Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


Obstacles to open source in building energy technology

An analysis of the German research landscape

In the last two years, we have examined over 180 research projects that develop, refine and use software related to energy in buildings and neighborhoods. These projects originate from Germany and are funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The aim of this presentation is to give an overview of relevant research fields and related software, missing software building blocks and to talk about the relationship of software developed and used by the projects to open source.

In this presentation we give an overview of the different relevant topics (especially simulations and monitoring) and the related software. We further state why there is a need to develop open sourcealterantives for them. Based on this, we state reasons for the existing challenges for (research) software in the field of building energy technology. We discuss approaches to solutions and provide impulses for relevant software that is currently lacking.

Emissions from buildings are one of the biggest drivers of global climate change. Refurbishment, changes in use and operation, or adapted planning are ways to reduce these emissions. In order to achieve this goal, researchers worldwide are developing numerous ideas and corresponding software. Our analysis of the German landscape shows that even if criteria for open source and open science are met, much of this software is not reused, resulting in parallel developments. In addition to heterogeneity in the infrastructure, there is also a lack of individual building blocks in open-source software chains (e.g. solvers) that are needed to implement use cases. We describe ideas and approaches to close these gaps.


Photo of Felix Rehmann Felix Rehmann