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Via testing using OpenStudio I believe the following to be true.

Prior to v5.12 of the schema the number of AdjacentSpaceIds for a shading surface was to be zero. The drawback to this is that all shading surfaces "belong" to the same "collection". That is there was no way to group shading surfaces together. In v5.12 of the schema an AdjacentSpaceId for a shading surface is now required. Its value is used to group shading surfaces together to create a shading "object". OpenStudio uses the term Shading Collection.

This is a nice improvement to the Schema as I have been struggling with a way to group shading surfaces to create several adjacent buildings and have each adjacent building be its own object.