UH Moment

UH Moment: “Smart Building”

Are you smarter than a…building?  Check out this week's UH Moment.


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Buildings consume a lot of energy.  Smart buildings “learn” to conserve. Driss Benhaddou, associate professor at the College of Technology is teaching buildings how to be smart about it.   

“A smart building is a building that makes its own decisions based on certain environmental changes, like changing the temperature-setting on an air conditioning unit so it can save energy,” he said.  “Or, in a server room, if you have 100 computers where only 25 are being utilized, a smart building can place the other on ‘sleep mode’ until they’re needed.”

Driss Benhaddou, Associate Professor at the UH College of TechnologyBenhaddou creates new algorithms to “teach” sensors planted in buildings to recognize when it’s too hot or cold, or when energy is being used inefficiently. The technology involves the expertise of construction and materials industries, telecommunication and human behavior studies.

“Our objective is to minimize the consumption of energy while keeping happy all the occupants, people as well as machines,” he said.

Benhaddou will spend a year in Morocco as a Fulbright Scholar working with several universities to engage faculty, share information and create research opportunities for graduate students there and at UH.

“The future is bright,” he said.  “We’re going to have solutions that will enable us to utilize the energy and harness the energy to sustain human beings.”

Smart Buildings are part of what’s happening at the  University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez.