BuildSys 2021
The 8th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation

November 17-18, 2021 in Coimbra, Portugal

About The Event

About The Event

The 8th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environments (BuildSys 2021) will host a highly selective, single-track forum for research on systems issues covering all aspects of the built environment, broadly defined.

Advances in the effective integration of networked sensors, building controls, and physical infrastructure are transforming our society, allowing the formation of unprecedented built environments and interlocking physical, social, cyber challenges. Moreover, built environments, including buildings and critical urban infrastructure, account for over half of societys energy consumption and are the mainstay of our nation’s economy, security and health. As a result, there is a broad recognition that systems optimizing explicitly for the built environment are particularly important in improving our society, and represent the foundation for emerging "smart cities".

BuildSys is an ideal venue for researchers and practitioners working to develop and optimize such smart infrastructure systems that are driven by networked sensing, computing, and control functions.

BuildSys is one of the primary conferences sponsored by ACM SIGEnergy.


BuildSys 2021 and SenSys 2021
are colocated in Coimbra!


November 17-18, 2021

Call for paper

BuildSys 2021 Call for Papers

Built environments and critical urban infrastructures, account for over half of society’s energy consumption and are the mainstay of our nation’s economy, security and health. Advances in the effective integration of networked sensors, building controls, and physical infrastructure are transforming our society. In the information age, unprecedented research of cyber physical infrastructures includes: the acquisition, integration, and analysis of big and heterogeneous data such as sensors, devices, vehicles, buildings, and human, to tackle the major issues that cities face, e.g., air pollution, increased energy consumption and traffic congestion.

Systems optimization, data analysis and modeling applied to the built environment are particularly important in improving our society, e.g., by increasing its sustainability and enhancing people’s quality-of-life. These systems represent the foundation for emerging “smart cities”.

The 8th ACM International Conference on Systems for Built Environments (BuildSys'21) will be held November 18-19, 2021 in Coimbra, Portugal.

BuildSys is the premier conference for researchers and practitioners working to develop and optimize smart infrastructure systems that are driven by sophisticated sensing, computing, and control functions. We invite original contributions including, but not limited to the following:

  • Applications in smart and connected communities;
  • Sensing and control for urban infrastructure systems;
  • Novel sensor methodologies, techniques, and tools;
  • Sensing and control of electrical, gas, and water loads;
  • Improved user interfaces to built infrastructure;
  • Modeling, simulation, optimization, and control of heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation, water usage and other resource flows in built environments;
  • Sensor systems and applications that enhance energy efficiency, energy reliability, durability and comfort;
  • Systems that integrate infrastructure with the smart grid to offer demand response and ancillary services;
  • Distributed generation, alternative energy, renewable sources, and energy storage in buildings;
  • Emerging standards for data collection, energy control, or interoperability of disparate devices or systems;
  • Sensing, modeling, and predicting the urban heartbeat including sounds, movements, and radio spectrum;
  • Human in the loop sensing and control for efficient usage of electricity, gas, heating, water;
  • Sensor systems for reliable occupancy counting;
  • Long-lived and energy harvesting sensor systems;
  • Scalable indoor localization and contextual computing;
  • Security, privacy, safety, and reliability in built systems;
  • Empirical studies of city-scale wireless communications;
  • Environmental Sensing;
  • Vehicle technologies and Traffic.
  • This year, we are in particular interested in
  • Smart building and city technologies and initiatives in developing countries
  • COVID impact and response in smart infrastructure

Paper Types

We solicit two types of original submissions:

  • Regular papers for oral presentation (10 pages)
  • Notes papers for oral presentation (4 pages)

Notes papers are 4-page papers intended to discuss preliminary research results, advocate new research directions, describe public software or datasets, or present short projects that do not warrant a 10-page paper. Notes papers serve, in part, to encourage younger researchers and research teams entering this field of research to share their work. We also encourage Notes paper submissions from industry participants that may not be able to devote resources to a full paper. While Notes papers are not expected to have extensive evaluations, they will be reviewed based on the novelty of their ideas, potential for impact, and quality of presentation.

