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How Artificial Intelligence Will Combat Climate Change


By Greg Zimmerman Energy Efficiency
Artificial Intelligence Buildings

Technology will play a huge role in cracking climate change, and one emerging technology for buildings is already having a huge effect on goals related to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction: artificial intelligence (AI).

Despite increasingly stringent energy codes and greater expertise regarding efficient design and operations, buildings simply are not going to stop using energy. Artificial intelligence can help shift the energy profile of buildings away from fossil fuels by using energy when it’s cleanest, and it can help reduce the amount of energy a building uses overall by shifting loads and changing schedules.

What’s more, according to a recent article in The Next Web, AI also can help collect, analyze, report energy data in actionable ways, and even take action itself if so programmed. Indeed, the piece says, the success of AI absolutely hinges on the availability of data.

Many organizations — such as NVIDIA, as we reported in a recent cover story — already use AI in their facilities management to optimize operations and reduce energy use. Some call this technology machine learning because the building automation system and its programming are literally teaching other machines in the building how to be most efficient.

These systems also continuously collect the massive amounts of data a building produces, analyze it, and report it in ways that don’t overwhelm the “dumb humans” who need to make decisions.

Greg Zimmerman is executive editor of Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how buildings are tackling climate change.

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