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NIST Preps Energy Study Under Smart Buildings Program; Amanda Pertzborn Comments

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology is turning a laboratory into a mock office building in an effort to study energy consumption patterns and develop artificial intelligence that will regulate energy use throughout the structure.

“The idea is a kind of ‘one for all approach’ (using networked intelligent agents) to enhance the overall performance of a building rather than to optimize the operation of each component independently of all the others,” Amanda Pertzborn, a mechanical engineer under the Embedded Intelligence in Buildings Program at NIST, said Monday.

According to the agency, intelligent technologies used for search engine, routing and scheduling, robotic and other processes can be networked with regular devices and equipment to create intelligent agents.

After conversion into smart software and hardware technology, these intelligent agents will gain the capacity to steer the whole building’s energy consumption, comfort and security to desired efficiency levels, it added.

NIST indicated that the assessment will be tested on heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, which traditionally make up the highest rate of energy consumption.

It cited a study that ranks schools, hospitals, offices, banks, stores and other commercial operations as the nation’s third highest energy consumer at 19 percent.

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