Internet of Things Garage

Sensing Technology for Monitoring Spaces Utilization

Sensing as a Service within Buildings Towards Data-Driven Collaborative Service Design

University buildings are unique given they partly act as office buildings and partly as semi-public buildings. There are permanent office spaces for staff members (academic, research students, technical staff, etc.). On the other hand, there are a large number of taught students maybe visiting and temporarily occupying the building. They may use the building for a variety of different activities such as individual work, group work, meetings, socialising, and so on. Modern university buildings are built having these requirements in mind at the design stage by incorporating different types of spaces to facilitate these students and their needs. However, there aren’t any follow-ups being carried out to measure these spaces’ actual utilisation after the building is commissioned and handed over to the University.

This project is conducted within the Abacws, the newly built home for Computer Science and Mathematics students at Cardiff University. It contains a number of different types of spaces that are dedicated to facilitating taught students, research students, and staff members. Not all modern buildings, including Abacws, are augmented with sensors due to additional costs and lack of perceived value and understanding. First, we aim to develop, deploy, and understand which IoT technology is best suited to measure occupant behaviour and usage patterns related to different types of study spaces. Secondly, we aim to understand how to utilise IoT technology to facilitate occupants and the building service design team to communicate better and make collaborative and informed decisions using data-driven approaches to study space utilisation. Even though this project primarily focuses on Abacws, the technology we develop could apply to any building with similar characteristics and requirements (e.g., multi-purpose heterogenous open spaces to facilitate temporary occupants). This project is composed of several objectives:



Cardiff University

Cardiff University is the only Welsh member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities.


Wael Alsafery, Omer Rana, Charith Perera Sensing within Smart Buildings: Survey, ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), Volume 55, Issue 13(297), 2023, pp 1–35.