ATLANTA — The use of smart devices and the data insights they provide will be examined in a seminar at the ASHRAE 2016 Annual Conference taking place June 25-29 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel and America’s Center Convention Complex.

“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,” said Kristen Cetin, chair of the seminar. “This presents opportunities to utilize these devices and the data collected along with utility energy use information to 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, Maryland

• Cornell Temperature Datalogger Project, Howard Chong, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

The seminar is part of the new Smart Buildings Track.

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 interactive technical program at

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

For more information and to register for the conference, visit

Publication date: 6/22/2016

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