Pervasive sensing

Description: Pervasive sensing for collaborative facilities management

PI: Professor Joseph Clarke, University of Strathclyde

Fund: £494k, Energy Management in Non-Domestic Buildings

Project lifespan: Sept 2014 to Feb 2017



The project

A major bottleneck in the UK Government’s drive to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the non-domestic sector has been the lack of involvement of building users in implementing the required measures. This project will equip facilities managers, who are in the forefront of tackling the problem, with the localised data and analysis tools they can use to increase engagement with building users. These users, in turn, will gain opportunities to influence their preferred working environment – a major advance on the usual situation where they have no influence. There is increasing evidence of the economic impact associated with increased productivity derived from energy efficiency and improved working conditions.

The project will develop a radically different, data-centred and negotiated approach to facilities management as a means to resolve the conflicting demands of occupant comfort and energy use. It will establish continuous, personalised information on environmental conditions and energy use in support of occupant engagement and negotiation between co-workers and with facilities management. The research will investigate the potential of personalised information in social and digitally-mediated negotiations to meet common energy and comfort needs, and develop the tools and procedures that facilities managers can utilise to improve user engagement and decide fairly between potentially conflicting demands between users and between users and efficient building operation.

The project will deploy a previously developed pervasive sensing system, BuildAx, to capture data on environmental conditions, occupant behaviour (movement and activity) and personalised energy use at high spatial and temporal resolution, and map these data to continuous information in support of digitally-mediated negotiation between occupants and facilities managers. Approaches to staff-centred facilities management, including occupant-activated alerts, collective and individual action in working practices adaptation and reward-driven negotiation will be investigated.

Academic partners

University of Strathclyde

Joe Clarke

Paul Strachan

Jiangfeng Zhang

Nicolas Kelly

Fiona Bradley

Newcastle University

Adrian Clear

Rob Comber

Patrick Olivier

Commercial partners

Building Research Establishment (BRE)

TreeGreen Ltd

Freescale Semiconductor