SEMERGY: Application of Semantic Web Technologies in Performance-Guided Building Design Optimization

U. Pont, N. Ghiassi, S. Fenz, J. Heurix, A. Mahdavi:
"SEMERGY: Application of Semantic Web Technologies in Performance-Guided Building Design Optimization";
www.itcon.org - Journal of Information Technology in Construction,20(2015), Special Issue; S. 107 - 120.

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Abstract:


This contribution presents a comprehensive summary of the first phase of the research project
SEMERGY, aimed towards exploring the potential of Semantic Web Technologies to accommodate and support
building performance assessment and optimization. Previous research on the adoption of performance
assessment tools by the design community suggested that the extensive amount of time, effort and expertise
required to accumulate and provide input information for various performance evaluations, limits the
application of such tools for improvement of building design in early stages. Even the most rudimentary
performance inquiries require large quantities of data regarding the properties of incorporated building
materials and systems, climatic conditions, building codes, etc. Much of this data is available on the internet, yet
its use is severely hampered by lack of appropriate structure and format. The SEMERGY research and
development project was conceived with the aim of acquiring and utilizing the abundant, yet ill-structured
building-related data available on the World Wide Web, through implementation of Semantic Web Technologies.
This web-based data is utilized within a flexible, multi-objective design optimization environment, incorporating
various performance assessment applications. The present contribution describes some of the major challenges
of the project, discusses the adopted approaches, and presents SEMERGY's main features.