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By Des Brennan, Data and Smart Systems Research Officer

Collecting data and gathering evidence to prove the case for Active Buildings

A critical component of the Active Building Centre is the development of a national database of building performance data.

Alongside a wider team at the Active Building Centre, I am working to deliver a standardised building data collection system, data semantics and storage. As well as visualisation and access tools for downstream analytics.

The data we collect will be used to support projections on the benefits of the Active Building concept and to develop advanced control strategies to optimise the performance of Active Building technologies.


The data will act as a benchmark and increase the reliability of building physics models used in the design of Active Buildings.

We’ll be looking at the capacity of data and smart systems to optimise energy performance through a variety of techniques such as demand modelling and fault detecting.


Part of my work includes looking at the progress made implementing big data techniques globally.

How do other countries use data to optimise building energy performance?

What can we learn from them to feed into Active Buildings and transform construction in the UK?

This might involve looking at the structure of the energy sectors in other countries in terms of their utility companies and distribution network operators. The global landscape of local energy markets, opportunities and challenges. The energy use in buildings.

Looking at what policies they have in place, such as financial incentives to adopt green technologies.


It’s about getting an outlook on challenges faced in the decarbonisation of energy sectors, and looking at what solutions data and smart systems can provide.

I’m considering the obstacles preventing wider uptake of data solutions, for example data semantics, how we structure stored data.

The Active Building Centre is currently addressing this in the UK by pushing through standardised building data structure currently under development in the US and other countries.


I am keen to network with UK SMEs to determine what is on offer in terms of data driven solutions to the challenges experienced within the construction and energy sectors. I’ll be looking at new and emerging innovative data related products. And I am interested in how energy sector technologies move from concept to marketplace.

I will be working with organisations who are keen to demonstrate their technology on Active Buildings. Through the established Active Building demonstrator programme, the Active Building Centre can support SMEs by providing test bed facilities for new energy technologies.

Working with our industrial partners, we can integrate emerging technologies into real buildings used daily as their primary design function and provide long-term performance data to drive development and support technologies as they move to market. These are facilities which I am keen to promote to UK SMEs.

If you are interested in working with the Active Building Centre, please contact us.