Buildings will be energy 'smart'
The future is going to be one of "smart" buildings that will constantly monitor energy usage in real time so as to keep consumption to an absolute minimum.
Speaking at last week's Green Economy Forum, which was hosted by Dublin Chamber of Commerce, IBM research engineer Niall Brady explained how his company had retrofitted an existing industrial warehouse building at its Mullhuddart campus and converted it into a "smart" research laboratory housing up to 150 researchers.
The challenge facing IBM in carrying out the conversion was to create a user-friendly environment for those working in the building while at the same time minimising energy and water consumption.
IBM also used the project to trial smart building technologies it is developing.
These smart buildings will be connected to the electricity grid through a "smart box".
They will be able to sense when rooms are occupied or not and adjust settings accordingly.
"We are creating an intelligent building product that tells the user what is happening in real time," says Mr Brady.