Irish-led EU consortium wins €500K to enhance building energy analysis

Major new EU funding for research into building energy analysis was just announced by a group led by the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

The SWIMing (Semantic Web for Information Modelling in Energy Efficient Buildings) consortium involves five partners from four European countries and has won half a million euro in funding as part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme.

The SWIMing project will make use of Linked Data from across the Web to develop more meaningful analysis and prediction of energy consumption across the building life cyle, including design, construction, commissioning, operation, refurbishment and demolition. SWIMing is co-ordinated by Dr. Kris McGlinn, Investigator with the ADAPT Centre at TCD. Tyndall-UCC is also a partner on the project, alongside academic and industry collaborators from Germany, Greece and the UK.

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Building information modelling is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building. It provides a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle, from earliest conception to demolition (or recycling). Effective building information modelling can reduce building construction and running costs substantially – helping to reduce errors, speeding up delivery and minimising environmental impact. However, energy consumption over the whole building life cycle is difficult to monitor and predict due to the complexity of the processes involved.

The SWIMing project will address this challenge by using Linked Data, which is a structured form of data that can be distributed and stored across the Web in an easily accessible way. This enables data from multiple sources to be merged into holistic models to meet the varying requirements of building stakeholders. As a result, building information modelling systems will be able to integrate data from open sources on materials and systems (e.g. sensor and building devices data) that make up the building, as well as profiles of occupants, and information about weather patterns and regional and global energy prices. Together this information can make for more meaningful analysis of energy consumption and its relation to the costs of materials, systems and personnel in existing and future buildings.

Dr. Kris McGlinn of the ADAPT Centre at TCD, commented on the research funding: “We are extremely pleased to win this European funding. Buildings consume up to 40% of the total energy in the EU and if we, as a society, are serious about reducing greenhouse gases and promoting sustainability, we must examine all aspects of how that energy is managed. By making building data accessible over the Web, Linked Data technologies will play an important role towards improving the energy efficiency of buildings through improved analysis, prediction and control of energy consumption.”

The SWIMing project is bringing together existing projects funded under the EC’s Framework 7 and Horizon 2020 Energy Efficient Buildings funding call, clustering them by which stage of the buiding life cycle the project is applied and energy savings are achieved, to facilitate knowledge sharing and increase the impact of project results. SWIMing ( will run until February 2017.