ESI-1: semantic labels

Towards sustainability through energy efficient buildings‘ design: semantic labels

AUTHOR: Freek Bomhof, TNO, TheNetherlands

Freek Bomhof is the coordinator of the FP7 STREAMER project. He has extensivebackground as a consultant and project manager in ICT research. He graduatedfrom University of Twente in 1990 in the field of Pattern Recognition and sincethen held various positions at KPN (the Dutch national telco) and then joinedTNO where he is now in the Data Science department that focuses on appliedresearch in the field of data anal-ysis and semantic technology.


The innovative aspect of the presented methodology isthe usage of a pragmatic imple-mentation of semantic technology, combined withpractical energy-related data and with knowledge from experts that can beexpressed in computer-processable Design Rules. The link between the Program ofRequirements and an initial design in BIM enables the evaluation of designs ina very early phase, focusing not only on energy efficiency, but alsooperational quality, and cost.


“When designing buildings, it is a challenge totake into account Energy Efficiency in the early design stage. Especially forhospitals this is difficult because these buildings combine many different roomtypes and functions that allow for a large multitude of design direc-tions.Choices made in an early stage have a large influence on the final performanceof the building, but it is hard to evaluate these design choices in terms ofKey Performance Indicators when details are not yet available. The SemanticLabels of the STREAMER pro-ject provide a means to optimize a design in anearly design phase because they capture the most relevant aspects of theProgram of Requirements. Using this, design rules can be applied to the designto detect inconsistencies or suboptimal solutions. Also, using default valuesfor label values, the design can already be evaluated using simulation tools.

An additional tool, the Early Design Configurator, can automatically convert aProgram of Requirements to an inital BIM design proposal that respects theDesign Rules. The Se-mantic labels describe standard values for Construction(floor height and strength, accessi-bility), Hygiene class (from public spacesto operational theatres), Equipment (electric pow-er requirements, safety),User profile (when the room is used), Comfort classe (like day-light) andAccess security (who can enter). Design rules may express conditions like thepreferred spatial separation between rooms, or whether rooms should be placedat outer walls, or with incompatible access requirements and user profiles.