Smart Buildings


Smart buildings help you harness automation to increase efficiency, health, and productivity


How do you use data to make your buildings operate more efficiently and drive occupant comfort, safety, and productivity? Historically, our industry focused mostly on energy efficiency. However, technology is driving a disruption in how buildings operate, providing more holistic benefits. Smart buildings use automation, oftentimes through building controls, to make a building grid flexible, healthy, productive, and energy efficient.

Building systems that did not have any automation or intelligence in the past—like lighting, building security, space utilization, and maintenance—now do. This digital transformation is changing the way we use data to manage and operate buildings. Smart building systems include sensors to gather data and cloud-based platforms to analyze that data. They then provide sophisticated feedback to operators, occupants, owners, and other stakeholders to improve the value of the building. Building owners can leverage this date to create a smarter, sustainable, and safer building environment.

The need for smart buildings’ non-energy benefits is a significant part of this transformation. Smart buildings know where occupants are located and can track healthcare equipment location in hospitals. Sensors can notify you when systems need attention. They can record carbon dioxide and particulates in the air and alert operators to undesirable levels. They can even help owners understand and maintain social distancing.

Buildings are getting smarter. It’s important to understand how you can use these systems and data to inform your decisions. We aim to provide research on these systems so you can do just that.

Our research in this space includes:

July 28, 2022

Microgrids can be a building block to more resilient communities

Microgrids can help cities achieve their clean energy goals while maintaining essential services in a crisis—but only if a city fully understands the needs of its residents.
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July 15, 2022

Join our commercial energy code field study for the U.S. Department of Energy

Commercial building owners in the Midwest: join our field study to help the Department of Energy improve energy codes in large buildings.
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April 21, 2022

Training for the smart building transition: Slipstream awarded two new tech transfer projects with IREC

Our expertise in advanced building controls and energy technologies will help IREC and its stakeholders meet the requirements of the clean energy economy and advance the transition to smart buildings.
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March 10, 2022

Can smart vents save energy in residential HVAC systems?

Slipstream investigated the energy savings and market potential for smart vent technology.
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February 25, 2022

The Three Pillars of GEB Controls

Balancing energy supply and demand is the puzzle in front of utilities as renewables clean up the grid. The key lies in buildings that change when they use energy.
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February 25, 2022

Beyond the Building: Grid-building interactivity is key to decarbonization 

The many actors of our energy industry are all turning to take on carbon as our primary target—some slowly and stubbornly beginning that transition, others already there. We used to count kWh, Btus, number of widgets installed, or number of buildings certified. Now we're counting carbon.
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December 23, 2021

Slipstream awarded Department of Energy Connected Communities grant to prove GEBs at scale

Slipstream was awarded over $5 million to establish a scalable business model for utilities to enable more grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs).
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September 1, 2021

Lighting, HVAC, and plug load integration

The Integrated Controls study team performed a pilot study for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Integrated Lighting Campaign to integrate building systems more efficiently to produce greater cost savings and climate solutions.
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April 17, 2021

Improving energy efficiency with modern HVAC controls and ASHRAE Guideline 36

This research aims to improve the process of retrofitting commercial building controls according to ASHRAE Guideline 36
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