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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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« Security: the path to service | Time for Pervasive Security? »
Thursday
May312007

Facilities Systems Integrators

Pervasive Systems. Pervasive Security. Service Oriented Architecture. Federated Identity Management. The building owner is rarely able to find these skills in the A&E community.

I know how many consultants can do this. I know most of them, and have heard of the rest. If I am wrong, and there as many again that I don’t know of, I may have to take off my shoes to finish counting.

Why are there so few in an industry filled with so many bright, competent, people? We are in the early swell of something new. Beyond Intelligent Buildings. Some are calling it Buildings 2.0. That captures it, but it will outlive the trendiness of that name.

The days of integration by extension need to pass. “Enterprise enabling” a hotel room system must mean more than a BACnet node on the room key set-up. “We can manage energy” must mean more than putting an on/off switch to the package unit at the end of the access control system. Some people who are quite good at the old way. The best have realized the limits of the old way of integration. Integrators will need to interact with the business surfaces of SAP, and PeopleSoft….

Human responsive systems will demand something different. Building systems that interact with personal area networks (PANs) and even body area networks (BANs) won’t interact at the control protocol level. Building services will need to be aware of not only identity, but the role and context of that identity. Temporary delegation of role authority for a fixed time will be just another trick in the repertoire.

Zero Carbon buildings will require heterogeneous selection of best of breed systems for each site and each use pattern. Each of these systems must be able to defend its mission against the others, while its producer warrants and tunes its performance. These buildings will require integrators skilled in choreography, not in control.

Building systems will also be small participants in a larger realm. Intelligent buildings will barter with markets on the intelligent grid. They will brace themselves as they receive warnings from the National Weather Service. They will lend situation awareness to emergency personnel during a disaster. They will be full citizens of the digital world.

Building owners have no way identify those competent for this new role. There are no training programs, or certifications to prepare them. There will be.

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