Machine Learning for Automated Extraction of Building Geometry

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Conference Paper

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As data science comes to buildings, the promise of using machine learning and novel sources of data has received much attention. Advances in machine learning and computer vision algorithms,combined with increased access to unstructured data (e.g., images and text),have created an opportunity for automated extraction of building characteristics –cost-effectively, and at scale. Acquisition of features such as footprint are time consuming and costly to acquire with today’s manual methods, but can be streamlined through intelligent software-based solutions applied to satellite images. When combined with aerial RGB and thermal images, full 3D geometries and thermal maps can be constructed to determine additional characteristics such as window to wall ratio, height, number of stories and envelope thermal characteristics.In this paper we present three contributions to accelerate these high potential opportunities: (1)amethodical analysis of how these features can be integrated into today’s simulation and data driven software tools to enhance efficiency measure identification and owner/operator decision making;(2)development and accuracy testing of open source deep neural network methods to extract building footprints from satellite imagery, includingthe curation and application of openly available GIS datasets for training and continued development by others; and(3) an open framework for drone-based image capture and creation of 3D building geometries. This work represents an important bridge between high-level studies that span diverse application areas and those that detail point solutions yet cannot be easily replicated or extended.


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

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