• Improve the heating and cooling of a hybrid MPC GEOTABS system by 25% compared to existing best practice
  • Develop a method of choosing appropriate components for hybrid MPC GEOTABS solutions to achieve optimal energy and CO2 performance and grid flexibility for demand response 
  • Develop a Smart Grid-ready automated control system based on MPC and state-of-the-art controllers and provide this as an open solution
  • Establish a body to promote and standardise the hybrid GEOTABS concept
  • Maximize the project impact by producing a detailed business plan
  • Validate the hybrid MPC GEOTABS approach on a ‘virtual test-bed’ and on at least three real, high-visibility buildings 


Although many GEOTABS buildings have been constructed over the last decades in a variety of settings and configurations, there are two large blind spots in the research, which are covered by GEOTABShybrid:

1. Integrated Approach

Previous research has considered specific building and system types, which has limited the application for results. This project is considering all components of the system (geothermal and other renewable energy sources, TABS and secondary emission components, different building and user types), and all stages of the building process (pre-design, detailed design, construction, commissioning and operation).

2. Model Predictive Control

Using the results and insights from previous partial simulation-based theoretical and academic studies (e.g. grey-box models), GEOTABShybrid will create a complete mathematical formulation of the MPC framework and development of controller models – a black-box model. We aim to integrate all aspects for real hybrid GEOTABS buildings and develop a cost-effective and robust approach to allow mass-market implementation. 


Technical development, ‘live’ testing and demonstration, dissemination and business development are taking place over a four-year period through seven work packages:

Work package 1: Project management: coordinating partners to maximise productivity, ensure high-quality results and clear reporting;

Work package 2: Design strategy development: using base load profiles for straight forward sizing of TABS, optimal sizing of hybrid GEOTABS system components and estimating system performance in an early design phase. Also, creating simple guidelines for HVAC engineers comparable to the design phase of traditional technologies;

Work package 3: MPC Toolchain development: including algorithms for optimising grid and production side flexibility, indoor environmental quality, cost, energy efficiency and GHG emissions. Ensuring the long term sustainable use of the ground via i. a (semi) automated low-cost toolchain for the MPC framework ii. a general start-up strategy iii. making the MPC adaptive iv. defining different MPC objectives, including connection to energy grid(s); MPC formulation for robust control; implementing the MPC algorithms into software and hardware;

Work package 4: Concept and impact validation: developing demonstration cases (buildings) for implementation, validation and quantification of impact (energy efficiency and savings, share of residual and renewable sources, GHG emission savings), developing a virtual test bed (emulator models) for assisting the (design and control) concept development processes and assessing systems performance;

Work package 5: People planet profit validation: researching the impact of GEOTABS on indoor environmental quality (IEQ) aspects, including comfort, health and productivity, and defining key performance indicators (KPIs) for their valuation; 

Work package 6: Exploitation and exploration: improve the commercial attractiveness of hybrid GEOTABS by offering an easily accessible and readily applicable complete system solution. Transform competition from a component price based approach to a full system performance and life cycle cost basis. Outline the commercial potential of the MPC GEOTABS solution. Define a modular system concept using pre-engineered and prefabricated components, and develop a business plan; 

Work package 7: Communication and dissemination: promote the hybrid GEOTABS concept, to stakeholder groups via suitable channels and messaging. Maximise reach of the technology concept and project results, both through and beyond the end of the project. 


Ultimately, this project will reduce the implementation cost of robust MPC hybrid GEOTABS. It is expected to deliver several improvements to the technology while at the same time, reduce investment, design, commissioning and operation costs. 

  • Improved heating and cooling of hybrid MPC GEOTABS systems by 25% compared to the existing best practice
  • Increase the share of residual and renewable heating and cooling sources using the system 
  • Stimulate uptake of the system towards a market share of 50% for offices, apartments and care homes by 2030 (and 25% market share for renovation projects)