BIM and Interoperability for Cultural Heritage through ICT

BIM and Interoperability for Cultural Heritage through ICT

Anna Osello (Politecnico di Torino (DISEG and DAUIN), Italy), Andrea Acquaviva (Politecnico di Torino (DISEG and DAUIN), Italy), Daniele Dalmasso (Politecnico di Torino (DISEG and DAUIN), Italy), David Erba (Politecnico di Torino (DISEG and DAUIN), Italy), Matteo Del Giudice (Politecnico di Torino (DISEG and DAUIN), Italy), Enrico Macii (Politecnico di Torino (DISEG and DAUIN), Italy) and Edoardo Patti (Politecnico di Torino (DISEG and DAUIN), Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8379-2.ch008
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This chapter presents a methodology based on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and interoperability to convert existing buildings, even historical, into smart buildings. The chapter starts describing the main concepts of BIM and interoperability in the Architecture, Engineer and Construction (AEC) industry with special attention on integrating information from heterogeneous devices deployed in the building. Then, it details the SEEMPubS (Smart Energy Efficient Middleware for Public Buildings) middleware, which consists on three layers: (i) Integration Layer, (ii) Middleware Layer, and (iii) Application Layer. The validation of the most significant results is presented using both gamification and technical approaches involving different end-users. Finally, Apps for data management are introduced with a Community Portal and an Android Application for real-time data visualization. Future works introduce the integration of smart building into smart district context.
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Working on a smart building requires the use of ICT to optimize design, construction and management. BIM provides an huge amount of information in its database and, theoretically, it is able to work with all kind of data sources using interoperability. However it is essential to define standards for both data contents and format exchange. In this way BIM and interoperability can play a key role to transform existing buildings into smart buildings.

In this paper the methodology and the results obtained with the Smart Energy Efficient Middleware for Public Spaces (SEEMPubS) project are described.

The SEEMPubS project, specifically addresses reduction in energy usage and CO2 footprint in existing public buildings and spaces without significant construction works, by an intelligent ICT-based service, monitoring and managing the energy consumption. During the project special attention has been paid to historical buildings to avoid damage by extensive retrofitting. SEEMPubS provides control of appliances to effortlessly optimise energy efficiency usage without compromising comfort or convenience and offering decision makers strategies and tools needed to plan energy saving measures. SEEMPubS makes use of the LinkSmart middleware and uses its potential to create services and applications across heterogeneous devices to develop an integrated energy monitoring and control system. The project uses its real-time energy-awareness services for all users of the public space and combines awareness services with a community portal. This enables collective, community activity motivating positive competition in saving energy, complemented by courses towards the education on energy efficiency and sustainability.

The functionality of this system has been demonstrated on existing buildings at the Politecnico di Torino Campus, characterized by different representative typologies of buildings common in European cities, above all Valentino Castle in Turin, which has been built on XVI century. The validation of the most significant SEEMPubS results allows the elaboration of an energy efficient model for existing buildings and public spaces with a significant economic impact all over Europe. Indeed, this model could be replicated on many different existing buildings where old energy systems are already in place, avoiding expensive construction works and possible damages.

In order to optimize the data exchange among Architecture, Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing (MEP), energy simulations and Facility Management (FM), at the beginning of the project a building information model has been setup in order to contain the information that can be used in an interoperable way. Based on the results of the SEEMPubS project, it is very important to set correctly the contents of this model integrating architectural data (e.g. geometry and dimension) with energetic data (e.g. material, stratigraphy, colours and context) because interoperability between software (like Revit with Daysim and Radiance for lighting and Trnsys for heating and cooling) at present is not always perfect. This requires different formats (e.g. IFC and gbXML) and several test are often necessary.

As main result of the project, to guarantee a simplified access to all data, an APP for tablet and smartphone has been developed that leverages the SEEMPubS Middleware, which is a distributed event based Service Oriented infrastructure. It allows the end user to interact with the system in order to access heterogeneous building information available from multiple pervasive sources. It mixes structural information with fine grain energy and environmental data coming from heterogeneous devices both wireless and wired. It is worth noting that structural data information also comes from third-party software, such as Archibus FM, thanks to the Web Service approach. In addition, a Web Portal has been set up to guarantee a continuous interaction between the data, collected in near real-time, and different kind of end users (e.g. energy manager, students, staff and visitors). Moreover, a gamification approach has been used to interact with young generations in a funny way, teaching them the essential elements on energy saving.

Future work will require the extension from smart building to smart district. This is exactly the goal of the District Information Modelling and Management for Energy Reduction (DIMMER). Developing a system able to integrate BIM and 3D district level models with real-time data from sensors and user feedback, DIMMER aims to analyse and correlate buildings utilization and provide real-time feedback about energy-related behaviours.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interoperability: Is defined as the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.

Middleware: It represents a set of computer programs whose objective is to enable communication and management of data in distributed applications. For instance, sensors for energy monitoring communicate with each other using their own computer languages, often created or implemented by different manufacturers. Consequently, the middleware works as a translator, thus allowing the sensors to communicate with each other.

Building Information Modelling: It is a method based on a building model containing any information about the construction. In addition to 3D object-based models, it contains information about specifications, building elements specifications, economy and programs.

Building Information Model: It is a data-rich, object oriented, intelligent and parametric digital representation of the facility, from which views and appropriate data for various users’ needs can be extracted and analyzed to generate information that can be used to make decisions and improve the process of delivering the facility.

Distributed Systems: It is a software system where its components are distributed in different interconnected computers or devices, which communicate and coordinate their action exchanging information between them to achieve a common goal.

Smart Building: According to the European Commission, “Smart buildings means buildings empowered by ICT (information and communication technologies) in the context of the merging Ubiquitous Computing and the Internet of Things: the generalization in instrumenting buildings with sensors, actuators, micro-chips, micro- and nano-embedded systems will allow to collect, filter and produce more and more information locally, to be further consolidated and managed globally according to business functions and services.”

Ubiquitous Computing: It is a concept where computing is made to appear everywhere and anywhere and users can access to the information exploiting any kind of device, in any location and in any format. The technologies for supporting Ubiquitous Computing include Internet, middleware, sensors, location and positioning.

Facility Management: It is an integrated process to support and improve the effectiveness of the primary activities of an organization by the management and delivery of agreed support services for the appropriate environment needed to achieve its changing objectives.

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