Pervasive sensing for collaborative facilities management

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Energy Systems Research Unit

Abstract

A major bottleneck in the UK Government's drive to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the non-domestic sector has been the lack of involvement of building users in implementing the required measures. This project will equip facilities managers, who are in the forefront of tackling the problem, with the localised data and analysis tools they can use to increase engagement with building users. These users, in turn, will gain opportunities to influence their preferred working environment - a major advance on the usual situation where they have no influence. There is increasing evidence of the economic impact associated with increased productivity derived from energy efficiency and improved working conditions.

The project will develop a radically different, data-centred and negotiated approach to facilities management as a means to resolve the conflicting demands of occupant comfort and energy use. It will establish continuous, personalised information on environmental conditions and energy use in support of occupant engagement and negotiation between co-workers and with facilities management. The research will investigate the potential of personalised information in social and digitally-mediated negotiations to meet common energy and comfort needs, and develop the tools and procedures that facilities managers can utilise to improve user engagement and decide fairly between potentially conflicting demands between users and between users and efficient building operation.

The project will deploy a previously developed pervasive sensing system, BuildAx, to capture data on environmental conditions, occupant behaviour (movement and activity) and personalised energy use at high spatial and temporal resolution, and map these data to continuous information in support of digitally-mediated negotiation between occupants and facilities managers. Approaches to staff-centred facilities management, including occupant-activated alerts, collective and individual action in working practices adaptation and reward-driven negotiation will be investigated.

Planned Impact

The proposed research offers a spectrum of benefits ranging from new opportunities for cross-discipline collaboration through a potential for new businesses and business services. The principal beneficiaries are the academic community, building occupants, building facilities managers and ICT technology developers. If successful, the research signposts a different means of operating and managing buildings, where pervasive sensing and eServices facilitate detailed feedback on human comfort and energy use, and facilitates the participation of building occupants in the operation and management of the building's energy systems.

Academic impact
The work promises significant academic impact across a range of disciplines. A varied project team comprising psychologists, engineers, architects and IT specialists will deliver mass data collection and processing in support of new software services that facilitate and digitally-assisted negotiation between building occupants and facilities managers. The innovative nature of the concept means that there are further avenues for research exploitation by the investigators and other groups. For example, the work paves the way for a radical re-thinking of automated control of the indoor environment based on pervasive sensing and digitally-elicited feedback from users on environmental preferences. To this end, a work package has been dedicated to identifying and developing strategies for further research exploitation of project outcomes.

Impact for end-users
The wider end-user benefits of the research are numerous. First, the research offers the building occupant the means to participate through feedback and negotiation in the operation of the environmental systems that directly affect their comfort and wellbeing. Second, the research offers building facilities managers the means to cheaply and quickly gain a richer picture of the performance of their building and occupant satisfaction; moreover, the proposed eServices will give facilities managers new means to interact more widely with their co-workers towards the common goals of improving comfort and reducing energy use.

Industry impact
The envisaged research outputs offer the potential for business growth: the use of wireless, distributed sensors in buildings offer the potential for new businesses in areas such as building performance monitoring and new services offered by facilities management companies. Additionally, the project offers some of the project industry partners the opportunity to refine, test and evaluate the efficacy of the distributed sensors to be deployed in the project. This offers the prospect of new product development and device sales post project. Additionally, pervasive sensing offers the building design and construction industry new opportunities to close the gap between building energy performance production and post-occupancy performance; in this project this will be delivered through the provision of accessible and high-resolution performance datasets, which can be used in design tool validation.

Publications


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Clarke J (2014) Performance of actively controlled domestic heat storage devices in a smart grid in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy
 
Description That pervasive sensors can be rapidly deployed within a building to quantify, at low cost, problems reported by occupants.

That the information so collected can be processed in a timely manner that alerts Facility Managers to problems as they occur.

