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29 Nov - "New design paradigm of low-energy buildings: fifth-generation cellular wireless connectivity as one of the figures-of-merit" Lecture by Katsuyuki Haneda, Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, Finland

The visit of Katsuyuki Haneda is organised in collaboration with Enrico Maria Vitucci from the Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi".

Nov 29, 2019 from 02:30 PM to 04:30 PM

Where Sala Rossa, Palazzo Marchesini, via Marsala 26, Bologna (first floor)

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“I bought a brand-new property, but I have to make phone calls on my balcony” is a fairly common complaint about the present cellular situation of new buildings in Finland. The problem has become particularly relevant to establishment of smart cities where energy-efficient buildings represent an essential element. The energy efficiency in Finnish building regulations has become significantly stricter in recent years toward the zero-energy goal as a standard practice by 2030 according to the EU Directive. The world’s interest toward energy efficient city and society has been increasing in the last years.

Zero-energy buildings cannot be realized without highly insulated envelopes and well-sealed structures. Secure wireless connectivity through radio communications is another essential element of a smart-city, possibly realized through the forthcoming fifth-generation cellular wireless. Cellular networks provide the most versatile wireless services by outdoor infrastructure, for which the main entry points of electromagnetic signals for data communications are walls and windows, sometimes supplemented by dedicated indoor infrastructure.

The building walls however block electromagnetic signals most notably for the 5G cellular. We therefore face a challenge of energy efficiency-wireless connectivity dilemma: energy efficient building structures degrade radio communication, particularly in cold climates, like Finland. This talk sheds lights on this dilemma first by clarifying the nature of electromagnetic signals used for 5G cellular, and their differences from legacy cellular networks. The talk also introduces several experimental evidences of cellular connectivity in low-energy buildings. We then highlight importance of ensuring wireless coverage inside buildings for the purpose of sensing people’s well-being and maintenance of building, where indoor cellular coverage estimation is exemplified. The talk finally concludes with possible ideas to counteracts the dilemma, i.e., example designs of new building elements that consider both structural and wireless communications aspects.