The KnoholEM project is organised into 6 sub-projects (workpackages; WP)

Work Package 1

Generic Functional Modeling and Generic Building Ontology

The challenge of this workpackage is to create a knowledge-based representation of buildings and buildings functionalities compatible with the mainstream industry standards like Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), SensorML and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). For this, several taxonomies to standardize the representation of the building’s geometry, topology and mereology, of the sensors and actuators, the building’s functionalities, the user-building interaction and the goals of users and building utilization concerning comfort and energy efficiency are developed. These taxonomies maintain compatibility both with prevalent building information models and building ontologies and facilitate the integration of functional modeling, simulation and visualization tools into the KnoHolEM system solution. The usage of open standards improves the overall process of knowledge sharing within ubiquitous domains. All functional structures of a building are describable through these taxonomies. Accordingly, functional models containing functional units representing the goals structure, the user interactions as well as the special functional structure are being created for a generic building to comprehend established building functionalities and use cases. From these functional models, equivalent generic (TBox) ontologies are derived and manually enhanced by rules determining how the ontologies entities interact with each other. Taxonomies, generic functional models and TBox ontologies are then iteratively enhanced based on the insights received from the project’s demonstration object buildings.

Work Package 2

Behavioral Model and Building-specific Ontology

This work package strongly relies on the outcomes of the previous one. In it, building-specific functional models are created for the demonstration objects, based on the taxonomies and functional units defined in work package 1.  From these, building-specific ABox ontologies are derived. Data mining algorithms to analyze data on energy consumption and production, state of the building and its surroundings in correlation with information on building usage and use cases, as well as methods to automatically enhance the building-specific ontology based on these analysis results are developed. Besides, data mining algorithms for real-time analysis of energy consumption and production combined with data on building and surrounding state are elaborated. A last challenge of this workpackage is to methodically enhance the initially created ABox ontologies for all demonstration objects based on the results of these algorithms. This is to be accomplished iteratively.

Work Package 3

Optimization algorithm and real-time hardware

Work package 3 involes the development of the optimization algorithm of the total energy balance for the energy management solution, methodically derived from the rules of the building-specific ontology, and will validate its functionality through software simulators.

For parsing the ontology rule set and link it to the instantiation of the building-specific ontology that includes all the readings of the sensors and expresses the momentary state of the building, in order to derive conclusions and advices for energy efficiency reconfiguration, an ontology reasoner algorithm will be compiled and installed on the real time hardware box. These algorithms will be robust against disorders that will be put into the system, such as nondeterministic supply of energy by RES. The work package will involve analyzing the requirements of energy management into the building-grid scenario, in order to define mathematical and stochastic models based on M&S and FSM approach for real time control of energy flow in the building. Algorithms studied and developed by CETMA will use the knowledge base described in the system ontology to obtain the real time policies for energy control of the building. These algorithms will analyze all the requirements of buildings in terms of users, devices, plants, etc. Each of them in a function transform.

Before hardware and firmware implementation of algorithms on the RT-controller, the algorithms will be tested in a software simulator of the building-grid. The software simulator will be useful to validate the algorithms, improve their performances and identify logic that will be sustainable for implementation in ordinary management of micro-grid. The software simulator will use the knowledge base available through the ontology, but it could be necessary to develop other extracting procedures and add new rules for real time management of energy flow in building.

Energy consuming and energy producing devices will be connected in a grid with an Energy controller. To do this, we will analyze the technology present in the market to realize the communications and will define the technical specifications to develop the hardware and firmware modules required for the communication between the devices. After the validation, the algorithms will be coded in embedded environments for the RT-controller in order to control the demonstrator. This embedded controller will be integrated with sensors and actuators, developing hardware and firmware for a network adapter that connect into the grid the devices to control

The deliverables of this work package are shown in the following table. The work package has two milestones in month 19 and month 32, when the first concepts of the optimization algorithm and of the simulation environment, respectively the hardware boxes are to be realized.


Type of Deliverable


Month of delivery



Algorithms and logic of energy efficiency





Simulator of Implementation of algorithms and logic




Protocols, standards in building-grid communication




Components with hardware and firmware for the control of the devices in the building-grid.


Table 1: WP3 Deliverables

Work Package 4

Smart building simulator and building in the loop

Work package 4 is tasked with performing applied research into the integration of use cases and scenarios, determined through analysis of the four demonstration objects, into the simulation and visualisation platform. These will facilitate early rapid exploration of energy saving techniques and user in the loop building configuration.

In the work package, the software components for building geometry data import and for building automation systems behaviour modelling as well as the smart building simulation software will be developed. A bidirectional communication interface to the real-time hardware box will also be developed.

This work package has an extended validation part, too: the geometry data import component and the behavioural modelling component will be tested with building data from the validation objects. Likewise, the entire functionality of the smart building simulator will be tested using data from all demonstration objects. Finally, after the real-time hardware boxes are installed in the demonstration objects, the “building in the loop” model will be validated in each building.

Work Package 5

Demonstration Objects Analysis and Validation Approach

WP 5 of the KnoholEM project is concerned with establishing an understanding of the how the demonstration objects work; the energy uses within the buildings in connection with the energy consuming (and producing) devices, as well as with the building use cases, the interaction of the building occupants with the building and its functionalities. This will be done in a number of stages which will build on the previous work to create a comprehensive understanding of the demonstration objects, how they use energy now, how the KnoholEM solution will interact with the objects, establishing energy savings, cost benefits and investment payback and finally to confirm that the deployed solution works. In this context, data mining will be used both to understand the current energy use and to create patterns of operation in connection with energy consumption of devices, as well as to automatically derive ontology rule sets which will be applied in managing future building operation. One of the main objectives will be to show that the demonstration objects are working as well as or better after the upgrade in addition to the reductions in environmental impacts. This requirement is made more complicated by the fact that there are different outcomes which can be achieved which could be viewed as being positive.

The specific aims of WP5 are

  • To provide a detailed energy behavioural model of the selected demonstration buildings and determine their fit to the approach proposed within KnoholEM.
  • To support the extension of the dedicated building ontologies, including rule sets generation.
  • Configure the building-specific energy management systems based on continuous virtual and real-time monitoring of selected demonstration buildings.
  • Deploy, validate and benchmark the implemented energy management systems, reveal the achieved energy savings and evaluate its amortization duration.
  • To assess the user’s satisfaction and ensure that it has either been enhanced or not been impaired through the implementation of the solution.
  • Development of Cost/Benefit plan to show the potential financial and energy savings versus the initial capital cost

Work Package 6

Knowledge Management and Dissemination

The work package 6 exists of 5 main objects which all have the target to disseminate and exploit the project results. This will be done by creating a corporate identity for KnoholEM by developing different awareness material as a logo and leaflets. Also a web portal will be used to disseminate the project results within and outside the consortium by using a European strategy and organizing a final event in Karlsruhe, Germany. Also national dissemination plans for each country represented within the project are vital for the successful dissemination and exploitation of the results.

The knowledge management is essential for the successful cooperation between the partners. For that the aim of this objective is to manage the consortium members’ background and foreground IPRs, carry out technology audits and manage the consortiums standardization activities. Also internal workshops on IPR will be provided.

For the objective exploitation strategies the treats and competitors of the project will be identified, market analysis will be done and a market and financial forecast will be worked out. This will be combined within an action plan and corresponding marketing material will be prepared. Also an active virtual collaboration and participation on the dedicated wiki ICT4E2B Form is planned and will be used as a platform to share the knowledge. The aim of this objective is the active virtual collaboration and participation to targeted workshops and meetings and the also creating a repository for new data models