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Energy Savings and the “Software-Defined” Building

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5 Author(s)
Dawson-Haggerty, S. ; University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA ; Ortiz, J. ; Trager, J. ; Culler, D.
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In the US buildings consume 70% of electricity, but the sector exhibits little innovation for reducing its consumption. Efficiency is not yet evaluated to the same standard as comfort and reliability, but with better user input, control policy, and awareness of the building's state, energy consumption can be intelligently reduced. It is argued that what is needed is a shift to Software-Defined Buildings: flexible, multi-service, and open Building Operating System (BOS) that allows third-party applications to run securely and reliably in a sandboxed environment. A BOS is not limited to a single building but distributed among multi-building campuses. It provides the core functionality of sensor and actuator access, access management, metadata, archiving, and discovery. The runtime environment enables multiple simultaneously running programs. As in a computer OS, these run with various privilege levels, with access to different resources, yet are multiplexed on the same physical resources. It can extend to the Cloud or to other buildings, outsourcing expensive or proprietary operations as well as load sharing, but does so safely with fail-over to local systems when connectivity is disrupted. Building operators have supervisory control over all programs, controlling the separation physically (access different controls), temporally (change controls at different times), informationally (what information leaves the building), and logically (what actions or sequences thereof are allowable).

Published in:

Design & Test of Computers, IEEE  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 4 )