This is an architectural drawing of the new NIST "intelligent agents" lab for developing and testing more efficient building control systems. (Kikkeri/NIST image)

Smart Software Project Aims to Cut Buildings' Voracious Energy Appetite

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is converting one of its laboratories into a small office building to try out smart software technologies that will be designed to reduce energy use in commercial buildings.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is converting one of its laboratories into a small office building to try out smart software technologies that will be designed to reduce energy use in commercial buildings, the agency’s Mark Bello recently reported.

He reported that commercial buildings account for a growing share of U.S. energy use, approximately 19 percent of the total and one-third of electric power consumption, and that heating, cooling, lighting, and powering plug-in equipment consumes more than 80 percent of this total energy use. This project by the federal agency, which is a unit of the Department of Commerce, will explore ways to use existing equipment more efficiently by more intelligently coordinating its use. The office building that is being built in a 1,000-square-foot modular lab space "will investigate whether artificial intelligence tools already used in search engines, robots, routing and scheduling programs, and other technologies can work cooperatively to optimize building performance—from minimizing energy use to maximizing comfort to ensuring safety and security," he reported in a post on the agency's website.

"Adapting intelligent agent technologies from other fields offers the promise of significant improvements in building operations," said Amanda Pertzborn, a mechanical engineer working in NIST's Embedded Intelligence in Buildings Program. "The idea is a kind of 'one for all approach'—use networked intelligent agents to manage and control devices and equipment subsystems to enhance the overall performance of a building, rather than to optimize the operation of each component independently of all the others."

Bello reported that the "building" will allow prototypes to be tested on the most energy-intensive operations: HVAC systems, which account for about 7 percent of total U.S. energy consumption.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
TenCate FR Technology

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

    October 2020

    Featuring:

    • FACILITY SECURITY
      EHS Compliance: Make it Personal
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      Choosing the Right Safety Shoe for Your Industry
    • HAND PROTECTION
      A Requirements Checklists for Work Safety Gloves
    • COVID-19 MANAGEMENT
      Contemporary Issues in HSE Management
    View This Issue