Unified Architecture for Data-Driven Metadata Tagging of Building Automation Systems

Sakshi Mishra, Andrew Glaws, Dylan Cutler, Stephen Frank, Muhammad Azam, Farzam Mohammadi, Jean-Simon Venne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus Citations


This article presents a Unified Architecture (UA) for automated point tagging of Building Automation System (BAS) data, based on a combination of data-driven approaches. Advanced energy analytics applications—including fault detection and diagnostics and supervisory control—have emerged as a significant opportunity for improving the performance of our built environment. Effective application of these analytics depends on harnessing structured data from the various building control and monitoring systems, but typical BAS implementations do not employ any standardized metadata schema. While standards such as Project Haystack and Brick Schema have been developed to address this issue, the process of structuring the data, i.e., tagging the points to apply a standard metadata schema, has, to date, been a manual process. This process is typically costly, labor-intensive, and error-prone. In this work we address this gap by proposing a UA that automates the process of point tagging by leveraging the data accessible through connection to the BAS, including time-series data and the raw point names. The UA intertwines supervised classification and unsupervised clustering techniques from machine learning and leverages both their deterministic and probabilistic outputs to inform the point tagging process. Furthermore, we extend the UA to embed additional input and output data-processing modules that are designed to address the challenges associated with the real-time deployment of this automation solution. We test the UA on two datasets for real-life buildings: (i) commercial retail buildings and (ii) office buildings from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) campus. The proposed methodology correctly applied 85–90% and 70–75% of the tags in each of these test scenarios, respectively for two significantly different building types used for testing UA's fully-functional prototype. The proposed UA, therefore, offers promising approach for automatically tagging BAS data as it reaches close to 90% accuracy. Further building upon this framework to algorithmically identify the equipment type and their relationships is an apt future research direction to pursue.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number103411
Number of pages14
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-7A40-75890


  • Automated tagging
  • Building automation systems
  • Building control systems
  • Building management systems
  • Building metadata
  • Data-driven solution
  • Metadata tagging


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