WIT Press

The Development And Validation Of An Ontology Of Intelligent Buildings


Free (open access)





Page Range

101 - 112




154 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


T. Gadakari, S. Mushatat


An intelligent building can be defined as a dynamic and responsive infrastructure that integrates disparate building systems to effectively manage resources, provide benefits and optimise processes. The need for better knowledge management and development of research requires that intelligent buildings and their systems be classified. This paper develops an ontology of intelligent buildings based on a hierarchical framework, a formal definition of building intelligence and highlights their Key Performance Factors (KPF). A systematic qualitative review approach was used to investigate the current state of knowledge in the field of evolution of intelligent buildings, types of intelligent building technologies (IBT), methods to develop an ontology and the components of an ontology. Then the ontology was created by segregating the various elements of an intelligent building as “objects” and “classes”, along with their defining attributes and the relations between them. Some significant examples of coordination among the intelligent building systems were reported. It was deduced that every current building can be considered intelligent, though the degree of intelligence would vary according to the systems used and their attributes. KPFs were identified, which impart intelligent properties to building technologies and thus help decide the level of building intelligence. Subsequently this research was validated by an on-site study of the BRE Innovation Park, UK. Observing seven state-of-art demo buildings equipped with the latest innovations in intelligent building technologies helped assess, if all the necessary features of intelligent buildings were part of the ontology and whether the established hierarchy was consistent with operations observed on-site.


BRE Innovation Park, intelligent buildings, ontology, framework