Example framework for Performance Informatics data serialization. 

Performance Informatics

Performance Informatics

The scope of the Performance Informatics group is investigating representations of built environment interrelated and nested data. We seek to enable practitioners in making better design decisions through the use of data available to them. This is achieved by linking existing tools with semantically rich data structures to industry standard tools, creating a data driven paradigm of design computation within native working environments. 

Existing tools are constrained by the limits of their own semantic context. This lack of a shared context makes the exchange of data between stakeholders and collaborators more difficult than is necessary, given state-of-the-art technologies. This work continues from other Linked Building Data (LBD) projects such as the Building Topology Ontology (BOT) and other projects such as BRICK that provide a flexible means of representing and exchanging information, without the necessity of losing critical discipline specific data.

Pseudolinked data JSON-LD format for data representation

Data Reliability in BIM and Performance Analytics

A Survey of Contemporary AECO Practice

As awareness around building energy consumption increases, practitioners are encouraged to consider performance aspects regarding the built environment more closely and find ways to improve its efficiency. Improvements in building information modeling (BIM) and building performance simulation (BPS) tools present opportunities to facilitate information communication with a wider range of stakeholders. The building sector can benefit from the integration of performance informatics; however, there has been limited success in utilizing available technologies that promote data integration and management in favor of enriching our knowledge and understanding of buildings as artifacts of information. This phenomenon was investigated by conducting a survey, together with a review of relevant literature, to depict the relevant challenges and opportunities for the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operated (AECO) industry, as it undergoes digital transformation, as well as the working practices that have formed around them. 

Representation of envelopes as a graph.

Semantic Web Ontologies

For Building Envelopes and their Performance Data

This project proposes a semantic vocabulary (ontology) for representing building envelopes and their linked data. The work is demonstrated in a platform agnostic exchange between envelope performance analysis and industry standard design software; enabling decision-making for building envelopes in the context of high-performance retrofitting design. This ontological definition focuses on enabling a bi-directional exchange between platforms, and makes performance and simulation data available to practitioners. This research specifies two novel ontological definitions, and a software interface that makes use of these definitions. The first, the Ontology for Building Envelopes (OBE), describes an explicit graph-based, rule-driven description of building envelopes as discrete elements and the relationships between them. While OBE focuses primarily on a description of geometric objects, the second, the Ontology for Building Performance Data (OBPD), is a minimal definition for building performance analytics, its data requirements, outputs and the relationship between an analysis and a building element or set of elements. While OBE is strongly aligned with OBPD, it is also aligned with other known building ontologies.

Representation of BIM-based data serialization.

Data Serialization for BIM Environments

The normative ontologies of tools, federated and tailored by the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations industry (AECO), constrain collaboration and interoperability due to the creation of specific and bounded representational spaces, outside of which, software cannot operate. Although Building information modeling (BIM) provides a foundation for collaboration and data exchange within a common platform, professional practice still relies heavily on document sharing to circumvent the limits of proprietary software ontologies, especially when integrating performance analytics. The goal is a lossless exchange and mapping of data that provides the ability to represent non-native, analytical data directly in the BIM environment. The work focuses on the creation of applications that operate as middleware between different data stores, the user and an interface for data serialization towards a common data environment.  

Proposed BIM-BEM in Retrofitting Design Framework.

Performance Analytics through BIM for Energy Retrofitting 

Technological advancements in building performance, design and data management provide a promising potential in promoting our objectives for energy efficiency, by allowing for the integration and analysis of sophisticated data structures and more seamless collaboration between different stakeholders. However, despite the abundance of tools and available data, professional practice is in search of an integrated approach to maximize the benefits of the available technologies at hand and improve decision-making processes. This work analyses the literature related to the level of ‘real-world’ data integration, representation and exchange methods, and how these define user comprehension in the context of energy retrofitting.


Eleanna Panagoulia's headshot

Eleanna Panagoulia

Ph.D. Alumni

Tarek Rakha's headshot

Tarek Rakha

Associate Professor


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