Building environments are significant sources of global energy consumption. To create energy efficient buildings, the first step is to sense and monitor all the energy-consuming appliances in the buildings and record all the energy consumption information. After that, appropriate energy saving policies can be decided and the instructions can be sent to the control devices to apply the energy saving adjustments. To do that, in-building two-way communication networks are needed to connect all the sensors to collect information as well as to send control instructions. However, most of the current devices are provided by separate manufacturers and with separate network infrastructures and so there is not much integration and interaction among different subsystems. In this paper, we envision a new energy sensing and monitoring framework with integrated communication backbone in the intelligent building environments. Specifically, through comprehensive comparisons and investigations, we study different candidate communicating media and protocols like wireline, wireless, and power-line communications technologies that potentially can be used in the intelligent buildings to realize the goals of coordination, integration, and energy efficiency. Also, we propose an extension "smart box" for integration of the devices before the maturity of the standardization process. Cloud computing and smart phone technologies are also introduced to realize the goals of improving energy efficiency and promote global sustainability.
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