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logoShaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Buildings

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©2023 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 65, no. 3, March 2023.

About the Authors
Rania Labib, Ph.D., is assistant professor and director of the Artificial Intelligence for High Performance Buildings Lab at Prairie View A&M University. Zoltan Nagy, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to operate buildings more energy-efficiently, sustainably and comfortably. Many potential applications exist for AI in the built environment sector, including building design, building performance optimization, energy management and monitoring and building maintenance and operations. One might be able to understand the concept of integrating AI technologies in self-driving cars, but when it comes to the integration of AI in building design and operations, the topic seems much more complicated. In this column, we will try to explain the significance of AI in optimizing the performance of buildings and discuss its applications and limitations.


Although businesses have used AI for many years, it has only been in recent years that it has started to become widespread in consumer applications. This is due to improvements made to and the abundance of hardware and software technologies underlying AI, such as the availability of faster processing speeds and the reduced cost of storage. As artificial intelligence contin­ues to evolve and improve, there is increasing discussion about how AI may be used in the built environment.

To understand AI and its applications in buildings, let’s first define AI. It is a technology that aims to emulate human intelligence, including understanding natural language, recognizing images and making decisions through learning from past experiences. AI enables computers and machines to complete complex tasks that typically require human intelligence.

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