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Smart buildings can be efficient and make occupants healthier and more productive

Report from Concordia University researcher outlines comprehensive building automation solutions.


October 28, 2020
By Energy Manager Canada
AI(Getty Images)

In a paper recently published in the journal Energy and Buildings, Hashem Akbari, professor of building, civil and environmental engineering at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Concordia University in Montreal, reviews the current software and hardware technologies that integrate and optimize productivity and comfort with a building’s energy use.

Together with a former PhD student, Akbari looks at how automated buildings can use technology to regulate thermal comfort (indoor temperature, air flow and humidity), visual comfort (clutter, sight lines, daylight access and glare) and indoor air quality (ventilation to reduce indoor air pollution).

Using sensors to collect data (outdoor air temperature, the temperature around its occupants, data about lighting, air flow, air quality, noise and more) a building’s intelligent control mechanisms can learn to predict and model occupant behaviour, and input points can lead to improvements toward productivity and energy-saving objectives.

In the article’s introduction, it notes: “Paying excessive attention to energy consumption reduction may have adverse impacts on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of the buildings, since thermal and visual conditions, and indoor air quality (IAQ) of the enclosed spaces could be influenced. ”

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“One of the most promising approaches in building energy efficiency is to make offices, commercial and residential buildings intelligent, by performing intelligent control of building facilities and establishing continuous communicating with occupants.”

Read more here: Intelligent buildings: An overview