Saxion builds Smart TinyLab to achieve national climate targets

The climate agreement forces Twente to act. Everything must be done to ensure that CO2 reduction is achieved. Saxion University of Applied Sciences has started building a Tiny SmartLab in cooperation with Bouwschool Twente in Hengelo and their partner, Stichting Pioneering. It should be ready by mid-April.
The Smart TinyLab is a lab for system integration in the construction industry. Building partners and construction-related companies can test their products in practice in this lab to combine systems and reduce their energy consumption. Companies can work together with students, researchers and other partners in the Smart TinyLab.


In short:

  • Saxion University of Applied Sciences has started building a Smart TinyLab. Companies and students will be able to test their products and coordinate with each other from April onwards.
  • The lab will be flexible so that the circumstances under which the testers want to know more about the functioning of their products can be adjusted as desired.

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Lower energy consumption

Six companies from Twente (Eaton, Binx, De Groot, BR Controls, Winkels and Pilkington) have joined the project. All these companies work on innovative solutions in their own fields. One works with materials, the other with installations, and yet another with indoor climate. 


The idea is that by using the Smart Tiny Lab Together, it will become clear how the different systems affect each other. Also, there can be investigated how different systems can be integrated efficiently to reduce energy consumption even more. “We want to facilitate research into system integration with this lab”, says Christiaan Struck, lecturer in Sustainable Technology at Saxion. “Too often, systems that are meant to contribute to a changing energy infrastructure are still approached individually.”

Two floors

Building users have a lot of influence on energy efficiency. That is why the Smart Tiny Lab will soon have two floors: a living area and an office area where IT systems can also be tested. A set chamber contains all the technical installations that are required for climate and energy control. Companies can place their system components in the two test chambers, which can be flexibly arranged and have removable inner and outer walls. The lab can also be rotated 180 degrees to play with sunlight, and it has been equipped with sensors that can take various measurements and quantify system performance. 

Wanting to discover

 “The construction industry has the potential to make indoor climate conditioning systems even more energy efficient. This is because systems are installed and used without considering secondary systems and consumption. With the Smart Tiny Lab, we want to discover where the bottlenecks are and how two or more systems can communicate with each other so that they minimise energy consumption”, says Struck.

Different themes

The project has been funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). The partners will work on various themes until June 2023, such as the performance monitoring of façade elements, glass as an active heat regulator, intelligent building-user interaction, value creation through data-driven services, and energy distribution through direct current networks. 

The lab will also be used to give demonstrations to raise awareness in the market to ensure quality development, knowledge development and product development. 

The Tiny Smart Lab is expected to open in May this year.



M.H. Tromplaan 28
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Date: 23 March 2021 |

Source of tekst: Saxion |

Author: Maaike Thüss