Our spheres of expertise

Efficacity and its consortium offer solutions to support urban actors through urban energy and ecological transition. The skills and knowhow possessed by Efficacity and its consortium fall into three main areas of innovation.

Planning and designing low-carbon, high-performance energy solutions at district scale: innovating all along the energy chain to achieve high energy performance districts

Efficacity is developing tools to explore new local multi-vector energy sources (electrical, thermal and gas), to optimise energy distribution and to improve energy uses in the built environment at urban island and district scale.

To that end, Efficacity is developing a dynamic energy modelling and simulation platform integrating all these components, aimed at improving energy system investment planning and more detailed evaluation of the performances of different systems; this approach, based on dynamic simulation at district scale, is fast becoming essential when studying any innovative or complex technical solution.

Finally, Efficacity is developing specific skills in the optimisation of each of the main components of the overall energy system: optimisation of high energy performance railway stations and urban hubs, making maximum use of renewable and recovered energy sources (energy geotechnology, braking energy recovery, numerous sources of waste heat from datacentres, waste to energy plants, waste water, etc.), optimisation of network dimensioning, optimisation of infrastructure to provide flexibility (micro-CHP, storage, etc.), optimisation of the morphologies and programming of urban islands offering high energy performance and quality of use.

Optimise real-time management of local energy systems: extend the real-time understanding of local phenomena, develop wider monitoring of urban systems and propose innovative solutions for ex post performance monitoring and management of microgrids

Efficacity has developed a capacity to model complex energy systems at the scale of urban hub microgrids (stations, etc.) in correlation with local phenomena (air quality, thermal comfort, etc.). The institute has developed algorithms to optimise systems management and, if required, to develop their architecture to achieve a triple optimum of quality of use/performance/cost. The methods and tools developed respond robustly to scaling up and will short be available at district scale. All of these approaches are founded on a unique body of knowhow that involves supporting the “right instrumentation” of territories, made possible by recent advances both in devices for the collection of local data (low-cost sensors, etc.) and in methods of processing Big Data.

Evaluate urban projects as an aid to decision making and performance monitoring: better evaluation of urban projects, paving the way for district-scale performance warranties

The aim is to aid with decision-making at the design phase and with real performance monitoring during the operational phase of an urban project.

Efficacity offers a set of groundbreaking tools and methods: ex ante evaluation of the project including a life cycle analysis at district scale, inclusion of social and environmental externalities in the project’s economic balance sheet, indicator grids that are both accessible to local actors and consistent with the major national and international reference bases in which Efficacity is involved.

In addition to assisting with project performance evaluation, Efficacity also sets out to spotlight performance-enhancing solutions in every field that can help reduce a territory’s environmental impact:

  • Energy: all the local solutions including renewables, recovered energy, storage, management, etc.
  • Built environment: all the solutions allowing for optimisation of morphologies and project programming
  • Mobility: all the solutions aiming to improve the intermodality of interchange hubs, develop active modes of transport, reduce the environmental footprint of urban logistics, etc.
  • Water – waste

Ultimately, this work will support the emergence of the urban project-wide performance warranty.