StepUP Products & Services

StepUP added value for companies in the construction sector

The StepUP project has developed new process and technologies for deep renovation, minimising the performance gap, reducing investment risk and maximising its value. StepUP solutions accelerate the renovation market through the adoption of an innovative set of products and of a scalable and solid methodology.

StepUP offerings:

  • Plug & Play Envelope
  • Plug & Play Active System
  • Data intelligence tools and lifecycle platform
  • smartEPC for deep renovation
  • Iterative methodology for deep renovation
  • LEAN construction tools for deep energy renovation
  • Plug & Play Protocol

Plug & Play Envelope

Envelope modules shortening lead times

The plug-and-play (P&P) façade is a system composed of different layers which can be integrated and varied depending on the project’s needs. The plug & play concept applied to the façade is connected to a high level of prefabrication; thus, the façade design incorporates a certain degree of standardisation for fast on-site assembly and user-friendliness to reduce human intervention.

The P&P envelope module offers deep renovation of existing buildings, accelerating the market with minimal lead times. It consists of a pre-assembled system that is completely manufactured off-site and only needs to be installed on site.

This greatly speeds up the construction process also limiting disturbance to building users and at the same time brings improvements in the building’s energy performance.  

With this solution, site management is improved from an organisational point of view, because it is possible to organise the arrival of materials on site by scheduling. It comprises highly customizable industrially produced modules, anchored with a robust steel plate system allowing precise adjustments (in three directions) and connections between modules and existing facades. The modular structure, reinforced with sandwich panels, ensures structural integrity, thermal insulation, and external ageing tightness.

With flexible installation options and compatibility with additional systems like ventilation and electrical, the P&P modules simplify renovation processes while offering versatility for integration with various third-party elements like windows. solar shading and PV systems.

Plug & Play Active System

Cooling & heating thermal battery

One of the biggest challenges of HVAC systems is that heating or cooling energy needs to be generated on demand when the need occurs.

HeatTank Thermal Battery system is a solution to produce heating or cooling energy when it is the most efficient, when it is the cheapest, or when waste heat sources or renewable energy sources are available. HeatTank is a smart solution for retrofitting into existing buildings, only 3 points are necessary to connect to the existing HVAC system and provide benefits to the clients.

Modularity and flexibility of the HeatTank system ensure to compatibility with small and large-size systems as well.

Data intelligence tools and lifecycle platform

Digital tools optimising building renovation

It is well-acknowledged that a performance gap exists between a building’s expected and actual performance from design to completion.

IES offers a suite of data intelligence solutions designed to empower stakeholders throughout deep renovation projects. These tools leverage data and physics-based intelligence to guide stakeholders through feasibility, preparation, design, implementation, and operation phases. Employing Measurement and Verification (M&V) techniques, stakeholders gain essential insights to validate project performance, identify inefficiencies, and implement effective solutions, thereby minimizing the performance gap.


smartEPC for deep renovation

Financial model for energy renovation

smartEPC is an innovative and comprehensive delivery mechanism (i.e., methodology and full set of tools) to design, tender and implement energy renovation projects in buildings. 

smartEPC improves the existing Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model by integrating Performance-based Maintenance, Performance-based Comfort Management, and Performance-based Certification, enhancing deep renovation processes with smartKPIs.

It introduces innovative building value concept in the standard EPC model, ensuring optimized energy and comfort. Its framework disconnects contract durations from payback times, offering flexibility for long term contracts. With intelligent document management and high-level standardization, smartEPC bolsters energy efficiency projects, providing comprehensive support from inception to completion.

Iterative methodology for deep renovation

Step-by-step guide in deep renovation processes

StepUP iterative renovation methodology offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide for project managers and other stakeholders in a deep renovation process, leveraging the benefits of industrialized energy renovation measures and a data-driven approach in design and monitoring to guide renovation projects.

Through iterative processes, the methodology aligns renovation investment planning, ensuring optimal outcomes. It emphasizes the positive impacts of energy efficiency improvements, encompassing social, financial, and environmental aspects of sustainability.

With a step-by-step guide, StepUP methodology facilitates efficient design, measurement, and verification processes, enabling stakeholders to achieve sustainable and impactful renovations.

LEAN construction tools for deep energy renovation

Tools for integrating LEAN methodology into deep renovation projects

The concept of LEAN Construction is beginning to spread in the sector, although in renovation projects its introduction has been much more limited. This lack of specific basis has been the starting point to create tools and methodologies to facilitate the adoption of the LEAN philosophy in deep industrialized renovation projects. The use of the LEAN construction methodology supposes the realization of a deep analysis of activities and their consequent basic actions.

To facilitate this analysis and carry it out in an orderly way, an Excel tool has been developed to help the diverse work teams to perform the LEAN Analysis. The objective is to guide the users (contractors, suppliers, subcontractors, etc.), during the whole process, collecting all relevant information to ensure the optimization of the activities/actions sequence in a workflow.

On the other hand, a digital tool based on LEAN principles such as trust, communication, and transparency, was designed to identify deviations in real-time, as well as to evaluate the actual impact of the P&P solutions.

The digital tool consists of three components:

  1. A mobile app to report and validate the progress of the works on-site. All this information is directly sent to a database in the cloud where it is available in both data analysis dashboards.
  2. A dashboard where the users can check the works already reported and the deviations between the planed works and real production.
  3. A data base in the cloud to store and analyse all data collected as well as to manage an alert service to communicate deviations

Plug & Play protocol

Ensuring interoperability between solutions

The Open Plug & Play protocol, facilitates adherence to EU standards and project-specific technical requirements. This protocol outlines principles for system and component development, including industrialization, customization, compatibility, circularity, open information exchange, and certification.

By following these guidelines, technology providers ensure interoperability and seamless integration of innovative plug and play solutions.

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    This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 847053.

    This website reflects only the author’s views. The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.