Controlling Green Buildings: Challenges and Opportunities

Organizers: Francesco Borrelli, U.C. Berkeley, Meli Stylianou, CanmetENERGY

Venue:  This is a satellite event of the 2012 American Control Conference. The workshop location is: CanmetENERGY, 1615 Lionel Boulet Boul., Varennes, Quebec

Date:    June 26, 2012

Registration:  Click here to register.

Commercial buildings are plants that process air and water in order to provide comfort for their occupants. The components used are similar to those employed in the process industry: chillers, boilers, heat exchangers, pumps and fans. The control design complexity resides in adapting to time-varying user loads, occupant requirements and quickly responding to weather changes. Today this is easily achieved by over sizing the building components and using simple control strategies.

In recent years, the drive towards energy efficient buildings, has added an interesting dimension to the distributed control problem of commercial buildings. In this context, high performance, green buildings are expected to maintain comfort and satisfaction of their occupants while optimizing energy, being robust to intermittencies in the renewable energy generation and be responsive to signals from the smart grid. Achieving all this in often under-monitored environments is a big challenge. New methodologies and tools for controlling this emerging building type are required.

This workshop will present an overview of high performance green buildings, both from a systems and a control perspective, and will present new trends, ideas and recent results from research and development projects. Topics covered will include:

  • The use of weather and load prediction to manage the operation of the building’s electromechanical and thermal storage systems;
  • Control of building-integrated photovoltaic installations, combined heat and power systems, and other renewable energy systems;
  • Optimisation of single and multi-building performance subject to smart grid signals;
  • Innovative ways to overcome interdisciplinary barriers to implement advanced control techniques in building systems.

Speakers will include researchers from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ETH Zurich, United Technology Research Center and Honeywell.


The wokshop will take place at ``Canmet Energy Technology Centre - Varennes".
We will meet on Tuesday morning, 8.30am at the exit of the conference hotel on "Mansfield Str."
A bus will arrive there at 8.30am and leave at 9am. Please do not be late, the bus will leave at 9am sharp.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question.


8:30                 Pick up at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth

9:00-9:20        Building 101: How they are currently designed building operated. Allan Daly (Taylor Engineering, San Francisco)

9:20-9:40        Challenges in scalable and robust implementation of model-based building control strategies. Satish Narayanan, (UTRC)

9:40-10:00      Integration and control of renewable technologies in high performance buildings. Meli Stylianou (CanmetENERGY)

10:00-10:20    Results and Challenges in the use of predictions to manage the building operation. Francesco Borrelli (UC Berkeley)

10:20-10:35   Coffee Break

10:35-10:55    Building-to-grid fundamentals and challenges. Duncan Callaway (UC Berkeley).

10:55-11:15    Results and Challenges in Automated Demand Response. Sila Kiliccote (LBNL- Berkeley)

11:15-11:35    Monitoring and control of energy consumption in multi-site enterprises. Wendy Foslien (Honeywell)

11:35-12:15    Intelligent Control Concepts for the Future of Building Climate Control, Manfred Morari (ETHZ)

12:15-13:30    Lunch

13:30-13:45    Presentation of CanmetENERGY Building systems and controls

13:45-14:45    Visit to the research centre

14:45               Return to Fairmont Queen Elizabeth followed by a visit to the hotel’s green roof


Speakers Short Bios

Francesco Borrelli

Francesco Borrelli received the `Laurea' degree in computer science engineering in 1998 from the University of Naples `Federico II', Italy.

In 2002 he received the PhD from the Automatic Control Laboratory at ETH-Zurich, Switzerland. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of California at Berkeley, USA. He is the author of more than sixty publications and in the field of predictive control. He is author of the book Constrained Optimal Control of Linear and Hybrid Systems published by Springer Verlag, the winner of the `Innovation Prize 2004' from the ElectroSwiss Foundation and the winner of the 2009 NSF CAREER award. His research interests include constrained optimal control, model predictive control and its application to advanced automotive control and energy efficient building operation.


Duncan Callaway

Duncan Callaway received his PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University in 2001 and subsequently held an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis. He then spent 4 years working in the energy industry in senior engineering positions, first at Davis Energy Group and later at PowerLight Corporation. He was a member of the research faculty of the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan from 2006-2009. He joined ERG as an assistant professor in the Fall of 2009, and he also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Berkeley.

Dr. Callaway’s teaching focuses on power systems and energy efficiency.

