ADAPT Centre awarded €500,000 to enhance building energy analysis
28 July 2015
The ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has been awarded a €500,000 research project by the European Commission, under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme, to improve energy efficiency in buildings. This will be achieved by exploring the application of semantic web technologies to manage building information models and data related to energy across the building life cycle.
The project, called SWIMing (Semantic web for information modelling in energy efficient buildings), will support existing and future EU Private Public Partnership (PPP) projects in the domain of energy efficient buildings (EeB). Running for 24 months, the main goal is to enhance the impact of these projects by encouraging them to make their building data open and accessible.
SWIMing is co-ordinated by Dr Kris McGlinn, investigator with the ADAPT Centre at TCD. ADAPT is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded academia-industry research centre dedicated to producing ground-breaking digital content innovations. Tyndall-UCC is also a partner on the project, alongside academic and industry collaborators from Germany (KIT), Greece (CERTH) and the UK (AEC3). Together, these partners bring a depth of understanding for meeting the many challenges related to data management in energy efficient buildings.
Building Information Modelling and energy management in buildings
The SWIMing project is focusing on the complex task of managing building data related to energy consumption over a building’s life-cycle (BLC). The BLC includes the building’s design, construction, commissioning, operation, refurbishment and demolition/recycling. Vast amounts of data are generated during its course. To address the management and interoperability of this data so that it may be exchanged between different computer tools employed at different stages of the BLC, the concept of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has arisen.
According to McGlinn, BIM provides a shared knowledge resource for information about a building, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its BLC.
“Effective BIM employed early in design can reduce building construction and operation costs substantially – helping to reduce errors, speeding up delivery and minimising environmental impact. BIM therefore plays a key role in energy management across the BLC,” said McGlinn.
“BIM does not set out, though, to describe all types of data. There are many data sources relevant to energy management in buildings which may not be captured in BIM, for example, data generated by building devices, profiles of occupants, information about weather patterns and regional and global energy prices. Integrating these data sources with BIM remains a challenge.”
Linked data is a structured form of data storage, distributed across the web, and which is supported by tools to easily query that data. By integrating BIM into the wider web of data, building data can be queried alongside all other linked (open) data sources. Together this information can make for more meaningful analysis of energy consumption and its relation to the localised costs of materials, systems and personnel in existing and future buildings.
The goal of the SWIMing project is to encourage and enable the use of linked data technologies, so that relevant stakeholders will be better able to access these data models and, as a result, benefit from greater overall impact.
Liked building data community
Towards this end, the SWIMing project is developing a dedicated community of stakeholders across industry, academia and governmental bodies to explore the use of linked data for managing building data. SWIMing is engaging with these stakeholders through the use of surveys and focused events, such as workshops. The aim of this engagement is to establish:
- A linked (open) data community for building data and building life cycle management;
- A set of representative linked data use cases for building life cycle energy management;
- A set of guidelines and best practices for linked data in building life cycle energy management.
SWIMing is also conducting analysis of the data requirements of existing EeB PPP projects, and is using this as a basis for the clustering of these projects within the building data community.
The type of categorisation of data requirements ranges from geometric data, to building device data, to data generated by building sensors, to energy tariffs and weather data. This data is further categorised then by the stage of the BLC in which it is generated and the stage of the BLC in which a product or service will require its use. Through this categorisation, projects can be clustered to exploit synergies and best practices on how to generate data and how to make that data accessible.
The ultimate goal of the SWIMing project is to facilitate the creation of a building information model and data cloud using linked data. This will enable the efficient exploitation of building data by new and existing services and applications. This will benefit stakeholders in the domain of energy efficient buildings and support the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 production not only in Europe, but across the globe.
As McGlinn highlighted: “Buildings consume up to 40 per cent of the total energy in the EU and if we, as a society, are serious about reducing greenhouse gases and promoting sustainability, we must examine all aspects of how that energy is managed. By making building data accessible over the web, linked data technologies will play an important role towards improving the energy efficiency of buildings through improved analysis, prediction and control of energy consumption.”
The SWIMing project will run until February 2017. For details, see the project website www.swiming-project.eu
The ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology is a 110 million euro academia-indsutry research centre dedicated to delivering digital content innovations. ADAPT combines the expertise of 120 researchers at four universities (Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology) with the know-how of Irish and international industry partners. ADAPT research and innovations are enabling unprecedented levels of digital engagement among individuals, companies and communities.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/07/28/adapt-centre-awarded-e500000-enhance-building-energy-analysis/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ThinkstockPhotos-1784374751.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ThinkstockPhotos-1784374751-300x300.jpgTechenergy,ICT