About Toby Considine
I am an integrator of the un-integratable, with a long perspective on diverse technologies and systems. I work on the cusp of deep technology and organizational behavior.
Scheduling, building systems, electric vehicles, and the smart grid--coordinating time, space, and energy--are the basis for the third industrial revolution. I am fascinated with how the internet of things will meet the internet of people and e-commerce. I look to the business opportunities of the enterprise responsive building interacting with smart grids.
During many years as an infrastructure analyst supporting facilities operations at the University of North Carolina, I worked with every aspect of the isolated, uncommunicative control systems that surround us. I worked with control systems in buildings for comfort, security, and event management, control systems in coals plants and central heating and cooling plants, and control systems in the distribution of electricity, steam, and chilled water. Each of them evolved in isolation, and shared necessary information with others poorly.
This experience prepared me for a chance encounter with an early draft of the SOAP specification in 2000. I instantly recognized that XML based web services would be the surface between the engineered process and those who would interact with it. The first interactions to look at would be those between building systems and the businesses that inhabit those buildings. Enterprise-responsive buildings integrate on the cusp between deep technology and organizational behavior. It is a rare week that this approach does not show me some new potential benefit.
I am co-chair of the OASIS oBIX Technical Committee. oBIX is an unencumbered web service designed to interface between building systems and e-business. I am active in many allied efforts, including the National Building Information Standard (NBIMS) for the design and construction of buildings and in national efforts to define the Smart Grid. I am co-champion of the FIATECH Information Technology Roadmap Element 5 (“The Intelligent Self Maintaining, Self Repairing Facility”)
Smart buildings add value to smart grids; smart grids need smart buildings to talk to. I have been working with North American smart grid efforts since delivering the plenary business and policy report at the GridWise Constitutional Convention in 2005. While smart grids need improved situation awareness internally, the greatest benefits will come from their interactions with their end nodes: homes, commercial buildings and industry. I was a member of the EPRI Team that delivered the a Smart Grid Roadmap to NIST, and am a Technical Champion on the Enernex Team overseeing the development of smart grid interoperability. My areas of focus are the market-oriented interfaces at the edges of smart grids which will create opportunities for innovation in the end node.
Years of public speaking and on the faculty of the Institute for Facilities Management put me in front of people who wanted to know more. The years at UNC have given me a deeper understanding of the problems and opportunities in capital asset design, construction, and operation than most in IT. I began to advise building owners and engineering companies on business strategies. I am a participant in several industry-led international groups defining the interactions between the enterprise, capital assets, building systems, and the power grid. My perspective on these is guided not only by years of practical experience in information technology, but also by long ago academic work in synapses and brain organization; I often see connections where others do not.
If you have an interesting project in smart buildings, or in smart energy, or in standards-based enterprise interactions with the internet of things, please contact me at TC9, Inc (www.tcnine.com).