Each house is equipped with domestic thermal comfort devices and all energy types are represented (electricity, gas, heating oil, wood pellets, solar power, geothermal and aerothermal systems). Human activity is simulated and the results are recorded by hundreds of sensors throughout the day. Each test lasts between 3 and 15 days during which millions of measurements are recorded in a database before being analysed. The test results are then analysed and approved by a Scientific Committee.
Human activity has a direct impact on both energy consumption and thermal comfort in buildings. As the houses are not occupied, to ensure that conditions are identical from one house to another, human presence is simulated using an automated system.
In order to mimic real life conditions as closely as possible, two types of daily routines are simulated:
- Weekdays: parents and children leave the house to go to work or school.
- Weekends: daily routines change, parents and children stay up later in the evening and get up later in the morning. The house is occupied for longer periods than during the week.