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March 18, 2021 Thursday 11:41:34 AM IST

NUS and Johnson Controls to co-create people-centric smart building systems

Leadership Instincts

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, will embark on a joint collaboration on smart buildings research. Johnson Controls will commit about S$5 million into this research programme, and teams from both organisations will work together to address industry-wide challenges.

The NUS School of Design and Environment (SDE) will kick off with the first research project in April 2021, which will be led by Assistant Professor Clayton Miller from its Department of Building. The research will use machine learning to accelerate the conversion of Internet of Things (IoT) data into the BRICK Schema, a standardising model for data labels in buildings. This open-source schema describes smart buildings and their subsystems in a format that enables software to more easily and quickly connect into a larger number of buildings. With the establishment of a consistent schema across buildings, the industry is better able to understand metadata usage across all building types, to improve overall wellness for its users.

As it is a labour-intensive process to convert existing meta-data schemas into the BRICK framework, the team intends to set up a machine learning competition to crowdsource solutions to find the most accurate approach to converting each building’s existing labeling methods into the BRICK schema.

The research will leverage the Johnson Controls OpenBlue Innovation Center housed at SDE, which was launched in September 2020 as a testbed for a new breed of customisable, contact-free applications built on the Johnson ControIs unifying OpenBlue digital technology suite. It will focus primarily on the four SDE buildings, with the possibility to expand the scope to include other buildings across the NUS campus.