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The VCBT has already been used to test and demonstrate the potential benefits of providing appropriate and timely information to emergency responders at a "proof of concept" level.
A building emulator, such as the VCBT, would be a valuable tool for developing and testing this type of self-configuring system for a wide range of building types.
As the building industry strives for significant improvements in energy efficiency while maintaining or improving occupant comfort and safety, building emulators like the VCBT can play an important role in meeting the resulting technical challenges.
The NIST Virtual Cybernetic Building Testbed (VCBT) is a whole building emulator designed with enough flexibility to be capable of reproducibly simulating normal operation and a variety of faulty and hazardous conditions that might occur in a cybernetic building.
The VCBT control hardware consists of BACnet products from multiple companies that are used for HVAC control, lighting control, physical access control, and fire detection.
The VCBT provides a way to emulate an entire building, including its various automation and control systems, in the laboratory.
The VCBT software components run in a real-time, distributed, multi-platform environment.
The Building Shell model used in the VCBT dates to the original development of [HVACSIM.sup.+] and is based on even earlier work such as NBSLD (Kusuda 1976), BLAST (Hittle 1979), and TARP (Walton 1983).
In order to use the VCBT to test and evaluate automated FDD algorithms for HVAC systems and components, modified [HVACSIM.sup.+] component models were developed to represent a range of common system faults that are shown in Table 1.
Due to its adaptability, the VCBT has been successfully used in a variety of projects including the development and testing of fault detection and diagnostic tools, commissioning tools, and tools to improve the actionable information available to emergency first responders.
The VCBT was a valuable proving ground for two prototype FDD tools that were embedded in AHU and VAV box controllers, limiting the risk before the technology was evaluated in real buildings.
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