A Digitalization Framework for Smart Maintenance of Historic Buildings

Abstract: Smart maintenance of historic buildings involves integration of digital technologies and data analysis methods to help maintain functionalities of these buildings and preserve their heritage values. However, the maintenance of historic buildings is a long-term process. During the process, the digital transformation requires overcoming various challenges, such as stable and scalable storage and computing resources, a consistent format for organizing and representing building data, and a flexible design to integrate data analytics to deliver applications.This licentiate thesis aims to address these challenges by proposing a digitalization framework that integrates Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, ontology, and machine learning. IoT devices enable data collection from historic buildings to reveal their latest status. Using a public cloud platform brings stable and scalable resources for storing data, performing analytics, and deploying applications. Ontologies provide a clear and concise way to organize and represent building data, which makes it easier to understand the relationships between different building components and systems. Combined with IoT devices and ontologies, parametric digital twins can be created to evolve with their physical counterparts. Furthermore, with machine learning, digital twins can identify patterns from data and provide decision-makers with insights to achieve smart maintenance.Papers I-III have shown that data can be reliably collected, transmitted, and stored in the cloud. Results of Paper IV indicate that a digital twin that depicts the latest status of a historic building can be created and fed with real-time sensor data. The insights discovered from the digital twin provide facts for improving the indoor climate to achieve both heritage conservation and human comfort. Papers V and VI have shown that deep learning methods exhibit strong capabilities in capturing tendency and uncertainty in building energy consumption. Incorporating future information that determines energy consumption is critical for making multi-horizon predictions. Moreover, changes in the operating mode of a building and activities held in a building bring more uncertainty in energy consumption and deteriorate the performance of point forecasts. Overall, this thesis contributes to the field of preservation of historic buildings by proposing a comprehensive digitalization framework that integrates various advanced digital technologies to provide a holistic approach to achieve smart maintenance of historic buildings.

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