How cloud computing will help architects predict and reduce energy consumption

May 8, 2013

We’ve heard a lot about smart buildings lately, and how we’re using technology to help optimize energy efficiency. But a new collaboration between Microsoft Research Connections, the Royal Danish Academy, and an Italian startup called Green Prefab, could deliver a set of cloud-based architectural design tools that will help architects predict a future building’s energy consumption.

In his post, Microsoft Green Blog Editor Josh Henretig said that predicting a building’s energy consumption requires simulation on a scale that architecture firms can’t normally achieve without a research lab and enormous computing power. This collaboration will change that.

And its promise is already clear. The Royal Danish Academy conducted an experiment that compared both cloud computing and a standard dual-core PC to execute an energy consumption simulation of the same building. The cloud-based approached achieved about twice the potential energy savings, and it reduced the computing time to only three days versus the 122 days a standard dual-core PC would have taken.

Henretig said, “Microsoft Research’s collaboration with Green Prefab will aid architects in designing buildings that consume substantially less energy than most buildings today, and is one more example of how cloud-based technology can be used to help solve global environmental challenges.”

Read more on this partnership and how it will help the future of building design on the Microsoft Green Blog.

Deborah Pisano
Microsoft News Center Staff