Field Demonstration of the Brick Ontology to Scale up the Deployment of ASHRAE Guideline 36 Control Sequences
Many commercial buildings have a vast network of sensors as part of their building automation systems (BAS) that allows opportunities for energy consumption and cost savings by deploying advanced control sequences. However, this resource is often underutilized since BAS are typically programmed with simple control sequences with limited potential to deliver on these opportunities. The recent availability of ASHRAE Guideline 36 (G36) with advanced HVAC control sequences supports control retrofits in existing buildings to unlock much of the savings potential. However, barriers such as the lack of standard naming convention of building assets and data points, proprietary equipment and BAS, and the inherent uniqueness of buildings and their systems prevent building stakeholders from adopting any “plug-and-play” implementation of G36. Instead, control vendors must often undertake the manual and labor-intensive point mapping process to identify a data stream’s functional and spatial relationship within the HVAC system along with other relevant contexts and map it to the new control sequences. The vendor must carry out the point mapping process in each individual building since the mapping is unlikely to port over to another building. Even for the same building, the point mapping process can occur multiple times if various control vendors implement different control retrofits and/or multiple control retrofits happen over the lifecycle of the building. Then, there is the likelihood that G36 control sequences are programmed uniquely to the building, preventing the same implementation from being reused in another. Therefore, this paper presents a field demonstration of how we leveraged the Brick ontology with BACnet, OpenBuildingControl’s Control Description Language (CDL), and open-source support tools to implement scalable and portable advanced building controls. These tools provide standardized semantic descriptions and relationships of the building’s assets and data points (Brick), standardized communication protocol to read from and write to the building’s BAS (BACnet), and standardized code implementations (CDL) of standardized advanced control strategies (G36). We implemented G36’s hot water supply temperature setpoint reset in a Berkeley, CA building for this field demonstration. This field demonstration aims to show how integrating these tools may streamline the deployment of advanced control sequences such as G36 in a consistent manner regardless of differences found across buildings.