Prof uses AI to improve building energy use

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Waterloo Engineering researchers have developed a new method that can lead to significant energy savings in buildings.  

Led by Dr. Mohamad Araji, director of Waterloo’s Architectural Engineering Program and head of the Symbiosis Lab, the team created an AI-powered platform that quantifies heat flow to better identify areas of heat loss in buildings. 

The platform was tested on a multi-unit residential building in the extreme climate of Canadian prairies, where elderly residents reported discomfort and higher electricity bills due to increased demand for heating in their units.   

The AI-based model helped to remove the element of human error in examining the results and increased the speed of getting the data analyzed by a factor of 12 compared to traditional building inspection methods.    

“The hope is that our methodology can be used to analyze buildings and lead to millions in energy savings in a much faster way than previously possible,” Araji said.     

Future expansions to this work will include utilizing drones equipped with cameras to inspect high-rise buildings.    

Read Using AI to improve building energy use and comfort for the full story.