The gathered data can be remotely accessed, through a software platform, and transmitted to a server to be analysed in order to evaluate performance and further optimise the installation. Besides measurements, elderly residents living in the monitored rooms are being questioned about their thermal comfort. At the same time, observations are being made about their clothing level, state of the windows and the radiator, etc. These surveys have been undertaken in June and October 2018, and in January, March and August of 2019. In 2020, questionnaires are being held in January, March and July/August. During these months, questionnaires are being conducted two times per day (at 11:00 and 15:30), twice a week, for a duration of two weeks. The use of Fitbits, as well as

information provided by staff, will provide an insight into the daily schedule of the elderly and their whereabouts.

Supporting care quality Innovation can also support care quality through the implementation of motion sensor technology combined with reporting functions. In one residential care facility, Mintus set up an intelligent, modular platform for handling calls that connects various external systems – such as wander detection, home automation, access control and the building management system. The system helps coordinate tasks and ensures safety and comfort for residents and staff. The system offers the following

advantages/opportunities: l Room station with intercom, prioritisation and visualisation of alarms, including escalation to multiple care providers to request assistance. This smooth communication optimises workflow by providing an overview of the most complex situations, providing reassurance that needs are heard and answered. Registration of the calls provides insight into the actions and intervention times, in order to optimise processes and delivery of care.

l Time-controlled access control with identification and registration offers a safe environment for everyone.

l Linking intrusion detection to the call system through the central computer on the nursing station and reporting via smartphone. Through magnetic contacts in the exterior windows, the status (open/closed) can be checked on a plan at a glance, including any status changes in the event of a burglary, for example.

l Each room and the different departments were provided with an electronic lock with an access key in combination with a wandering system controlled by antennas and sensors. This allows dementia residents to


It has been scientifically proven that lighting can be used to support human well-being, mood and health and possibly reduce the use of medicines

roam freely through the building by granting personalised access rights in accordance with the physical and/or psychological capabilities. The location of the resident is also monitored, which is an added advantage for non-dementia residents: by applying proximity technology, the electric lock of the room of the resident opens automatically. Forgetting keys or other physical problems when opening locks are a thing of the past.

l Smart rooms were developed by implementing home automation solutions. Via the IP platform, home automation (lighting, sun blinds, television, etc.) can be operated in a simple way by means of a key on the room station or handheld units. The whole system can be operated centrally from a nursing station for all rooms.

l The system contains a variety of tools to suit the needs of the resident, such as voice activated call options.

l The building management system and use of sensing and monitoring options, enables preventive action to be taken anywhere, anytime.

l The residential care centre also opted for a specialised wireless data and voice network, suitable for the most business-critical applications. A single channel architecture was developed that allows seamless roaming and therefore VoiP and high density WiFi. Unlike traditional WiFi networks, where devices link to a variety of access points on different channels, each device has just one virtual access point, so that seamless coverage can be provided everywhere, without gaps.

Human-centric lighting Another development is that of ‘human- centric lighting’ (HCL), which addresses the key requirements of comfort, sustainability, maintenance and costs. In the field of lighting, a pilot project was set up in which intelligent control constantly adjusts the light intensity, taking into account working hours and occupancy, activities, and especially daylight. This not only saves energy, but also achieves significant CO2


In addition, the behaviour of the residents is also influenced by the lighting control. For example, by slowly increasing the light level in the corridors towards the

living rooms, residents are encouraged in a gentle way to go to the living rooms. An experiment is also being implemented regarding the influence of HCL on the biological rhythm (circadian rhythm) of a person. It has been scientifically proven that lighting can be used to support human well-being, mood and health and possibly reduce the use of medicines. For example, lack of daylight disrupts sleep. Light helps to remove fears and promotes social interaction. HCL is created by changing the colour (cool/ warm white) and the intensity of the light in cycle. Warm white light provides relaxation, cool white light provides more energy. By increasing the light intensity periodically, the circadian rhythm can be fully or partially restored.

Inspire, innovate, implement Ultimately, technological innovation needs to fit with an organisation’s policy, care demand and vision. Experiments do not always have to be extensive. Smaller tests can often provide users and organisations with a great deal of insight and can quickly provide direction. As Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) once said: “We are, I think, on the right road of improvement, for we are making experiments.”


References 1 Jorissen F. Toolchain for optimal control and design of energy systems in buildings. PhD thesis, Arenberg Doctoral School, KU Leuven, 2018.

2 Picard D. Modeling, optimal control and HVAC design of large buildings using ground source heat pump systems. PhD thesis, Arenberg Doctoral School, KU Leuven, september 2017.

3 De Coninck R. Grey-box based optimal control for thermal systems in buildings - Unlocking energy efficiency and flexibility. PhD thesis, Arenberg Doctoral School, KU Leuven, juni 2015.

4 De Coninck R, Helsen L. Practical implementation and evaluation of model predictive control for an office building in Brussels. Energy & Buildings 2016; 111: 290-8.

5 Sturzenegger D, Gyalistras D, Morari M, Smith RS. Model Predictive control of a swiss office building: implementation, results, and cost-benefit analysis. IEEE Transaction on Control Systems Technology 2016; 24 (1): 1-12.

6 Leliveld C. Thermal comfort in GEOTABS elderly home, 2019.


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