The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) often conjures images of upright androids delivering mail or pontificating on Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics – and with mechanical men like Honda’s ASIMO already learning how to walk, run and cut a rug, that robotic future doesn’t seem far off. But AI is more than dancing robots.
The next generation of energy encompasses more than simply cleaner, renewable sources of power like solar, wind and biofuels. It also means optimizing the energy that is used by our homes, offices and machines.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings account for almost 20 percent of U.S. energy consumption and emit 12 percent of the country’s greenhouse gases. That’s a major energy investment, and MIT has committed long hours to analyzing just how much of it goes to waste. The Natural Resources Defense Council has gone so far as to give this waste a name: “operational stray.” The term refers to building equipment that “strays” from optimum settings, such as bugs in software code that trigger automated systems or thermostats that don’t reset to their usual schedules after some impromptu fiddling.
Recognized by Bloomberg as a New Energy Pioneer in 2013, BuildingIQ represents the next generation of smart building tools. The Australia and California-based company has developed an algorithmic energy management platform that optimizes a given HVAC system for maximum efficiency. The company’s work at the Australian Technology Park (ATP) was recognized as the “Best Commercial Energy Efficiency Project for 2014” in Australia, and the same technology will soon be implemented in U.S. government buildings as part of the GSA’s Green Proving Ground Program.
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