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  • Full scale test facility for the BIPV components characterisation under real conditions of use

Technical Info

The aim of KUBIK is the development and validation of new concepts, products and services to improve energy efficiency in buildings. It is the way of increasing the industrial competitiveness by innovating and developing more added-value products and services. KUBIK is orientated to:

  • Energy Intelligent Management
  • Innovative Energy Efficient Envelopes Assessment
  • Integration and Management of renewables

The main characteristic of KUBIK is the capability to reproduce realistic scenarios (residential, office, schools,..) and conditions of use, allowing validation of products and systems in conditions those of service.  KUBIK building is completely modular and flexible and can be reconfigured in: its external appearance (façades, windows, roof, shading systems); its internal partitioning (large spaces, small spaces); its HVAC system (Type of diffusing system, ventilation, HVAC plant…); and the building control system and adapted to the requirements of the R+D+I projects. The projects performed in KUBIK have been related to: High Performance Façades; Active Building Envelopes; Building integrated solar systems with smart energy management; Industrialized External Insulation systems for the refurbishment of buildings; Advanced Intelligent Management Models and Building-Integrated Photovoltaic technology (BIPV). More than 25 researchers have been involved in the execution of the projects in KUBIK, participating an average of four to five researchers per project depending on the complexity of the project


KUBIK consists of a building able to provide up to 500 m2 distributed in an underground floor, a ground floor and up to two storeys. The supply of energy is based on the combination of conventional and renewable energy (geothermic, solar and wind power), providing comprehensive information on the performance of each of the energy sources and their combinations. As the infrastructure operates in real conditions, the generation equipment is designed for the expected peak demand and it is flexible enough to adapt to the different scenarios that could be edified.

In addition, the building is equipped with a monitoring and control system which provides the necessary information for the R&D activities. KUBIK has an advanced monitoring system, equipped with over 800 sensors that records conditions inside and outside the experimental facility, climatic conditions.  The test measurement system includes the following sensors: indoor air temperature, surface temperature, radiant temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, heat flux, solar irradiance, illuminance, CO2 concentration, sound level meter …. The building automation system includes sensors for: shading control, blind control, lighting control, open/close window control, open/close openings control. The HVAC control system includes the following sensors: air temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, air/water temperature, air/water flow, air/water temperature flows, energy consumption of auxiliary equipment (fans, pumps). The external meteorological conditions are defined by: air temperature, relative humidity, solar irradiance, wind direction, wind velocity, precipitation and atmospheric pressure. Researchers and customers have access via the Internet to measurements being taken in the scenarios.

The HVAC installation of air conditioning of KUBIK consists of an hydronic system and a variable air volume system (VAV). Both systems have independent distribution, measurement and diffusion subsystems. And for generation, both systems are be fed by a common generation subsystem. The primary function of the HVAC installation of KUBIK is to provide the energy necessary to keep the different measurement rooms of the infrastructure under controlled indoor conditions, as well as measuring the energy delivered to each measurement room. The primary heat provision is based on a combined heat and power (CHP – 12.5kWt and 5kWe) unit feed with natural gas and helped by a conventional boiler (20kWt) for peak demand as well as a hot water storage. In terms of cold water, two coolers (70kWt) are in charge of this duty. The secondary heat and air conditioning system is based on a full circuit formed by pipes, valves and fan-coils in charge of satisfying each room thermal needs. In addition to the conventional generation systems and air conditioning elements KUBIK  include the following systems:

  • Distributed Electricity generation from renewable sources (photovoltaic and wind).
  • A heat exchanger with ground (superficial) for water. This system can be connected to a ground source heat pump and be integrated in the hot and cool water distribution circuits of the HVAC installation.
  • A Canadian well, formed by a heat exchanger with ground (superficial) through which outside air will circulate in order to carry out its preconditioning.


KUBIK can integrate all type of elements that are commonly used in construction, not only architectural but also thermal generation and storage equipment (thermal energy, solar cooling equipment,..) electricity generation and storage solutions as well as BMS and/or building automation concept. Contact with the scientific responsible of KUBIK and explain your needs or requirements.


  • Possibility of using the building as a test laboratory under real conditions.
  • Analysis of the energy management systems.
  • Study energy efficiency arising from the interaction between the constructive solutions for the building envelopes under real conditions, with IMS.
  • Evaluation of the energy/thermal performance of buildings through experimental data and simulation.
  • Pre-release test of the developed lighting system
  • Total monitorization to analyse Building-Integrated Photovoltaic elements (BIPV) related to comfort and thermal/energetic behaviour.
  • Possibility to test energy storage systems in combination with Photovoltaics (batteries, super-capacitors, flywheels).
  • Validity check of the indoor air movement models for improved comfort and energy efficiency
  • The systems existing in KUBIK enable the development of research activities in the following fields:
  • Integration and interaction with utilities, smart grids and thermal networks:
    • Development of  new solutions to integrate renewable systems with the HVAC system of buildings (geothermal systems, envelope elements with integrated solar collectors, etc) to reduce the dependency from utilities to provide the energy necessary to operate conventional HVAC systems
    • Development of new management strategies to maximize the share of local thermal and electric production according to instantaneous technical and economic boundary conditions