That the collected data can be used to engage occupants in change negotiation as an apt response to problem alleviation.
Exploitation Route As the basis of online support for the facilities management process.
Sectors Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment
 
Description The findings are used by Facilities Managers to undertake rapid quantification of problems reported by building occupants.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment
Impact Types Economic
 
Description Glasgow City Council: Future Cities Demonstrator
Amount £247,221 (GBP)
Organisation Government of the UK 
Department Innovate UK
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2014 
End 07/2016
 
Description H2020
Amount € 414,581 (EUR)
Organisation European Union 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 07/2015 
End 06/2019
 
Description Impact Accelerator Account project with QUSystems
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description International Collaboration Programme
Amount £279,000 (GBP)
Organisation Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning 
Sector Academic/University
Country Korea, Republic of
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2018
 
Description International collaboration Programme
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Organisation Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning 
Sector Academic/University
Country Korea, Republic of
Start 06/2015 
End 05/2018
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £145,377 (GBP)
Organisation Innova UK 
Sector Private
Country Unknown
Start 05/2015 
End 04/2017
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership
Amount £152,286 (GBP)
Organisation Innova UK 
Sector Private
Country Unknown
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2018
 
Description Commercialisation of research outcomes 
Organisation Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution New commercial services are being established for delivery by BRE internationally. These include low cost monitoring for post occupancy evaluation of buildings, new approaches to energy model calibration, and building upgrade quality assurance - all based on pervasive sensing and e-service delivery.
Collaborator Contribution The BRE Trust give finanical support to Strathclyde as their 'Centre of Excellence in Energy Utilisation', one of four centres included within their University Partnership Programme.
Impact Funding approximatelt 3 PhD studentships per year. Funding for new staff appointments. Support (from BRE Scotland) for the commercialisation of research oputcomes.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Field deployments of e-services 
Organisation Glasgow City Council
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Experimental deployment of timely information delivery services to facilities managers and use of information to research data-mediated negotiation between facilities managers and building occupants.
Collaborator Contribution Access to building areas and assistance with the evaluation of outcomes.
Impact Adoption of the new approach by those responsible for building control and performance improvement.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Field deployments of e-services 
Organisation MRC and the Department for International Development (DFID)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Experimental deployment of timely information delivery services to facilities managers and use of information to research data-mediated negotiation between facilities managers and building occupants.
Collaborator Contribution Access to building areas and assistance with the evaluation of outcomes.
Impact Adoption of the new approach by those responsible for building control and performance improvement.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Field deployments of e-services 
Organisation Skills Development Scotland
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Experimental deployment of timely information delivery services to facilities managers and use of information to research data-mediated negotiation between facilities managers and building occupants.
Collaborator Contribution Access to building areas and assistance with the evaluation of outcomes.
Impact Adoption of the new approach by those responsible for building control and performance improvement.
Start Year 2015
 
Description International field deployments of experimantal e-services 
Organisation Bouygues Construction SA
Country France, French Republic 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Deployment of pervasive environmental sensors and data processing software at test sites to pilot e-service delivery within separately funded research projects.The latter is used to transform data recovered from the former to new information services for timely delivery to personnel and agencies associated with facilities management and research.
Collaborator Contribution Access to building areas and assistance with the evaluation of outcomes.
Impact Publications, new research partnerships and staff exchanges. Adoption of the new approach by those responsible for building environmental conditions control and energy-related performance improvement.
Start Year 2015
 
Description International field deployments of experimantal e-services 
Organisation Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)
Country Korea, Republic of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Deployment of pervasive environmental sensors and data processing software at test sites to pilot e-service delivery within separately funded research projects.The latter is used to transform data recovered from the former to new information services for timely delivery to personnel and agencies associated with facilities management and research.
Collaborator Contribution Access to building areas and assistance with the evaluation of outcomes.
Impact Publications, new research partnerships and staff exchanges. Adoption of the new approach by those responsible for building environmental conditions control and energy-related performance improvement.
Start Year 2015
 
