HIT2GAP partners are working together to support a new generation of building management systems (BMS) which can evolve to keep apace with new technologies and which will cover widely diverse user requirements. This is being made possible by the development, within the project, of a flexible data ontology which will make H2G systems both modular and interoperable. Project partners have been supported in this endeavour through a state-of-the-art information-sharing system which has greatly facilitated communication across the project. The first work package of the project, to develop a framework and methodology for the treatment of data, has now reached completion, paving the way for the development of a detailed software architecture.
Through Eurecat, in collaboration with several other project partners, a proposed HIT2GAP methodology has been synthesized, and through Eurecat's work it is now envisaged that H2G systems will expand to encompass:
- Alternative sensors and meters, including smart phones
- Disaggregation of power and thermal loads
- Predictive maintenance
- Behaviour and comfort of occupiers
- Continuous evaluation of energy performance
- Integration between energy demand and energy supply
- Adaptation of visualization interfaces to cater for specific user needs, to ensure the effective delivery and presentation of information to building users.
To achieve this, H2G systems will include the following key software components:
- Forecasting of power consumption loads
- Disaggregation of power consumption (for both electricity and hot water distribution)
- Fault detection and diagnosis
- Assisting building users in identifying and minimizing energy wastage
- Economical provision of thermal comfort through multiple setpoint control
- Detailed review of energy use data
- Improved performance simulation and in-use calibration
- Sensitivity analysis – to enhance reliability of data
- Decision support for renewable energy devices.
The overarching objectives of the above software components is illustrated below
In the support of the above, HIT2GAP has now developed a technical specification for its data infrastructure, through the work of Universite de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour in close partnership with Fraunhofer Institute and Abo Data. Their work has recognised the need to consider building data and sensors in conjunction with occupier needs and activities, as well as relevant environmental conditions, such as weather, in order to facilitate the delivery of meaningful feedback to managers on their building’s performance. This task involved examination of the various existing data formats for describing building information, including both the existing semantic approaches and non-semantic approaches, and concluded that a standard data format known as Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) had particular strengths which HIT2GAP could utilize. Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is an international OpenBIM standard developed by buildingSMART which is an open data exchange format ensuring interoperability between building information systems within the AEC industry. HIT2GAP is, however, aware of the limitations of the IFC ontology but the experience that will be gained from trialling the project’s approach on the test buildings in Warsaw, Paris, San Sebastian and Galway will provide a valuable test of the success of the data infrastructure. The treatment of occupiers in buildings is also crucial, and HIT2GAP favours an ontology-based approach which can take account of drivers such as environmental factors and occupier needs as well as user satisfaction, occupier actions and the ability of a building’s system to respond to the preferences of occupiers. This work, which has led to an agreed framework and methodology, will pave the way towards the next phase in the project, regarding the mechanisms for aquiring and storing data and the development of basic software architecture.