Development of multidomain energy efficient operation strategies based on actually needed comfort delivery and system operation optimization:

  • Development of management strategies based on the Instantaneous adjustment of the operational settings (setpoints) of the HVAC systems (Dynamic Continuous Commissioning)
  • Adaptative comfort approaches
  • Demand controlled ventilation (instantaneous adjustment of the delivered ventilation air flow rates according to the activities and pollutant generation rates to ensure satisfactory IAQ )
  • Free cooling (through the AHU system or  natural ventilation through automated windows or ventilation openings)
  •  Heating/cooling generator operation sequence optimization according to boundary conditions.
  • HVAC system start/stop time optimization (at generation, distribution and emission level) according to building thermal mass, HVAC system hysteresis and building usage and climatic conditions.
  • Thermal generation and storage coupling management optimization
  • Distribution strategies for hydronic systems (fancoils, radiant floors and chilled ceilings) constant flow/variable flow , distribution temperatures, etc
  • Distribution strategies for AHU systems (CAV, VAV, supply temperatures, etc)
  • Energy recovery mechanism (exhaust heat recovery from chillers,etc

Participation to Research Projects:

  • BASSE: Building Active Steel Skin façade, which integrates a solar thermal collector. RFCS RFSR-CT-2013-0006
  • BATI-MASS: Optimization of thermal inertia into constructive solutions in mixed steel and concrete. RFCS RFSR-CT-2012-0033
  • RETROKIT: Evaluation of the thermal performance of a solar collector for use in evaporative cooling systems. FP7-COOP-NMP (PPPEeB) Grant agreement no: 314229
  • SPHERES: Glass-glass photovoltaic module for building integration based on crystalline silicon spherical solar cells technology. FPC-AGE Proyectos I+D. Colaboración RTC-2015-3985-3
  • A2PBEER: Validation of a hybrid lighting system and adaptive lighting control, by combining fibre optic devices (capture + transport) and LED. Evaluation of the thermal performance of innovative solutions for building envelopes with super-insulating materials (VIP).  FP7-COOP-NMP (PPPEeB) FP7-COOP-NMP (PPPEeB) Grant agreement no: 609060
  • FIEMSER: Friendly Intelligent Energy Management System for Existing Residential Buildings. FP7-COOP-ICT. Grant agreement no:  248605
  • SPORTE2: Intelligent system of energy management for sports facilities. FP7-COOP-ICT. Grant agreement no: 260124
  • ENRIMA: Operational module of a Decision Support System (DSS) optimizing operation schedules of the HVAC system for achieving minimum  energy costs while maintain comfort. FP7-COOP-NMP Grant agreement no: 260041
  • PIMES: Advanced Energy Management System’s checking the right CHP devices controllability and also the control algorithm performance evaluation. FP7-COOP-ENERGY Grant agreement no: 239288
  • ADDRESS: Home Energy Management System for the provision of Demand Side Management services in the context of Smart Grids. FP7-COOP-ENERGY Grant agreement no: 207643
  • MOEBBIUS: Data Acquisition and Management (MOEEBIUS-PIPE) and the Dynamic assessment engines and Decision Support System Baseline (MOEEBIUS-QUEST) for improving Building Energy Performance Assessment on the basis of enhanced BEPS models that allow for more accurate representation of the real-life complexities of the building.H2020-EeB-2015 Grant agreement no: 680517
  • MeeFS: Multifunctional Energy Efficient Façade System for building rehabilitation. FP7-COOP-NMP (PPPEeB) Grant agreement no: 285411
  • OSIRYS: fOrest based compoSites for façades and interior partitions to improve Indoor Air qualitY in new buildingS and retrofitting actions.
  • FP7-COOP-NMP (PPPEeB) Grant agreement no: 609067
  • ETIXc: Evaluation of the thermal performance of an industrialized system of thermal insulation for building envelopes with photo catalytic action. EEA-GRANTS IDI-20140972
  • BERTIM: A system of timber prefabricated modules for building energy efficient deep renovation and evaluation of the thermal performance of the system. H2020-SC-EE Grant agreement no: 636984
  • HEMPSEC: A bio-based pre-fabricated  façade. CIP-ENTERPRENEURSHID AND INNOVATION ECO/12/332972
  • AEROCOINS: Innovative solutions for building envelopes with new super-insulating materials (aerogels). FP7-COOP-NMP (PPPEeB) Grant agreement no:  260141
  • REFAVENT: Evaluation of thermal behaviour of lightweight ventilated façades in building rehabilitation solutions.  ERAIKAL-12, Subproject D



TECNALIA | Parque Tecnológico de San Sebastián | Mikeletegi Pasealekua, 2 | E20009-Donostia San Sebastián | Spain

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