The Building Controls Subprogram, within the Emerging Technologies Program, is dedicated to developing and validating supervisory building energy management systems for residential and commercial buildings. It aims to accelerate the transition from simple, reactive, and customized controls to autonomous and interoperable solutions, adaptive to occupant and grid needs. Our goal is focused on economic occupant comfort and zero carbon emissions using control theory and artificial intelligence built on a foundation of cybersecurity and interoperability. The RDD&D Building Controls portfolio works in conjunction with the Building Electric Appliances, Devices, and Systems, Lighting R&D, and Building Energy Modeling Subprograms.
Integrating state-of-the-art sensors and controls into most commercial buildings can save as much as an estimated 29% of site energy consumption. These savings are achieved through high-performance sequencing of operations, optimizing settings based on occupancy patterns, and detecting and diagnosing inadequate equipment operation or installation problems. Furthermore, state-of-the-art sensors and controls can curtail or manage 10–20% of commercial building peak load. Building control strategies are also necessary to implement flexible, grid-interactive strategies to optimize building loads within productivity or comfort requirements and decarbonize the electric grid. The work translates into 1.4 quads of energy savings in 2030 and 3.8 quads in 2050 across applicable end-uses.