Submission Guidelines

Submitted papers must be unpublished and must not be currently under review for any other publication. Submissions must be full papers, at most 10 single-spaced US Letter (8.5” x 11”) pages, including figures, tables, references and appendices. Submissions for Note papers must be at most 4 single-spaced US Letter (8.5"x11") pages, including figures, tables, references and appendices. All submissions must use the LaTeX (preferred) or Word styles found here. Authors must make a good faith effort to anonymize their submissions by: (1) using the "anonymous" option for the class and (2) using "anonsuppress" section where appropriate. Papers that do not meet the size, formatting, and anonymization requirements will not be reviewed. Please note that ACM uses 9-pt fonts in all conference proceedings, and the style (both LaTeX and Word) implicitly define the font size to be 9-pt. Please refer to publication chair's Note as well as the User Guide of the new class. Accepted submissions will be available on the ACM digital library on the first day of the conference.

A subset of the best conference papers will be fast-tracked to the ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN).

All papers must be in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and submitted through the web submission form. For notes papers, the submission site has a checkbox called "Notes papers." Those who submit notes papers need to check this box to indicate their paper types.

Important Dates

  • Abstract Registration: July 9, 2021, AOE.
  • Paper Submission: July 16, 2021, AOE.
  • Paper Notification: September 10, 2021, AOE.
  • Camera Ready Submission: October 1, 2021, AOE.

** For the abstract registration, you only need to enter the title of the paper, the list of authors and their email addresses, the PC conflicts, and a brief abstract (~150-250 words). After registering the paper's abstract, you will have one additional week to upload the PDF file of the paper (either a 10-page Full paper or a 4-page Notes paper).

PhD Forum

BuildSys/SenSys 2021 - Joint Doctoral Colloquium (PhD Forum)

The Doctoral Colloquium of BuildSys/SenSys 2021 seeks to provide a friendly, supportive, and constructive environment where Ph.D. students can explore and develop their research interests in an interdisciplinary workshop guided by a panel of experienced researchers. The Doctoral Colloquium offers an opportunity to share experiences with other Ph.D. students and meet with accomplished international researchers and obtain feedback from them.

The Doctoral Colloquium committee will review submissions to ensure quality, relevance, and potential benefit from attendance. Accepted Ph.D. Forum abstracts will be included in the ACM Digital Library. Authors of accepted submissions are expected to participate in the Doctoral Colloquium event. There will be no separate registration fee for the Doctoral Colloquium.

Current Ph.D. students in the early stages of their career are encouraged to submit a 2-page research summary describing the work in progress and including a 100-word abstract. Things to consider for inclusion in the research summary might be: the expected contribution to the field; the original idea or thesis statement; the problem domain and the specific problem addressed; a brief overview of related work; the methodological approach; research carried out and results so far. The abstract should also include a one-paragraph biography of the student, including the names and affiliations of the research advisor(s), and the expected date of dissertation submission.

Important Dates

  • Submission Deadline: September 24, 2021 11:59pm AOE
  • Notification Deadline: October 9, 2021
  • Camera-ready Deadline: October 22, 2021 11:59pm AOE
  • Doctoral Colloquium Day(s): November 14, 2021

Submission Details

  • The paper should not exceed 2 pages.
  • Submission template format should follow ACM Master Article Template (with sigconf setting).
  • Submissions do not need to be anonymous and should have the PhD student as the sole author
  • Submission system: BuildSys 2021 PhD Forum


BuildSys 2021 - Workshop

Every year, the ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environments, Cities, and Transportation (ACM BuildSys) features co-located workshops on new trends or emerging topics of interest to the BuildSys research community. Continuing this trend, ACM BuildSys 2021 will include a limited number of high quality, half- or full-day workshops or tutorials. Workshops are opportunities for exploring in-depth topics related to the areas of the built environment, cities, and transportation systems, broadly defined. Tutorials are a venue for researchers to provide an instructional seminar on a particular, relevant technology. Both workshops and tutorials will provide international forums for scientists, engineers, and users to exchange and share their new ideas, experiences, and research results. The proceedings of the workshop program will be published by ACM Digital Library along with the conference proceedings.

