These buildings are characterized by three features.
- Automated control
- The incorporation of occupant preferences and feedback
- Learning ability (performance adjustment based on environmental and occupant changes)
Such environments are distinguished by a tight coupling of HVAC, security, lighting, and fire protection systems. They are sensor rich and produce large amounts of data which can be analysed to predict occupant behaviour and detect equipment faults. They can automatically sense, infer and act in order to balance user comfort and energy efficiency, a concept also known as ambient intelligence or pervasive computing.