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Intelligent Buildings Offer Green, Smart Grid Benefits


Today's briefing comes from Rita Tatum, contributing editor for Building Operating Management. Intelligent buildings offer both green benefits and advantages as the Smart Grid is built out. By helping to ensure that energy is used wisely, intelligent buildings support efforts to make buildings more green. "Buildings that run efficiently use less energy and generate fewer emissions," says Frank Santella, director of smart and sustainable buildings for GSA's Public Buildings Service facilities management and services programs. "Smart buildings is one strategy for accomplishing that."

"If you think of the U.S. Green Building Council's broad definition, you realize that you are going to need some level of intelligence to accomplish it," says Ehrlich.

Intelligent building are also well-positioned for more interaction with utilities, whether through the proposed Smart Grid or other avenues.

As the Smart Grid concept matures, Santella believes the advanced automation in intelligent buildings will allow facility managers to manage loads and interact with the grid.

Paul Ehrlich, founder and president of Building Intelligence Group, already sees the move to real-time costs in wholesale and deregulated markets. "Ultimately, I think we'll see real-time price signals," he explains. "On a hot day when the wind drops off, the price of real-time energy could go from 10 cents a kilowatt-hour to $1." Smart buildings can react in real time to change setpoints, turn off nonessential subsystems and stop charging electric cars until the real-time price drops. That can help hold down the total amount due to the electric utility now and even more so when real-time pricing arrives.

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