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National Build Energy Retrofit Test-bed (NBERT)


The National Building Energy Retrofit Test-bed is located in the Zero2020 building at the Cork Institute of Technology. The NBERT hosts lecturers, researchers, industry consultants, and visiting academics. The test-bed consists of a state of the art interior where occupants partake in a "living lab" environment for research studies into human dependent topics such as thermal comfort and demand side management.


The NBERT interior utilises a range of building monitoring/control technologies.

  • Zonal air temperature and RH remote sensing.
  • Variable perforated shading.
  • Automatic window opening control.
  • Automatic lighting control.
  • Passive cooling and ventilation.


The building facade is an air tight ultra-high insulated structure which adapts to the external conditions. The is heating is supplied by an air source heat pump while a zonal temperature controller and a thermal buffer tank are used to optimise both the energy efficiency and thermal comfort conditions of the building.

The NBERT microgird is a photovoltaic, wind turbine and battery integrated power system connected to the Zero2020 building. The virtual smart grid comprises the national grid, NBERT building, NBERT microgrid and the CIT main campus building. The microgrid powers the Zero2020 building while also exporting energy to the national grid. The microgrid consists of:

  • 24kWp PV System (static).
  • 0.5kWp PV System (dynamic tracking).
  • 2.5kWp Wind Turbine.
  • 1350Ah Lead Acid Battery.
  • Grid tie inverter.



NBERT Web Portal

THe NBERT Web Portal is an online archive that contains data recorded by the building's sensor networks. Below is a link to the NBERT Web Portal.

NBERT Building Web Portal