was much discussion over the two days about the type of buildings iNSPiRe solutions should be aimed at and which should provide the reference data for comparison. This discussion arose during the presentation by WP2, responsible for building stock analysis. Much of the research into Europe’s residential and office building stock has been done, based on statistics and literature review. Numerical models of reference buildings will be used to integrate building stock data available through the work of WP2 and will become virtual case studies to address the renovation strategies of the project.

Another key development to emerge from the meeting was the result of a discussion about how project outcomes will be best exploited and industrialised. With this in mind it was decided that the work of Work Package 8, which is coordinating this action, should be brought forward and the question of aesthetics for the end user and how to gain approval of potential customers was also added to the considerations to be made. Another key outcome of the meeting in this particular area was agreement that collaboration between partners regarding the standardised manufacturing of solutions, their maintenance and associated business models should all be enhanced.

There was a short delay with the installation of monitoring systems caused by debate about which was the most appropriate system to use and the sourcing of a relevant supplier. Partners heard, however, that the systems would soon be installed in the demo buildings and that detailed assessment would begin. Since the meeting, the systems are now all in place and working well.

Meanwhile, the meeting was presented with the preliminary plan for the demonstration building in Madrid and it was explained how this would contain the Generation Kits, a development being led by EURAC. This is the novel system that will be central to energy use in buildings as well as helping to reduce the costs of installation, so reducing their lifetime costs.

Lighting is another important aspect of iNSPiRe, with both artificial and natural solutions being developed as part of the overall renovation packages and kits. The final report into artificial lighting (one of the WP deliverables), has now been published and is available on the iNSPiRe website.

Although the meeting learnt of some issues with the generalisation of the static lighting systems being developed for residential buildings as demonstrated at the Madrid demo site, a movable system called “roller, shutter and canopy” was explained and this will now be simulated and tested at both Madrid and Ludwigsburg.

The meeting in Ludwigsburg ended when a positive list of To Dos was agreed and all partners left invigorated for the work ahead and will meet again in late February, early March 2014 to make further assessments of the progress.