A Uniform Metadata Schema for Buildings

Commercial buildings have long since been a primary target for applications from a number of areas: from cyber-physical systems to building energy use to improved human interactions in built environments. While technological advances have been made in these areas, such solutions rarely experience widespread adoption due to the lack of a common descriptive schema reducing the now-prohibitive cost of porting these applications and systems to different buildings.

Brick is an open-source, BSD-licensed development effort to create a uniform schema for representing metadata in buildings. Brick has three components:

  • An RDF class hierarchy describing the various building subsystems and the entities and equipment therein
  • A minimal, principled set of relationships for connecting these entities together into a directed graph representing a building
  • A method of encapsulation for composing complex components from a set of lower-level ones

Additionally, we have ported five real buildings to the Brick schema as examples.

Learning Materials


The lead maintainers for Brick are:

Press Releases


Brick is a joint effort by

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • IBM Research - Ireland

Brick is supported by:

  • National Science Foundation grants:
    • CPS-1239552
    • NSF-1636879
    • IIS-1636916
    • CSR-1526237
    • CNS-1526841
    • NSF-1305362
  • U.S. Department of Energy grant:
    • DE-EE0006353
  • Innovation Foundation Denmark grant:
    • COORDICY 4106-00003B
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology award
  • Sensor Innovation Award #OSR-2015-Sensors-2707
  • EU H2020 grant
  • TOPAs (676760)
  • Intel Corporation
  • Johnson Controls International