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Current practices and infrastructure for open data based research on occupant-centric design and operation of buildings

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journal contribution
posted on 13.07.2020, 11:17 by Mikkel B Kjærgaard, Omid Ardakanian, Salvatore Carlucci, Bing Dong, Steven FirthSteven Firth, Nan Gao, Gesche Margarethe Huebner, Ardeshir Mahdavi, Mohammad Saiedur Rahaman, Flora D Salim, Fisayo Caleb Sangogboye, Jens Hjort Schwee, Dawid Wolosiuk, Yimin Zhu
Many new tools for improving the design and operation of buildings try to realize the potential of big data. In particular, data is an important element for occupant-centric design and operation as occupants’ presence and actions are affected by a high degree of uncertainty and, hence, are hard to model in general. For such research, data handling is an important challenge, and following an open science paradigm based on open data can increase efficiency and transparency of scientific work. This article reviews current practices and infrastructure for open data-driven research on occupant-centric design and operation of buildings. In particular, it covers related work on open data in general and for the built environment in particular, presents survey results for existing scientific practices, reviews technical solutions for handling data and metadata, discusses ethics and privacy protection and analyses principles for the sharing of open data. In summary, this study establishes the status quo and presents an outlook on future work for methods and infrastructures to support the open data community within the built environment.


U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award (Award No. 1949372)

EUDP (Grant, n. 64018–0558)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), [funding reference number RGPIN-2019-04349]

Humboldt Foundation and Bayer Foundation Humboldt-Bayer research fellowship

Australian Research Council's funding (ARC LP150100246)

U.S. National Science Foundation (Award No.: 1805914)



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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Building and Environment




Elsevier BV


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© Elsevier Ltd

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Building and Environment and the definitive published version is available at

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Dr Steven Firth. Deposit date: 9 July 2020

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