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The B-bem project: The Bayesian building energy management Portal

Energy Management of existing non-domestic buildings is wrought with many challenges, a number of which arguably exist due to the diversity found amongst individual buildings and amongst the humans who occupy them. Buildings are inherently unique systems making it difficult to generalize technology solutions for any individual property. Instead, to make robust investment decisions for the energy-efficient upkeep of a particular building requires some degree of tailored engineering and economic analysis. This project aims to respond to these challenges. Indeed, in order to make sound decisions on future building operation and technology investment, evidence shows that one needs adequate information on a number of engineering, economics, and social science matters pertaining to each individual project. To obtain this information has so-far been viewed as a costly exercise, and has contributed to the general perception that undertaking deep cuts to building energy consumption (achieving more than 15% in energy savings per investment) is an economically risky affair. This proposal is the first to develop and recommend an altogether new approach to performing building audits, energy simulation, uncertainty analysis, data visualization, and finally investment decision-making. It will lead to a marked reduction in the cost of acquiring information for robust retrofit and facility management decisions.

The direct outputs of this project will be a series of software tools for three distinct but related purposes: (i) collecting building data on relevant uncertainty parameters (i.e., "what do we know now?"); (ii) propagating and quantifying uncertainty using building simulation models, measurements obtained from key monitored building sites, and cutting-edge statistical approaches (i.e., Bayesian analysis); and (iii) the display and interpretation of uncertainty.