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A generic approach to the formal specification of system requirements is presented. It is based on a pool of requirement patterns, which are related to design patterns well-known in object-oriented software development. The application of such patterns enhances the reusability and genericity as well as the intelligibility of the formal requirement specification. The approach is instantiated by a tailored real-time temporal logic and by selecting building-automation systems as application domain. With respect to this domain, the pattern discovery and reuse tasks are explained and illustrated and a set of typical requirement patterns is presented. The approach has the potential of reducing the effort to formally specify system requirements.