Civil and Environmental Engineering Location: Thornton Hall, Room D221
Add to Calendar 2017-12-08T12:00:00 2017-12-08T13:00:00 America/New_York CEE Seminar Series - Human Sensors for Energy Management Strategies in Built Environment Invited Speaker: Farrokh Jazizadeh Host: Arsalan Heydarian Details: CEE Seminar/Events Calendar Thornton Hall, Room D221

Invited Speaker: Farrokh Jazizadeh

Host: Arsalan Heydarian

Details: CEE Seminar/Events Calendar

Human Sensors for Energy Management Strategies in Built Environment

Considering buildings’ major contribution in energy consumption in the United States ($40% total energy consumption and ~75% of electricity consumption), energy management in buildings plays a critical role in energy sustainability efforts. On the demand-side, in addition to physical characteristics of the built environment, user interactions (e.g., use of appliances and spatial thermal conditioning) are main driving factors in identifying the energy demand. However, due to lack of granular and real-time information about these interactions, in conventional operational/control strategies, decisions and control are based on aggregate information, which masks occupant’s dynamics, resulting in energy and service inefficiencies in buildings. Understanding user interaction dynamics calls for context-aware information with higher granularity and adaptive control mechanisms that rely on distributed and dynamic feedback from the environment. This feedback could be in the form of occupancy patterns as well as occupants’ behavior that cover a wide range of topics including human behavioral habits and user preferences such as visual and thermal comfort. 

Despite the fact that users spend majority of their time inside buildings, in practice, there is a lack of communication between building energy systems and occupants. In the best case, buildings use reactive strategies, such as motion sensors, to activate lighting system in the indoor environment. In acquiring information from an environment and its users, the trade-off between information gain and intrusive and obtrusive nature of the technologies play a critical role on the success of novel methodologies. Therefore, in this presentation, a number of research efforts that have been sought to facilitate the process of two-way communication between buildings and their users will be presented. (1) An alternative data-driven paradigm for adaptive control strategies in buildings will be presented that accounts for the dynamics of occupants’ (i.e., mobility and dynamic preferences) in buildings and integrate those factors into the control logic of the buildings’ systems. Novel methods for data-driven and participatory-sensing-based thermal comfort assessment by using mobile smart devices and proposed ubiquitous IoH (Internet of Humans)-based sensing technologies are presented as examples of our efforts for moving towards the paradigm shift in HVAC control strategies. Our studies have demonstrated that data-driven adaptive control mechanisms could result in considerable reduction of energy consumption up to 40% in HVAC systems.


About the speaker

Farrokh Jazizadeh is an Assistant Professor in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.  Farrokh’s research looks at the intersection of data sensing and management, data-driven informatics, infrastructure operational analytics, and built environment sustainability and adaptability. He is interested in leveraging the dynamics of the built environment towards improved and flexible performance at different scales from building/facilities to regional/urban levels. Farrokh’s academic vision is to move towards realization of sustainable and resilient infrastructures in smart cities, where there is a bidirectional flow of information among facilities, users, and regional infrastructure to achieve cyber-physical system (CPS) solutions capable of increasing adaptability for sustainability and resiliency. Farrokh received his doctorate in Civil Engineering with a focus on Informatics for Intelligent Built Environment from the University of Southern California (USC) at Los Angeles in 2015.  His Ph.D. followed two masters degrees, also earned from USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering in Computer Science (2013) and in Civil Engineering (2011). He is the author of 40 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications in high impact journals and international conferences. His name appears on one patent and one pending patent. Farrokh has served on multiple technical committees in different conferences including ASCE’s International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering (IWWCCE) and ACM BuildSys. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (since 2014) and among recent awards, he is the recipient of the USC’s PhD Achievement Award (2015) and Arek Mekertichian Award of Excellence in Engineering Education from Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (2015). He has also diverse experience in design and construction of civil infrastructure systems as a project manager, design manager, and design engineer from 2002 to 2009.