The Story Of
The Smart Building Initiative


he Smart Building Initiative (SBI) is an interdisciplinary research effort I started at the University of Texas to help both building managers as well as building occupants reduce their energy usage. By deploying hundreds of sub-circuit energy meters, SBI developed a real-time, high-resolution image of how energy is used down to a room level of accuracy. Drawing on game mechanics similar to Foursquare, SBI encourages building occupants to check in to rooms and rewards them with badges if the spaces they regularly associate with use less energy over time.

BI started as a project at 3 Day Startup. With support from the Center for Sustainable Development we applied for the prestigious LIFT Grant and were awarded $100k to conduct our research. Our research team: René Pinnell, Blake Smith, Anil Kumar Attuluri, Anil Kumar Katti, Ryan Bruner, Dr. Werner Lang, Barbara Wilson, Ulrich Dangel, Matt Fajkus, Gloria Lee & Riley Triggs.


final design of SBI app


  1. June, 2010

    SBI was awarded the prestigious LIFT Grant. Here is a copy of our application.

  2. April, 2010

    I toyed with the idea of commercializing some of the tech / ideas behind SBI. Here is a presentation I gave for the I2P technology commercialization competition at UT: mApp - Where People & Energy Connect

  3. May, 2010

    Patent application for some of the ideas behind SBI.

  4. November, 2009

    Eric Katerman, Anil Kumar Katti, & I hacked together a proof of concept for indoor localization system at 3 Day Startup.


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