Description International field deployments of experimantal e-services 
Organisation Lodz University of Technology
Country Poland, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Deployment of pervasive environmental sensors and data processing software at test sites to pilot e-service delivery within separately funded research projects.The latter is used to transform data recovered from the former to new information services for timely delivery to personnel and agencies associated with facilities management and research.
Collaborator Contribution Access to building areas and assistance with the evaluation of outcomes.
Impact Publications, new research partnerships and staff exchanges. Adoption of the new approach by those responsible for building environmental conditions control and energy-related performance improvement.
Start Year 2015
 
Description International field deployments of experimantal e-services 
Organisation XIIlab Co. Ltd
Country Korea, Republic of 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Deployment of pervasive environmental sensors and data processing software at test sites to pilot e-service delivery within separately funded research projects.The latter is used to transform data recovered from the former to new information services for timely delivery to personnel and agencies associated with facilities management and research.
Collaborator Contribution Access to building areas and assistance with the evaluation of outcomes.
Impact Publications, new research partnerships and staff exchanges. Adoption of the new approach by those responsible for building environmental conditions control and energy-related performance improvement.
Start Year 2015
 
Description eService deployment procedures 
Organisation Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technical support for e-service definition and field deployment in various circumstances and for various clients.
Collaborator Contribution Access to client premises and development of business propositions.
Impact Deployment within BRE's international network of innovation parks to support a standard assessment procedure. New information services being delivered commercially.
Start Year 2015
 
Description eService deployment procedures 
Organisation Freescale Semiconductors
Department Freescale Semiconductor UK
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technical support for e-service definition and field deployment in various circumstances and for various clients.
Collaborator Contribution Access to client premises and development of business propositions.
Impact Deployment within BRE's international network of innovation parks to support a standard assessment procedure. New information services being delivered commercially.
Start Year 2015
 
Description eService deployment procedures 
Organisation Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Technical support for e-service definition and field deployment in various circumstances and for various clients.
Collaborator Contribution Access to client premises and development of business propositions.
Impact Deployment within BRE's international network of innovation parks to support a standard assessment procedure. New information services being delivered commercially.
Start Year 2015
 
Description eService deployment procedures 
Organisation QU Systems
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technical support for e-service definition and field deployment in various circumstances and for various clients.
Collaborator Contribution Access to client premises and development of business propositions.
Impact Deployment within BRE's international network of innovation parks to support a standard assessment procedure. New information services being delivered commercially.
Start Year 2015
 
Description eService deployment procedures 
Organisation Treegreen Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technical support for e-service definition and field deployment in various circumstances and for various clients.
Collaborator Contribution Access to client premises and development of business propositions.
Impact Deployment within BRE's international network of innovation parks to support a standard assessment procedure. New information services being delivered commercially.
Start Year 2015
 
Title BuildAX/ EnTrak 
Description This eService delivery platform is made available under an Open Source/ Common license agreement. 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed Yes
Impact More rapid take-up of the technology and a willingness by others to share in its applicability testing and refinement.
 
Title Pervasive service supporting an eService delivery platform 
Description The tool comprises a hardware/ software system for low cost, pervasive sensing of building environmental conditions and the use of high frequency data to deliver relevant and timely information to a range of stakeholders, including facility managers and building occupants. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Adoption by Glasgow City Council for the quality assurance of housing upgrades. Adoption by the Electronic Technology Research Institute of Korea as an essential component in their 'big data' platform. Adoption my 2 SME's (QUSystems and Treegreen) for use to provide commercial information services relating to building performance. Deployment within the EU H2020 project, Hit2Gap, to deliver new information to facilities managers. Adoption by Xiilab, a Korean IT company. Adoption by Hurrley Palmer Flatt, an energy systems engineering company. Adoption by CO2Estates, a real estate management company. Deployment within the EU H2020 project, Ruggedised, to quality assure new energy deployments in 4 partner cities. 
URL http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk
 
Description Training courses in e-service delivery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Hands-on training in the configuration and deployment of multi-sensors and the definition of the analytics to be applied to the data to deliver specific information to different stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk