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Daedalus was the mythical great architect and artificer of the classical world. Today, embedded intelligence is enabling the most profound changes in the way we create and use buildings since his day.

Building Intelligence meets the Intelligent Building. The Intelligent Building negotiates with the Intelligent Grid. How will this transform how we interact with the physical world?

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Monday
Nov262007

Discovering the Unseen World through Standards

The engineered world is invisible and uncontrollable. Established business practices limit access to information about capital assets. We can address pressing needs in energy and environment while increasing amenities if we can improve decision making. We can address pressing needs by making fact-based decisions about capital facilities. There is great opportunity in applying IT best practices to the engineered world

Traditional practices lose information at every stage of design, construction, and operation. Programming, design, construction, and operations are closed silos. An integrated life-cycle information model standard is our best hope of addressing these issues. It reduces cost while speeding construction. It enables feedback from actual operations to future designs. This IT-based standard is called NBIMS.

Higher performing buildings will require abstract interoperable standards. Traditional control protocols are too concrete and to specific for anyone other than experts. Standard interfaces to control systems are the beginning of an answer. Such interfaces require that the system integrator be a new trade in every construction project. These interfaces will leverage the IT principles from Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Smart buildings must partner with an intelligent power grid to solve the biggest energy issues. Building operations use 40% of the energy in North America, and 62% of the energy on the power grid. We can save 25%-50% of this energy use by enabling buildings to be responsive to and interactive with their occupants. The power grid can save similar amounts by using standards-based interactions with smart buildings to improve operating efficiency.

Poor data sharing in capital assets are at the heart of some very large societal problems. Open standards the promote interoperability address each of these problems while opening up opportunities for innovation and new markets.

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Reader Comments (2)

You say "We can save 25%-50% of this energy use by enabling buildings to be responsive to and interactive with their occupants".

How do you arrive at these percentages?

Is the enabling building part not accomplished simply by implementing a building automation system that has occupied/unoccupied scheduling capability?

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJohnH

Occupied sensors are not enough because you cannot be aggressive enough. A useful moment was a hospital that turned off its clinical for the weekend space during a recent heat wave with associated high prices. They asked the building to turn on at 8:00 Monday morning - essentially the same interaction as "Turn On when next occupied".

The space was not usable until mid-afternoon on Monday. Furthermore, all the catch-up cooling was done during day-time expensive power. When faced with this type of issue, occupancy-based sensing cannot include Heating and Cooling w/o tenant rebellion.

A more intelligent system would accept the request to be ready for occupancy at 8:00 Monday morning. It would note the internal Temperature and Humidity, the External Temperature and Humidity, and the Power Price, and determine that 3:20 AM was the right time to turn on. The occupants would arrive back on Monday morning to a ready-to-use building.

This requires a building able interact with the business intention to occupy the building Monday Morning, not merely the sensor (or on-button, however configured) that says I am here now. When this happens, the building is exposing a service (ready to use space) not a process (sensor now turned on)

But who knows the service? This must be a negotiation between the System Integrator and the tenant. When the service is defined, the enterprise can interact with it. THis service orientation lets the building be much more aggressive in its operating (or rather non-operating) posture.

December 5, 2007 | Registered CommenterToby Considine

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