Advanced Technologies for High-Performance Buildings: Creating Sustainable, Equitable, & Efficient Environments

Course - Main Image Slide - IB

  • Advanced Technologies for High-Performance Buildings

    Creating Sustainable, Equitable, & Efficient Environments

    February 7, 8, 10 & 11, 2022


Dates: February 7, 8, 10 & 11, 2022
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm EDT
Location: ONLINE
AMDP Elective Units: 1
Tuition: $1,600
* Limited capacity! Registration closes 24 hours in advance.

Until recently, buildings have been designed and constructed like passive monoliths, lacking a central nervous system to collect, process, and act on a multitude of sensory inputs. The potential for buildings to behave like living organisms reacting and adapting to their environments is now being realized through a variety of interconnected building technologies. The symbiosis between buildings and their occupants merges the occupants’ experience with the building’s automated reactions and accommodations, and this relationship can be greatly enhanced through advanced analytics and cyber-physical systems.

This course explores how these data-driven systems make high-performance buildings more sustainable, healthy, and economically feasible, and gives attendees access to holistic strategies to apply to their own projects.


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There is tremendous momentum towards utilizing technology in buildings in new ways, enabled by advances in edge computing power, sensors, miniaturization, data collection, and converged networking. These advances have been developed just in time to meet environmental and societal needs for energy savings, carbon emissions reduction, building operational efficiencies, occupant satisfaction, safety, health & wellness, and increased productivity.

This program addresses advances in building technology, including the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital twins, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, occupancy management, and COVID-era innovations such as touchless navigation and pandemic-level air filtration. These advances are broadly referred to as Intelligent Building Technology, or IBT. The course is designed to guide participants towards understanding these technologies and their applications within their projects – all the way to the practical aspects of creating an intelligent building at different levels of complexity and scales, from smart to autonomous, from a personal level through a building level through an enterprise level. Exercises will allow class members to collaborate on case studies where they can apply the concepts from the lectures to create their own model.

Modern buildings are equipped with a wide variety of sophisticated technology systems that support both the building itself and the purpose of the building. The purpose, of course, is to enable occupants to go about their business and life- which are both becoming more and more digital. This digitalization of nearly every human experience holds great potential to enhance our everyday lives, which are increasingly spent in buildings. We are now realizing that buildings can be designed to include technologies not only to support the systems needed for them to operate, but to foster wellness, ease-of-operation, and a symbiosis with their occupants that is based on the occupants themselves as individuals. This new focus on occupants complements and enhances the traditional emphasis of smart buildings on energy efficiency and maintenance.

With this market demand for intelligent buildings comes the many definitions of this technology that have obscured the purposes. Building Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) teams come into these projects with preconceived notions and a variety of motivations. We find that there are three major categories of these motivations: 1) Altruism/Aspiration: there is a desire to “do the right thing,” to show leadership, or to be a responsible citizen of the community. 2) Mandate, e.g., Government, or Institution: they have been given direction from their administration that they are to pursue certain goals for the building, such as “Net Zero Energy,” or “Carbon Neutral,” and 3) Financial. There is a recognition that there is a Return on Investment from IBT, in a variety of areas, including system optimization through data analytics, efficiencies through automation, and maintenance improvements through fault prediction. Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now a fourth and important motivation: creating buildings that people are confident are healthy to inhabit.

The process to create an intelligent building needs to be goal-oriented, with a plan for each technical system and each project phase. It is useful to have a guideline for this, and new standards are available to organize the details of each design discipline. One of the useful Standards defines a role on the design team called the Intelligent Building Technology Project Manager, or IBTPM. This is a critical role that is not part of a traditional building design team. The adoption of the use of the Standard by the building owner and the architect assigns authority to implement IBT design decisions to the IBTPM. This provides a single point of contact for all phases of the project and the entire multidisciplinary design team, in much the same way as the Sustainability Consultant provides Commissioning services.

