The Intelligent Building Agents (IBA) project is part of the Embedded Intelligence in Buildings Program in the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A key part of the IBA Project is the IBA Laboratory (IBAL), a unique facility consisting of a mixed system of off the shelf equipment, including chillers and air handling units, controlled by a data acquisition system and capable of supporting building system optimization research under realistic and reproducible operating conditions.
Achieving national goals of net zero energy buildings requires substantial reduction in the energy consumption of commercial building systems. Although significant progress has been made in the integration of building control systems through the development of standard communication protocols, such as BACnet and BACnet/IP, little progress has been made in making them "intelligent" about optimizing building system-level performance. The focus of IBA Project is to demonstrate the potential for distributed, intelligent software agents to perform this optimization and to develop a research infrastructure suitable for development and testing of advanced agent-based optimization techniques that can improve the energy and comfort performance of building systems.