Extending the Brick Schema to Represent Metadata of Occupants: Article No. 104307

Na Luo, Gabe Fierro, Yapan Liu, Bing Dong, Tianzhen Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus Citations


Energy-related behaviors of occupants constitute a key factor influencing building performance; accordingly, the measured occupant data can support the objective assessment of the indoor environment and energy performance of buildings, which can inform building design and operational decisions. Existing data schemas focus on metadata of sensors, meters, physical equipment, and IoT devices in buildings; however, they are limited in representing the metadata of occupant data, including occupants' presence in spaces, movement between spaces, interactions with building systems or IoT devices, and preference of indoor environmental needs. To address this gap, an extension to the widely adopted metadata schema, Brick, is proposed to represent the contextual, behavioral, and demographic information of occupants. The proposed extension includes four parts: (1) a new "Occupant" class to represent occupants' demography and energy related behavioral patterns, (2) new subclasses under the Equipment class to represent envelope system and personal thermal comfort devices, (3) new subclasses under the Point class to represent occupant sensing and status, and (4) new auxiliary properties for occupant interactable equipment to represent the level of controllability for each piece of equipment by occupants. The extension is implemented in the Brick schema and has been tested using multiple occupant datasets from the ASHRAE Global Occupant Database. The extension enables Brick schema to capture diverse types of occupant sensing data and their metadata for FAIR data research and applications.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-82999


  • brick schema
  • data model
  • human building interaction
  • interoperability
  • occupant behavior
  • occupant metadata


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