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 have been made in these areas, such solutions rarely experience widespread adoption due to the lack of a common descriptive schema which would reduce the now-prohibitive 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 six diverse buildings across different campuses, comprising 17,700 data points, and running eight complex unmodified applications on these buildings.