The Development and Validation of an Ontology of Intelligent Buildings

Tulika Gadakari, Sabah Mushatat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


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. KPF’s 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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Dwelling
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches to Sustainability, Design and Participation
EditorsK. Hadjri, L. Madrazo, I. O. Durosaiye
PublisherWIT Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78466-220-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-78466-219-6
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020
EventOIKONET Third International Conference: Global Dwelling - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sep 201623 Sep 2016

Publication series

NameWIT Transactions on the Built Environment
ISSN (Print)1743-3509
ISSN (Electronic)1746-4498


ConferenceOIKONET Third International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Bibliographical note

OIKONET Third International Conference:


  • BRE Innovation Park
  • Framework
  • Intelligent buildings
  • Ontology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Transportation
  • Safety Research
  • Computer Science Applications


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