Home Smart Home: Residential Smart Building Devices Examined at ASHRAE Conference

ATLANTA, June 10, 2016 – While the data derived from smart devices benefits homeowners in many ways, with convenience topping the list, the devices shouldn’t be so complicated that they outsmart the people using them.

The use of devices and data insights is examined in a seminar at the ASHRAE 2016 Annual Conference. The Conference takes place June 25-29, Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel and America’s Center Convention Complex. To register or for complete information, visit www.ashrae.org/stlouis.

“The number of smart, connected technologies available and implemented in buildings has increased significantly in recent years, as have the number of types of devices and their capabilities to collect data on building performance, energy use and demand,” Kristen Cetin, chair of the seminar, said. “This presents opportunities to utilize these devices and the data collected along with utility energy use information o more intelligently assess current building performance, and more intelligently operate building systems.”

The seminar, “Residential Building Smart Devices and Data: Improving Energy Use Insights and Performance Evaluation,” takes place June 29.

These new technologies benefit homeowners in many ways, including energy savings, better comfort, improved security/safety and improved knowledge of performance of homes.

Speaker Howard Chong says homeowners, however, would summarize the strongest benefit in one word: “Convenience, convenience, convenience. Homeowners don’t have to look up their data through paper bills, computers are really good at keeping track of data. A big complaint from homeowners about energy audits is that they aren’t convenient.”

But speakers cautioned that while smart, such devices must be easy to understand and operate and require minimal effort from homeowners, Cetin said.

“The intelligent thermostat scheduling process based on the weather and electricity price can provide better comfort and reduced energy bills,” speaker Ratnesh Tiwari, said. “Static scheduling does not take care of the weather conditions and thus is inefficient.”

“Homeowners do not really want to be educated,” Chong said. “They want it easier, individualized and credible. What’s more needed is for building professionals to learn how to ‘wow’ customers. They could do a drive-by thermal camera picture and compare that to neighbors. Utilities could do a simple data-driven audit. The industry could learn a lot by looking at how solar companies sell solar panels.”

Presentations in the seminar will focus on:

  • Energy Use Insights from Inverse Thermodynamic-Based Modeling of Residential Buildings, Kristen Cetin, Ph.D., P.E., Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • Demand Prediction Using Connected Thermostat Residential Building Energy Models, Ratnesh Tiwari, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
  • Cornell Temperature Datalogger Project, Howard Chong, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

The seminar is part of the new Smart Buildings Track.

“Real time information and communication technology is continuously under development while the increase of the demand of smart buildings is witnessed and despite the oil prices and global economic conditions,” Samir Traboulsi, track chair, said. “This track addresses HVAC systems and their integration with access control systems, communication and data infrastructure and advanced building management systems and sustainability.”

The seminar is one of 108 sessions in the Technical Program, which is organized into eight tracks. The program features more than 400 speakers. For a full list of sessions and speakers, visit the new interactive technical program at www.ashrae.org/stlouisinteractivetechprogram.

Other sessions in the track are:

  • Developing the Business Case for Submetering: Leveraging GSA’s Portfolio to Demonstrate Submeter Functionalities, Range of Benefits and Cost Savings, June 26
  • DDC for Smart Buildings and Smart Grid, June 26
  • Examples of Smart Controls, June 26
  • Smart Grid in the Heartland: See What Happens Next, June 26
  • System Design, Diagnostics and Operation, June 26
  • Data Sources toward Urban-Scale Energy Modeling, Part 1, June 28
  • Regulatory Process Overview for Smart Grid, Smart Building and Demand Response
  • Programs as Applicable to Building Owners and Utility Tariffs, June 28
  • Smart Equipment: the Intelligent Buildings Revolution Is Happening in the Edge, June 29
  • Data Sources toward Urban-Scale Energy Modeling, Part 2, June 29

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 55,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.