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Paper w78-2011-Paper-18:
Requirements and Development of A Computerized Approach for Analyzing Functional Information of HVAC Components Using Building Information Models

Facilitated by the SciX project

X Liu, B Akinci, J H Garrett, M Bergés

Requirements and Development of A Computerized Approach for Analyzing Functional Information of HVAC Components Using Building Information Models

Abstract: Heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for about 40% of the energy consumed in buildings. They directly control the indoor air quality and determine occupant comfort. Therefore, correct operation of HVAC systems is critical for ensuring the normal functions of the buildings. Due to the continued increase in their complexity, manual operation and maintenance of the HVAC systems has become more and more difficult. Computerized approaches, such as Fault detection and diagnosis and automated commissioning approaches, have been proposed to automate this process. These approaches use data from the HVAC systems and building context and provide information about the performance of the systems to the operator. However, the existing information standards, such as Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and AEX cfiXML, mainly represent the geometric information and categories of the HVAC components. One important type of information that is missing is the functional relationships of the HVAC components. Functional relationships represent how different HVAC components work together to serve the functions of the system. For example, a sensor that monitors the temperature of a space is functionally related to the Variable Air Volume (VAV) box that controls the temperature of the same space. Therefore, functional relationships are needed by the HVAC system operator to reason about and adjust their configuration. The objective of the presented work is to develop a computerized approach that can automatically analyse the functional relationships of HVAC components using the available information from the existing Building Information Models (BIM). This includes the exploration of needed functional relationships of HVAC components, the classifications of functionalities of HVAC equipment and components, the development of a functional taxonomy of HVAC components, and the implementation of a prototype system for analysing the functional relationships. The primary result of the presented work is the development of an extensible computerized approach that can automatically reason about the functional relationships of typical HVAC components using information from BIM.

Keywords: Information Models Analysis, Building Information Modeling, Functional Information, HVAC Systems Modeling.


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