Team Projects


University of Michigan Dearborn

Name of the energy conservation measure (ECM):

Improving Energy Efficiency in Campus Buildings using Artificial Intelligence and Multi-source Data Fusion

Purpose of ECM:

This team’s project aims to reduce energy loss at University of Michigan-Dearborn’s brand-new Engineering Lab Building (ELB) by making the building smarter and strategically motivating building users to reduce energy use. To reach this end, different types of sensors would be deployed, such as people-counting sensors, temperature sensors, and daylight sensors. The team will both add to and update existing equipment. Completed in 2021, the ELB is one of the largest campus buildings and is appropriate as a testbed for new measurement devices and a behavioral intervention to reduce energy loss. This energy efficiency project will turn the new ELB into a building-sized laboratory.

Description of ECM.

The purpose of the proposed project is to identify practical and generalizable data-driven multidisciplinary methodologies and best practices for leveraging recent breakthroughs in data science and artificial intelligence (AI) for building energy management.

Specific aims include:

1) deploying a limited number of low-cost sensors at strategic locations of a building.

2) developing multi-source data fusion (e.g., smart meter, occupancy senor, smartphone, micro weather station data, and class/lab schedule) that preserves data privacy.

3) developing AI algorithms to infer the correlation between localized electricity usage and occupant activities.

4) deploying data-informed gamification (“Biggest Energy Saver” competition) that creates non-pecuniary incentives designed to induce energy efficient behavioral change of building occupants.

The team will leverage the brand-new ELB as a living lab and testbed before the deployment of the intervention at a DTE customer location.

Using the team’s diverse expertise, we would also share our demonstration findings campus-wide to raise awareness about energy conservation, as well as its social, economic, and health implications. This will entail a plain language report shared with student government and faculty senate, as well as a panel demonstration open to campus at completion of the project.