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The PropTech industry is continuously developing and as it grows, so does the vocabulary. For this reason, we have done the hard work for you by keeping up-to-date terminology and definitions here, in our Glossary.


The discovery and communication of patterns in data, particularly as applied to building and energy consumption data. There are 4 types of analytics creating informed decision-making - descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive. 

API (Application Programming Interface)

Protocols and tools that define the exchange of data between systems enabling communication between different applications.


Technology-driven methods for performing tasks where the human input is minimised, frequently applied in smart building environments.

Asset Management

Systematic and coordinated process of realising value from physical assets by operating, maintaining, and upgrading them cost-effectively.

Building Automation System (BAS)

Intelligent system of both hardware and software, connecting heating, venting and air conditioning systems (HVAC), lighting, security, and other systems to communicate on a single platform.

Building Management System (BMS)

Automated systems that control and monitor a building's mechanical and electrical equipment.

Building Performance

Metrics that evaluate how efficiently a building's systems are functioning.


Comparing a building's performance to industry standards.

Big Data

Large volumes of data that can be analysed to reveal patterns, trends, and associations.


Back-end refers to the part of an application that performs an essential task not apparent to the user.

Carbon Credits

Certificates representing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon Footprint

Total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by an individual, organisation, or operation.

Cloud Services

Platforms offering shared computing resources for data storage and processing.


A structured collection of data points representing information about a particular measurement. It comprises individual data points or records, each containing single attributes or properties. Datasets come in a standard format. Such as consumption of a meter, temperature of a sensor

Data Ingestion

The import and processing of data for use in databases.

Demand Response

Changes in energy usage by end-use customers in response to changes in the price of energy. A strategy to manage electricity consumption during peak demand periods. Buildings equipped with demand response systems can adjust energy usage based on supply and demand fluctuations, optimising efficiency and reducing costs.


The use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.


An individual piece of information or a single observation. It is the most basic unit of data and represents a specific value or attribute.

Decentralised Energy Systems

Energy systems that generate or store power close to the point of use, rather than a large centralised facility.

Degree Days

Weather-based technical indexes used extensively in calculations relating to building energy consumption. They are designed to normalise the energy requirements of buildings resulting in fair comparison between two periods of time (to evaluate the performance through the years). Heating degree days give an indication of the energy consumption required for heating (in cold weather) and cooling degree days give an indication of the energy consumption required for cooling (in hot weather).

Energy Management System (EMS)

Systems designed to monitor, control, and optimise electrical loads.

Energy Audit

A systematic process to identify how energy is consumed and to recommend improvements for energy efficiency.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

A process to predict the environmental consequences of proposed initiatives.


Predictive analysis, especially concerning energy demand or consumption.

Footprint (Ecological)

A measure of human demand for natural resources.

Facility Management

Coordinating the physical workspace with the people and work of an organisation.

General Data Protection Regulation

A regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law, in particular Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.


The identification of the real-world geographic location of an object, like a building or equipment.

Grid-Interactive Systems

 Buildings or systems that interact bi-directionally with the energy grid.

Green Building

A building that, in its design, construction, or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts on the environment.

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)

Systems that control indoor environments.

Home Automation

Technology-driven methods for automating household functions.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

A cloud computing model where virtualised infrastructure is provided to and managed for businesses by external cloud provide.

Integrated Building Systems (IBS)

The combination of technology and interconnected building systems to optimise performance.

IoT (Internet of Things)

Devices interconnected via the internet, collecting and sharing data.


A unit of energy, measuring energy consumption.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A measurable value that demonstrates the effectiveness of an organisation in achieving key objectives.

kWh (Kilowatt-hour)

A unit measuring electricity or heat consumption.

Lifecycle Analysis

Comprehensive examination of a product's environmental impact throughout its entire life.

Load Shifting

Moving the use of electricity or heat from periods of high demand to periods of low demand.

Machine Learning

Algorithms allowing software applications to become accurate in predicting outcomes without explicit programming.

Meter Data Management

Software that manages and analyses large volumes of data coming from smart meters.

Net-Zero Energy Building

Structures that generate and use energy so the total energy consumed is equal to the energy produced.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

Short-range wireless technology used for access and payment systems.

Occupancy Sensors

Technology to detect the presence of individuals, informing building system decisions.

Operational Efficiency

Maximising profit by reducing costs and increasing productivity.

Portfolio Management

The art and science of making decisions about investment content and policy.

PropTech (Property Technology)

Technological advancements adapted for the real estate market.

Photovoltaic PV System

Also called a solar system, utilities photovoltaic cells or solar cells that absorb and convert sunlight into electrical energy through the photovoltaic effect. The generated electricity can be used to power various electrical loads or stored for later use.

Quality Assurance (QA)

The art and science of making decisions about investment content and policy. Processes designed to ensure the quality of product or service production.


Q-Connect is NorthQ's proprietary gateway device, designed in-house. It serves as the vital bridge connecting performance data from various sources to the cloud. This device enables seamless data transmission, ensuring that valuable information is securely and efficiently transported to our cloud-based solutions.


NorthQ's in-house designed data logger, the Q-Reader, is an innovative device with the capability to integrate seamlessly with existing utility meter technology and building systems. This versatile tool offers not only reliable performance data collection but also extends to other IoT functionalities, contributing to comprehensive building management.

Quantitative Analysis

Techniques to understand behavior through quantitative data.


Q-Repeat is another in-house innovation by NorthQ, designed to amplify and extend data transmission signals. This repeater device enhances the reach and reliability of data transfer, especially when connecting with the Q-Connect gateway. It plays a crucial role in ensuring uninterrupted performance data collection.


Quriosity is NorthQ's SaaS (Software as a Service) solution, designed in-house. It serves as a powerful dashboard that centralises diverse data, making it easily accessible for asset overview visualisation. Beyond visualisation, it offers portfolio management and facility management tools, enabling stakeholders to benchmark buildings, receive facility management alerts, access property data securely and more.

Renewable Energy

Energy from resources that naturally replenish.


Upgrading old systems with new technology.

Smart Grid

An electricity network enabling two-way communication between the utility and its consumers.


Meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations.

Standardisation (of data)

The process of establishing and implementing a set of conventions or guidelines for representing and formatting data. The goal is to ensure consistency, uniformity, and interoperability in the way data is collected, stored, processed, and exchanged across different systems or organisations. This process involves defining common formats, structures, naming conventions and other methods to facilitate seamless integration and communication between disparate systems and databases.

Tenant Experience (TeX)

Enhancing the experience of building occupants through digital amenities.

Triple Bottom Line

A framework considering social, environmental, and financial dimensions.

User Experience (UX)

The overall experience a user has with a product or service.

Utility Monitoring

The process of monitoring utilities to identify usage patterns.

User Interface (UI)

 the point of interaction between a user and a computer system or a software application. The user interface encompasses all elements and components that users interact with, including screens, pages, buttons, icons, and other visual elements, as well as the behaviours and responses to user inputs.

Virtual Reality (VR)

A simulated experience that replicates a physical presence in the real or imagined environment.

Water Efficiency

Strategies to reduce water usage.

Whole Building Design

An integrated design approach for all the systems in a building.


The degree of inefficiency in the allocation of resources.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

A format for structuring data.

Year-On-Year (YoY)

A comparison of two or more measurable events between the years.


The output or production of a given product.


A wireless communication protocol for home automation.

Zero Carbon

Producing no carbon emissions.

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