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Ontology-Based Spatial and System Hierarchies Federation for Fine-Grained Building Energy Analysis

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Merino, Jorge 
Chang, Janet Yoon 


Building energy conservation is among the most cost-efficient paths to achieve sustainability. An in-depth understanding of the energy consumed during the operation phase guides more effective energy-saving actions. With the adoption of submetering systems in buildings, fine-grained building energy analysis is enabled. This allows to characterise the dynamics underlying specific end-uses by associating local energy consumption patterns with relevant contextual factors (e.g., occupancy, indoor comfort, weather, etc.). To generalise the analysis in different buildings, a common and interoperable data representation for spatial and system hierarchies is needed. A federation approach to integrate building ontologies is proposed in this paper. The aim is to capture hierarchical geometric, topological, and relational information of the building, its components and systems, for running canonical energy analysis. The proposed approach combines the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and Brick schema, having complementary capabilities in representing spatial and semantic information. A case study is conducted, demonstrating the use of the federated ontologies in integrating and extracting relevant information from heterogeneous data sources. This contributes to the development of portable plug-in building energy analysis functions.



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CIB W78 - LDAC 2021

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This research forms part of the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s (CDBB) work at the University of Cambridge within the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH). The Construction Innovation Hub is funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Fund.