Three separate workshops were held at the CIB 2011 Conference in Sophia Antipolis to support the eeBDM efforts in terms of building community support and consensus for a universally acceptable eeBDM. One of these workshops, a REViSITE workshop was organised with some interrelated objectives to the Commission organized workshops. The workshops were:
1. A Commission workshop on current state of the art on Energy Efficient Buildings Data Models
2. A Commission workshop on next steps of eeBDM ontology engineering: Support the eeBDM workshop in terms of building community support and consensus for a universally acceptable eeBDM.
3. REViSITE workshop on Grid/Building interoperability: Examine the main interoperability touch-points between the built environment and energy grids.
The Building Data Model is regarded essential for advancements in Energy Efficiency in the built environment. The eeBDM and REViSITE workshops identified ontologies, methodologies and tools central to enabling a common BDM definition.
Current research indicates that technologies that are related to Semantic Web (Web 3.0) have best potential for this venture. Ontologies that are part of the European Smart Grid (e.g. mandate 490) projects could be helpful in the design process of an augmented eeBDM. The domain ontologies for the IEC reference framework are mature and may provide examples for the eeBDM development process. The smart grid ontology (the Common Information Model) has been standardised through the IEC 61970-301 document. This formalisation covers maintenance, scoping and versioning in ways that may also be suitable for eeBDM ontologies.
The semantics of the built environment and the grid are connected at a functional level as both domains are part of the same energy flows. In that respect the eeBDM ontology could benefit from smart grid semantics that cover energy efficiency measures. Ontology mappings may be required to effectively exchange information from the grid domain (infrastructure operators, energy market and such) to the built environment (developers, owners, occupants etc.). A mutual approach of grid and build experts would seem beneficial to both sides.
Although the theoretical basis that underpins them was defined some decades ago semantic web and ontology engineering is still in its infancy and there are some issues to address. For example lack of practical experiences with these technologies might make it difficult to assess the validity of publicly available ontologies on the web (sensor models for instance). Additional research is required in order to understand the stability and viability of ontology constructions for eeBDM applications, but the need, value and potential for impact is very much apparent.
For more details on the workshops and their findings please visit the workshops report in the REViSITE project website on the link below:
For more information about REViSITE please visit www.revisite.eu