Esa Halmetoja, working for one of our very first customers, Senate Properties, defended his doctoral dissertation Improving perceived indoor conditions using building information models and field data in a public examination on June 24th, 2020. The dissertation presents how data sharing enables the introduction of new business models in facility maintenance and operations. Platform of Trust is featured as a solution to harmonize data coming from different sources.
Indoor conditions are one of the most critical issues in the built environment affecting every one of us. Indoor conditions are a topic of worry and anxiety but also have major financial effects. The amount of data is growing in the fields of construction and real estate which can help improve the indoor conditions throughout the building's life span.
Facility management is known as a rapidly developing business sector but is still poorly digitalized. Esa Halmetoja's dissertation represents a digital environment where data from different sensors in the building and feedback from users is combined with the information model of the building (BIM). These information models are already common in the construction stage of a building but are still not utilized properly in the facility management.
Halmetoja shows that combining, analyzing, and visualizing gathered data with the building information model the occurring issues can be addressed faster and indoor conditions can be improved. This process also enables preventive maintenance which leads to fewer defects and fewer interruptions in the daily work, and increases the technical service life.
Platform of Trust was used to seek, combine, and resend the field data
In the proof of concept project the dissertation is based on, Platform of Trust was used to seek, combine, and resend the field data from different silos. External data silos, such as the customer SR application, building automation data storage, and the cloud service of the indoor condition measurement system were connected to Platform of Trust via APIs.
The data were read from the server as follows:
- The request for IFC data of aspecific building (story, room, object, group of objects, etc.) came onto the Platform of Trust from a customer system.
- Platform of Trust checked that the customer system was authorized to access the requested data.
- Platform of Trust returned an access token to the customer system that was valid only for that particular data request from a specific building. The access token was signed by Platform of Trust (secret key).
- After receiving the key, the customer system sent a request for IFC data to the BIM Server, which then verified the correctness of the access token using the public key of Platform of Trust.
- Further, the BIM server filtered the query and returned the desired data to the customer system.
In his dissertation, Halmetoja states that Platform of Trust was chosen because it is specifically designed for real estate information retrieval and consolidation. It is owned by Finnish national operators and was considered to be professionally constructed and maintained, and the vendor was known for being flexible. Other options considered were Google, Azure, Telia, and Elisa.
The most important finding is that the combination of BIM and field data, created in this study, allows a whole new way of thinking. Property maintenance is transformed from a de-tail level workflow led by the subscriber into a knowledge-based activity, where the quality of the service is the most important factor. In the new operating model, the service provider obtains all the data from the building subscriber through a common platform. Accordingly, the service provider is expected to provide high-quality service to the subscriber and occupants.
Esa Halmetoja in his doctoral dissertation
You can find the dissertation here: Improving perceived indoor conditions using building information models and field data
Field of the dissertation: Indoor Environment Technology
Doctoral candidate: M.Sc. Esa Halmetoja
Time of the defence 24.6.2020 at 12:00
Place of the defence: Aalto University School of Engineering
Opponent: Professor Brian Atkin, Lund University, Sweden
Supervisor: Professor Heidi Salonen, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering