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Why New Daedalus?

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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More than One Control System per Building

A few years back, we passed around a list, and quickly came up with more than 40 different types of building control systems. It was a nice list, a comprehensive list – except it was not.

When I returned home, I shared the list with someone I worked with whose work I respected. The colleague worked in a part of the University that was called, at that time, Classroom Technologies. I described how we were going to come up with a way to interact with these systems. He glanced at the list for just a moment and said “But you left off what I do – AV and Event Management…”

A week later, another friend, who worked with systems at the hospital, and I were enjoying the late spring weather during an afternoon of malted beverages at the fine Chapel Hill old beer garden “He’s Not Here”. He asked if he could see the list, and right off said “Where’s Medical Gas Distribution?”

And so my education went.

Each of these control systems have a different mission. The primary service each can provide the enterprise is to defend its mission first, and to respond to requests second. Even when systems look alike, and use the same protocols, they may have different missions. Vents, fans, actuators, and ducts? It is either a HVAC or it is a Laboratory Fume Hood. Woe betide the person who flood the lab with poisonous gas because he thinks he is working on the former.

I think that control systems should be smaller. Too often they are as large as people can make them, based upon shared communication protocols. They need to be smaller, small enough to have a single mission. Then we need to make them perform that mission well.

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