In recent years, the notion of intelligent buildings (IBs) has become increasingly popular due to their potentials for deploying design initiatives and emerging technologies towards maximized occupants’ comfort and well-being with sustainable design. However, various definitions, interpretations, and implications regarding the essence of IBs exist. Various key performance indicators of IBs have been proposed in different contexts. This study explores the notion of IBs and presents an analysis of their main constituents. Through a comparison of these constituents in different contexts, this study aims to extract the common features of IBs leading to an evolved definition which could be useful as a reference framework for design, evaluation, and development of future IBs. Findings also scrutinize the long run benefits of IBs, while demonstrating the constraints and challenges of the current international interpretations.