PhD opportunities

Large scale evaluation of building retrofit potential.

Thesis proposal

Area of expertiseEnergétique et génie des procédés
Doctoral SchoolSystems Engineering, Materials, Mechanics, Energy
SupervisorM. Robin GIRARD
Research unitEnergy and Processes
Starting dateMarch 1st 2021
KeywordsBuilding retrofi, Big data, optimisation, GIS , modeling
AbstractContext and challenges
France is targeting a carbon neutrality for horizon 2050. The Building sector, due to its contribution to carbon emissions (around 27% in scope 2; 33 % in scope 3) has set ambitious objectives for the next three decades: -15% final energy in 2023 (PPE), -28% in 2030 (SNBC), all buildings at BBC level by 2050 (LTECV).

Faced with these expectations, a strategy of massification of energy building retrofit is emerging. While the ambition is strong and regularly affirmed, the implementation raises many questions related both to the real performance achievable by existing building and also to the effective potential of building retrofit in our territories.

Scientific objectives and methodology
The PERSEE center and CSTB have developed a decision-support tool for energy transition within the SHAPE project (pHysical Simulations for Energy Planning). This tool allows territorial actors to generate renovation scenarios at the territorial level through models and an optimization technique developed within the framework of Antoine ROGEAU’s PhDthesis [1,2].
This new doctoral thesis is a continuation of this work. Its objective is to propose models of housing consumption and optimization of energy renovation, by associating validation methods on observed data. These validation methods must make it possible both to improve the accuracy of the modeling at the building scale and to guarantee a capacity for deployment and optimization of the methods on a large scale (e.g. at the scale of France).
One of the expected results of this thesis could therefore be a real case validated at the level of a district coupled with recommendations at the level of France in the context of the national low carbon strategy.
The downscaling will require finer models, with regard to the modeling of heating consumption but also the integration of other uses (eg. Cold, cooking, renewable production, etc.). These models may include other key indicators than those initially proposed (energy consumption, cost). For example, the new models will thus be able to integrate environmental indicators resulting from life cycle analysis approaches on retrofit technologies.
Although there already exists many existing accurate complex models for building energy consumption simulation, the objective here will be to reach a good accuracy while retaining the capacity for large-scale modeling and optimization. On the optimization side, the scalability might imply the need for new optimization techniques (based for example on clustering methods, or decomposition techniques).
The validation methodology with allow a real assessment of models with regards to our large-scale ambition. It will require to develop a statistical approach bridging the gap between the physical model and the large quantity of available data. These validation techniques will, among other things, be based on the large amount of data available today in open data on the energy consumption of buildings (DPE, OPEN DATA ENEDIS, OPEN DATA GRDF, etc.).
In order to achieve these goals and answer this research question, a four-step approach is proposed and can be made available to applicants.


[1] Towards an integrated approach to assisting territorial energy planning: application to the energy renovation of buildings, Antoine Rogeau, thesis defended in June 2020 and supervised by Georges Kariniotakis and Robin Girard from the PERSEE center. http://www.theses.fr/2020UPSLM014

[2] Antoine Rogeau, Robin Girard, Seddik Yassine Abdelouadoud, Mathieu Thorel, Georges Kariniotakis. Joint optimization of building-envelope and heating-system retrofits at territory scale to enhance decision-aiding. Applied Energy, Elsevier, 2020, 264, pp. 114639. ⟨10.1016 / j.apenergy.2020.114639⟩. ⟨Hal-02491850⟩

This thesis project is part of PERSEE (Processes, Renewable Energies and Energy Systems) center's activities at MINES ParisTech, in Sophia Antipolis, of the Department of Environmental Engineering and Organizations of Mines Saint-Etienne (UMR 5600 EVS) and of the CSTB Research program (Sophia Antipolis): transversal theme of Renovation. The student will mainly be located in Sophia Antipolis.
ProfileTypical profile for a thesis at MINES ParisTech: Engineer and / or Research Master - Good level of general and scientific culture. Very good level of practice of French and English. Good analytical, synthesis, innovation and communication skills. Qualities of adaptability and creativity. Educational skills. Motivation for research activity. Coherent professional project.

Prerequisites (specific skills for this thesis): Statistical tools (Python or R), possibly geographic tools (QGIS, sf under R or geopandas under python), optimization, multicriteria approach, data analysis, building thermal, energy.
Assessment of the thesis subject
(Research axis, thematic, positioning and consistency vis-à-vis the Centre's research policy)

This thesis subject is part of the activities of the ERSEI group of the PERSEE Center in the field of building renovation modeling on a territorial scale (following Antoine Rogeau's thesis) and in the field of energy modeling of territories (Shape, Roseau projects, hybrid thesis by Anaelle Jodry). It is carried out in partnership with CSTB and with the Mines de Saint Etienne.

CONTACT: robin.girard@mines-paristech.fr (Robin Girard MINES ParisTech) and villot@emse.fr (jonathan VILLOT Mines de Saint-Etienne)
FundingContrat de recherche