Call for workshop

The BuildSys 2021 Workshops will likely be co-located with the ACM SenSys 2021 Workshops, but the exact dates are to be determined. We plan to have both an online presence and a physical presence in Coimbra, Portugal. This plan may change subject to local COVID-19 guidelines.

You are invited to submit a workshop proposal to the Workshop co-Chairs, which should contain the following information:

  • 1) Administrative Details
    • a. Workshop title
    • b. Main contact details
    • c. Workshop organizers (including contact details)
    • d. Intention for a half-day or full-day workshop
  • 2) Workshop Details
    • a. Workshop theme
    • b. Suitability to BuildSys audience
    • c. Draft call for papers
    • d. A tentative list of TPC members
  • 3) Projections and History
    • a. Expected number of submitted/accepted papers, papers sessions, keynotes, panels, etc.
    • b. If appropriate, a description of the history of the workshop, including the number of submitted/accepted papers, the number of attendees, the format, etc.
    • c. If the same (or similar) workshop was held in the past at an ACM BuildSys conference, the number of participants each year


Decisions to accept/reject workshop proposals will be made by the Workshops Co-Chairs in consultation with the Conference and Program Chair based on the overall quality and compatibility with the ACM BuildSys 2021 program.

The organizers of accepted workshops will be responsible for their own publicity (e.g. website and call for papers) as well as the reviewing and paper selection process. For the ACM BuildSys proceedings publication they need to comply with publication guidelines and timing of the conference.

They will be required to cooperate closely with the Workshops Co-Chairs and the ACM BuildSys 2021 local organizers to finalize all organizational details. Workshop registrations and payments will be made via the Conference registration system, and payments to the facilities will thus be taken care of by the local BuildSys organizers. In particular, local organizers may require that all workshops adhere to specific requirements regarding the general timetable, registration, and catering.

Important Dates

The workshop submission deadline is extended by two weeks!
  • Proposal submission deadline: May 27th 2021 AoE June 10th, 2021 AoE
  • Acceptance Notification: June 4th 2021 June 18th, 2021


Please email a PDF of your proposal to both:
Bharathan Balaji (
Sid Chi-Kin Chau (
Please use the email subject as: BuildSys 2021 Workshop Proposal. Only complete proposals with all required information will be considered.


Organizing Committee

Event Venue

Event venue location info and gallery

University of Coimbra, Portugal

The University of Coimbra, is a Portuguese public university in Coimbra, Portugal. First established in Lisbon in 1290, it went through a number of relocations until moving permanently to Coimbra in 1537. The university is among the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest in Portugal, and played a influential role in the development of higher education in the Portuguese-speaking world. In 2013, UNESCO declared the university a World Heritage Site, noting its architecture, unique culture and traditions, and historical role.


BuildSys welcomes financial support from companies and organizations. Supporting BuildSys is a great opportunity to increase visibility and product awareness within smart buildings and cities. Supporters will be acknowledged at the conference opening remark. Company names and logos will appear on BuildSys 2021 website and proceedings. Supporters may direct their fund to specific BuildSys 2021 awards or events, such as Best Paper Award(s), Best Demo Award(s), Best Poster Award(s), Student Travel Award(s), N2Women, and conference reception. Other demands can be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact sponsorship chairs and

Sponsor Levels

The minimum support is 2,000 USD. And all sponsors will have their physical booth at BuildSys2021.
  • Gold Sponsor: 5,000 USD or greater contribution
  • Silver Sponsor: 3,000 USD to 5,000 USD contribution
  • Bronze Sponsor: 2,000 USD to 3,000 USD contribution

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