Despite the increasing opportunity for data collection, and the integration of technologies, buildings and their systems remain incredibly siloed. Systems typically do not communicate with each other, and data which could be potentially valuable and aid us on our decarbonisation journey is not being collected or utilised.
To address this the Active Building Centre Research Programme have:
- Developed an open-source messaging infrastructure to securely and consistently communicate with a range of devices
- Deployed the infrastructure on a range of projects, collecting high fidelity performance data from a number of buildings and systems building a rich data repository
What Data is Collected?
To gain insight into how buildings are operating and assess the impact of individual systems, high resolution data is being collected from a range of devices. This moves beyond the energy data which is typically associated with building performance datasets. The combination of variables being collected varies depending upon the scope of the individual project, however will typically include the following:
- energy consumption data (electricity, gas and other fuels)
- internal environment (temperature, humidity, CO2)
- weather data (temperature, humidity, solar irradiance, wind speed and direction)
- sub-circuit metering
- renewable energy generation from PV
- energy storage (batteries)
- water consumption
- HVAC plant data, relating to AHUs, MVHRs, boilers, heat pumps etc.
Current Data Repository Stats:
Total number of data points collected
Total number of projects connected
The ABC-RP Messaging Infrastructure is an open-source IoT messaging stack, built around existing components and open-source projects. Using a range of IoT services and messaging it enables devices within buildings to communicate with the cloud in a secure and consistent manner, both for data collection and for cloud-based command and control (where applicable).
It can run on the cloud or the edge, or a combination of both, depending upon the requirements of a particular project. Our team has developed this stack to be easy to set up and maintain. It is a scalable and multi-tenant solution (i.e. one instance of the software stack can serve multiple customers, while each tenant’s data remains isolated and invisible to others).
In its most recent version, the stack has been updated to an event-driven microservice architecture. The move to an event-driven microservice architecture has resulted in a solution which:
- Has lower resource consumption (power usage)
- Has lower costs to operate
- Is easier to scale
- Has an easier developer experience
Further information on the messaging stack and links to aligned projects and standards is available here.
Industrial partners Arup and re.je were instrumental in developing Version 1 of the IoT messaging stack and are still involved in the project, helping to ensure that the project continues to align with other ongoing efforts and standards.
The ABC-RP messaging infrastructure is in the process of being deployed on a range of projects, from individual domestic properties to large multi-tenant offices; collecting data on behalf of individual home owners, facilities managers, local authorities, registered social landlords, and devolved governments. If you are interested in contributing to the project, or would like to understand more about how the messaging infrastructure can be deployed on your project please fill in the form at the bottom of the page.
The Active Building Centre Research Programme operates in full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) & the Data Protection Act 2018. All data processing is carried out in line with the Swansea University Data Protection policy, available here.
The Active Building Centre Research Programme is committed to ensuring the highest standards of data governance. All data collected is done so with the informed consent of participants and is used exclusively for research purposes.