Proceedings of ICT for Sustainability 2016

On the relationship between automation and occupants in smart buildings

Ilche Georgievski, Thijs Bouman
Corresponding Author
Ilche Georgievski
Available Online August 2016.
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Smart cities, smart building, automation, user behaviour
Cities are significant contributors to global emission of CO2. Among city entities, buildings are the largest energyconsuming sector and are therefore an important source of CO2 emissions. A key issue in buildings is that their current energy systems fail to use energy in a smart and sustainable way. That is, energy-use policies (e.g., with regard to lights in public spaces) and individuals energy behaviours (e.g.,switching lights on/off in personal spaces) are often inefficient.In the context of the BeijIng Groningen Smart energy cities(BIGS) project,1 we aim to optimise building energy systems through the automation of certain aspects of the building energy system (phase 1 of project, 2015-2016), while using this platform to engage end-users by interfacing them with the automated solution (phase 2 of the project, 2017-2018).The goal of the BIGS project is to create efficient and sustainable future smart energy systems through the design andimplementation of an intelligent ICT platform that includes sensors, actuators and techniques for context reasoning and automation. Importantly, instead of just silently taking over energy decisions through automation, our approach focuses on how to get users involved as well. Therefore, we aim to understand people's energy behaviours and to create policies that improve people's behaviours and sustainability by using appropriate ICT solutions. This necessitates a holistic approach that takes into account knowledge on information technology and reasoning, human decision making (motivations, values,incentives) and human behaviour. In the first phase of BIGS, we focus on testing an ICTplatform with automation in a real environment, and understanding people's awareness of and attitudes toward the use of automation. For this purpose, we use the restaurant of the Bernoulliborg building at the Zernike campus of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, to model and control the lamps automatically. The restaurant covers an area of 251.50 m2 with a capacity of 200 sitting places. The restaurant has glass walls from three sides, enabling a significant amount of natural light to come through when the weather conditions allow for it. The restaurant area is used for lunch and, outside 1 hours, the area is used by staff, students or other visitors for working, meeting, or other purposes. We use movement sensors, a natural light sensor and the physical properties of the restaurant to model and interpret the context. We then employ an artificial intelligence planning technique to automatically coordinate the use of lamps given the current context and the goal to keep user comfortable under constraints of energy efficiency. The control of lamps is enabled by actuators attached to each lamp. We deployed and run the solution for several months. When compared to the previous way of controllingthe lamps in the restaurant, which involves turning on and off lamps manually at fixed points in the morning
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ICT for Sustainability 2016
Part of series
Advances in Computer Science Research
Publication Date
August 2016
DOI to use a DOI?
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license.

Cite this article

AU  - Ilche Georgievski
AU  - Thijs Bouman
PY  - 2016/08
DA  - 2016/08
TI  - On the relationship between automation and occupants in smart buildings
BT  - ICT for Sustainability 2016
PB  - Atlantis Press
SN  - 2352-538X
UR  -
DO  -
ID  - Georgievski2016/08
ER  -