The ongoing penetration of building automation by information technology is by far not saturated. Today's systems need not only be reliable and fault tolerant, they also have to regard energy efficiency and flexibility in the overall consumption. Meeting the quality and comfort goals in building automation while at the same time optimizing towards energy, carbon footprint and cost-efficiency requires systems that are able to handle large amounts of information and negotiate system behaviour that resolves conflicting demands—a decision-making process. In the last years, research has started to focus on bionic principles for designing new concepts in this area. The information processing principles of the human mind have turned out to be of particular interest as the mind is capable of processing huge amounts of sensory data and taking adequate decisions for (re-)actions based on these analysed data. In this paper, we discuss how a bionic approach can solve the upcoming problems of energy optimal systems. A recently developed model for environment recognition and decision-making processes, which is based on research findings from different disciplines of brain research is introduced. This model is the foundation for applications in intelligent building automation that have to deal with information from home and office environments. All of these applications have in common that they consist of a combination of communicating nodes and have many, partly contradicting goals.