Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 721–734 | Cite as

A semantic service-oriented platform for energy efficient buildings

  • Ioan Petri
  • Yacine Rezgui
  • Tom Beach
  • Haijiang Li
  • Marco Arnesano
  • Gian Marco Revel
Original paper


The construction industry is under pressure to increase the sustainability of its practices to meet UK commitments for reducing energy consumption and alleviating climate change. The research uses a mixed-method approach drawn from recent studies to explore the readiness, maturity and level of engagement of construction stakeholders in adopting the UK government sustainability agenda. Limited positive energy practices and sustainability regulatory awareness, combined with information provision deficiencies, form some of the key barriers to sustainable construction faced by industry. A service-oriented platform that provides integrated access to sustainability resources in the form of interactive, dynamic and user-oriented services that fully exploit latest advances in computing technologies is proposed to address these barriers. In this paper, we specifically elaborate on how a service-oriented system can be efficiently used for performing (near) real-time energy optimisation in buildings, greatly contributing to engaging construction stakeholders with sustainability practices. The solution disseminates energy efficient practices and provides support for building managers in implementing energy efficient optimisation plans. The solution is tested and validated through a number of energy efficiency scenarios developed as part of the EU FP7 SportE2 project.


Sustainability Energy efficiency Service-oriented computing Construction Buildings Energy optimisation 


  1. Blake DE (2001) Contextual effects on environmental attitudes and behaviour. Environ Behav 33:708–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. BSRIA (2011) Zero carbon targets on the construction industry. Accessed 30 July 2011
  3. Burgess J, Nye M (2008) Rematerialising energy use through transparent monitoring systems. Energy Policy 36:4454–4459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cardoso Teixeira JM, Minasowicz A, Zavadskas EK, Ustinovichius L, Migilinskas D, Pellicer Armiñana E, Nowak PO, Grabiec M (2006) Training needs in construction project management: a survey of 4 countries of the EU. J Civ Eng Manag 12(3):237–245Google Scholar
  5. Challenging and changing Europe’s built environment: a vision for a sustainable and competitive construction sector by 2030. European Construction Technology Platform, European Commission, 2005Google Scholar
  6. Clarke JA, Johnstone CM, Kelly NJ, Strachan PA, Tuohy P (2008) The role of built environment energy efficiency in a sustainable UK energy economy. Energy Policy 36:4605–4609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Bruijn J, Fensel D, Keller U, Lara R (2005) Using the web service modelling ontology to enable semantic e-business. Commun ACM 48:43-47 Google Scholar
  8. DEFRA (2002) Survey of public attitudes to quality of life and to the environment: 2001. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London, 2002Google Scholar
  9. Digest of UK Energy Statistics (2008) Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, London. BERR, 2007. Accessed 24 March 2008
  10. Egemen M, Mohamed AN (2005) Different approaches of clients and consultants to contractors’ qualification and selection. J Civ Eng and Manag 11(4):267–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hug F, Bader H-P, Scheidegger R, Baccini P (2014) A dynamic model to illustrate the development of an interregional energy household to a sustainable status. Clean Technol Environ Policy 6(2):138–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. IPCC (2001) Climate change 2001. Synthesis report. Summary for policymakers. Intergovernmental panel on climate change, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  13. IPCC (2007) The physical science basis. Summary for policymakers. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  14. Kollmuss A, Agyeman J (2002) Mind the gap: why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior. Environ Educ Res 8:239–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lichtenstein S, Slovic P (2006) The construction of preference. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lill I (2009) Multiskilling in construction—a strategy for stable employment. Technol Econ Dev Econ 15(4):540–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lorenzoni I, Nicholson-Coleb S, Whitmarsh L (2007) Barriers perceived to engaging with climate change among the UK public and their policy implications. Glob Environ Change 17:445–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Low carbon construction innovation and growth team: final report. HM Government 2010. Accessed 30 July 2011
  19. Martinaitis V (2006) Editorial: energy for buildings. J Civ Eng Manag 12(1):1–2Google Scholar
  20. Morgan MG, Fischhoff B, Bostrom A, Atman CJ (2002) Risk communication: a mental models approach. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Norton A, Leaman J (2004) The day after tomorrow: public opinion on climate change. MORI Social Research Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Oates B (2006) Researching information systems and computing. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  23. Operation and embodied CO2. MPA—The Concrete Centre (2011). Accessed 30 July 2011
  24. Rezgui Y, Miles JC (2011) Harvesting and managing knowledge in construction: from theoretical foundations to business applications, Francis & Taylor, London. ISBN/ISSN:10:0415545951Google Scholar
  25. Rezgui Y, Hopfe CJ, Vorakulpipat C (2010a) Generations of knowledge management in the architecture, engineering and construction industry: an evolutionary perspective. Adv Eng Inform 24(2):219–228. doi:10.1016/j.aei.2009.12.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rezgui Y, Wilson I, Miles JC, Hopfe CJ (2010b) Federating information portals through an ontology-centered approach: a feasibility study. Adv Eng Inform 24(3):340–354. doi:10.1016/j.aei.2010.02.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rip A, Kemp R (1998) Technological change. In: Rayner S, Malone EL (eds) Human choice and climate change: an international assessment. Battelle Press, ColumbusGoogle Scholar
  28. Saidur R, Mahlia TMI (2011) Impacts of energy efficiency standard on motor energy savings and emission reductions. Clean Technol Environ Policy 13(1):103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schellnhuber HJ, Cramer W, Nakicenovic N, Wigley T, Yohe G (eds) (2006) Avoiding dangerous climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. Smith A, Stirling A, Berkhout F (2005) The governance of socio-technical transitions. Res Policy 34:1491–1510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stern P (2000) Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. J Soc Issues 56:407–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vaishnavi V, Kuechler W (2011) Design science research in information systems. January 20, 2004, last updated Sept 30, 2011. Accessed 9 Dec 2011
  33. Vakola M, Wilson IE (2004) The challenge of virtual organisation: critical success factors in dealing with constant change. Team Perform Manag 10(5/6):112–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. van Vliet B, Chappells H, Shove E (2005) Infrastructures of consumption. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. WAG (2011) Sustainable buildings in Wales: breeam ‘excellent’, code for sustainable homes and the zero carbon aspiration, 2009. Accessed 30 July 2011
  36. Whitmarsh L, O’Neill S, Seyfang G, Lorenzoni I (2009) Carbon capability: what does it mean, how prevalent is it, and how can we promote it? Tyndall working paper no. 132. Accessed 30 July 2011
  37. Whitmarsh L, Seyfang G, O’Neill S (2011) Public engagement with carbon and climate change: to what extent is the public ‘carbon capable’? Glob Environ Change 21:56–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioan Petri
    • 1
  • Yacine Rezgui
    • 2
  • Tom Beach
    • 2
  • Haijiang Li
    • 2
  • Marco Arnesano
    • 3
  • Gian Marco Revel
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Computer Science and InformaticsCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e Scienze MatematicheUniversità Politecnica Delle MarcheAnconaItaly

Personalised recommendations