His research can be categorized in three areas: modeling and control of aggregated storage devices; power management; and system analysis of energy technologies and their impact. His research involves the use of a variety of methods, including stochastic modeling, system identification, dynamics and control, and spatial analysis. In general, his work focuses on improving energy efficiency and renewable resource utilization through novel energy system configuration and control strategies. Some of the specific application areas he works on include wind energy, demand response and load control, and plug-in electric vehicles.



Allan Daly

Allan Daly is a registered mechanical engineer and a Principal at Taylor Engineering, LLC, designing and implementing innovative and sustainable mechanical systems. He specializes in energy efficient and environmentally responsible HVAC system designs that maximize occupant health and comfort, and his current work is focused in institutional projects, commissioning work, energy modeling, and green building projects. They include the campus of UC Merced, which is LEED Silver rated. He teaches and lectures widely to both professional and academic audiences on energy efficiency, integrated design, building simulation, and the underfloor air distribution system design. He is a member of the US Green Building Council Energy and Environment Technical Advisory Group, helping to guide the development of LEED 2012.


Wendy Foslien

Wendy Foslien has a wide range of experience performing research in systems and control analysis, with an emphasis on the development of mathematical and statistical analysis software applications and the visualization of time series numeric data. Ms. Foslien is currently the technical lead in developing analysis tools for commercial building and residential home energy consumption. These tools are integral to Honeywell’s energy management offerings, and allow energy analysts to rapidly scan data from hundreds of buildings to find anomalies in energy consumption. These data mining/analysis tools and techniques efficiently identify cost-saving opportunities for customers.

Sila Kiliccote

Sila Kiliccote is the Deputy Group Leader of the PIER Demand Response Research Center and a Program Manager in the Building Technologies Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her areas of interest include characterization of building loads and demand shaping, demand responsive lighting systems, building systems integration and feedback for demand-side management. She has a master's degree in Building Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of New Hampshire. She has received the "Leadership in Smart Grid Acceleration Award" at GridWeek in October, 2010.


Manfred Morari

Manfred Morari was appointed head of the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at ETH Zurich in 2009. He was head of the Automatic Control Laboratory from 1994 to 2008. Before that he was the McCollum-Corcoran Professor of Chemical Engineering and Executive Officer for Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology. He obtained the diploma from ETH Zurich and the Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, both in chemical engineering. His interests are in hybrid systems and the control of biomedical systems. In recognition of his research contributions he received numerous awards, among them the Donald P. Eckman Award, the John R. Ragazzini Award and the Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award of the American Automatic Control Council, the Allan P. Colburn Award and the Professional Progress Award of the AIChE, the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award of the ASEE, Doctor Honoris Causa from Babes-Bolyai University, Fellow of IEEE, IFAC and AIChE, the IEEE Control Systems Technical Field Award, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (U.S.). Manfred Morari has held appointments with Exxon and ICI plc and serves on the technical advisory boards of several major corporations.

Satish Narayanan

Satish Narayanan earned his degrees in Mechanical Engineering starting with B.E. (Hons.) from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Pilani, India), and then did his M.S and Ph.D at University of Houston. Since joining United Technologies Research Center in 1998, he has worked in a broad range of problems involving physics-based modeling, experimentation, estimation and control of nonlinear dynamic phenomena in aerospace and building systems. He currently leads an R&D program portfolio in integrated, high performance building systems, leading projects focused on systems approaches and solutions to energy use reduction and improving security and safety within buildings. His specific focus areas within the GPIC Hub are in dynamic modeling of building systems, analytical and computational tools for design and decision making, and advanced building control algorithms. He has published over 12 archival journal articles and over 30 conference papers, and received 4 patents.


Meli Stylianou

Meli Stylianou is a projects manager at NRCan’s CanmetEnergy research centre in Varennes, Quebec.  He has been with NRCan for the last 20 years with a hiatus of three years from 2005 to 2008 during which he managed the Canadian Solar Buildings Research Network. He led the Canadian team in the International Energy Agency’s Annex 25 for developing the first diagnostic tools for high performance buildings and developed and presented material to the Canadian consulting engineering industry that led to the adoption of new ways of tuning commercial buildings.  He has been an invited speaker to a number of industry forums and is the recipient of ASHRAE’s Willis H. Carrier as well as the AQME Energia awards.  He is currently working on projects related to the operation and control of commercial buildings

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