This course is developed from the perspective of the IBTPM, who must consider all of the issues, understand the sophistication and interconnectivity of the systems, and guide the AEC team through the planning, design, administration, and commissioning of the building. It is understood that the biggest challenges – and successes - are with the people who finance, design, build, run, occupy, and maintain the building. Their agreement on the institution’s will, the desired outcomes, and the implementation plan for the project must be guided and earned. Their real-world challenges such as the definitions of goals, the delineation of CapEx and OpEx objectives, pricing considerations for new technologies, and their decisions in selecting new techniques and products will be addressed.

Connected systems that will be discussed in the course include Building Management, HVAC Building Automation, Lighting, Electrical Loads, Physical Security, Audiovisual, Conveyance, Security, and Daylighting Systems, among others. Data collection, analysis and control software will be evaluated, and new advances in Occupancy Management will be considered. Drivers from sustainability and wellness certifications, and new smart building certifications will be reviewed. Building Sciences aspects of design will include IBT applications of energy modelling and indoor air quality. Financial aspects of IBT projects will be presented, with considerations from stimulus packages and connections to larger programs. Finally, sociotechnical issues related to privacy, cybersecurity, and occupant participation will be postulated. Join a stimulating instructor team in exploring the cutting edge of building technologies!

ETB - Efficient Buildings Video

What role does technology play in efficient buildings? The teaching team give their take.

Course - Who Should Attend - ETB

Who Should Attend

  • Developers, architects, IT directors
  • Builders, business development, city planners and other building stakeholders
  • School system superintendents, higher education sustainability professionals
  • MEP engineers, energy modelers and other building science professionals
  • Individuals with oversight of significant real estate footprints

Course - Learning Objectives - ETB

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the objectives for making a building intelligent
  • Learn the thought process behind creating an intelligent building
  • Understand how various building technology systems may be intelligently connected
  • Understand what data generated by the building is important to which audiences
  • Relate occupancy variables to building systems
  • Plan for an intelligent building project using industry certifications and standards
  • Organize design and construction teams to implement an intelligent building
  • Anticipating challenges brought about by intelligent building projects
  • Consider the relationship of IBT to Energy Models and new Indoor Air Quality issues
  • Establish metrics for intelligent building financial goals and Benefit-Cost Ratios
  • Consider the sociotechnical issues that affect intelligent building occupants
  • In their own building projects, participants will be equipped to consider factors such as: defining clear goals and objectives, pricing considerations for new technologies, procurement models (OpEx vs CapEx vs Hybrid models), technology maturity i.e. startup tech & vaporware, multidisciplinary design coordination, commissioning, data transparency, and cybersecurity

Course - Instructor - Joseph Bocchiaro

Principal Consultant, NV5 Engineering & Technology
Full Bio  >>
  • Ernie Beck, CTS-D, WELL-AP, Senior Consultant, NV5 Engineering & Technology
  • Brad Mahoney, Director of Sustainable Development, Millennium Partners Boston
  • Justin Shultz, PhD, BEMP, Senior Building Performance Analyst, Associate Principal, EYP

Program Schedule and Structure


  • February 7 – An Introduction to Intelligent Building Technology (IBT) and Occupancy Issues and Control
  • February 8 – Space Planning and Infrastructure & Building Performance
  • February 10 - Software & Data Analytics and Certifications, Codes, & Guidelines
  • February 11 – Implementation and Project Economics


  • Lectures that orient you to key course concepts
  • Group exercises, growing in scale and complexity as the course progresses
  • Reports from groups on their exercise work – enabling greater collective learning
  • Reflection on session learnings

Participant Stories

Who has taken this course before? And what impact has this program had on participants? See participant stories here.

Course - Testimonial - ETB

"What really stood out in this program was that it was very practical and discussed more than just the technology in buildings at a high level. The program introduced the different standards that buildings can seek, LEED, WELL, etc., but also gave insight into the cost/benefit of which of these to pursue depending on the project you are working on."

-Angela Han, Director of Asset Management at SINOBO Group


Advanced Technologies for High-Performance Buildings: Creating Sustainable, Equitable, & Efficient Environments
Dates: February 7, 8, 10 & 11, 2022
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm EDT
Location: ONLINE
AMDP Elective Units: 1
Tuition: $1,600


* Limited capacity! Registration closes 24 hours in advance.