Brick: Towards a Unified Metadata Schema For Buildings


Commercial buildings have long since been a primary target for applications from a number of areas: from cyber-physical systems to building energy use to improved human interactions in built environments. While technological advances has been made in these areas, such solutions rarely experience widespread adoption due to the lack of a common descriptive schema that can reduce the nowprohibitive cost of porting these applications and systems to different buildings. Recent attempts have sought to address this issue through data standards and metadata schemes, but fail to capture the set of relationships and entities required by real applications. Building upon these works, this paper describes Brick, a uniform schema for representing metadata in buildings. Our schema defines a concrete ontology for sensors, subsystems and relationships among them, which enables portable applications. We demonstrate the completeness and effectiveness of Brick by using it to represent the entire vendor-specific sensor metadata of five diverse buildings across different campuses, comprising 15,700 data points, and running eight complex unmodified applications on these buildings.

Proceedings of the 3rd ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environments, 2016