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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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Service must trump Process

Today, in North America, very few designers using BIM do anything but structure. If they do design mechanical systems they keep it on the side. Because of this the Energy Model, when made, has little connection to the actual design. As the Mechanical systems have not really been fully designed, the mechanical contractor makes up something as he goes along. The controls contractor varies still further from the design, and creates tags for each sensor point that are not known to the model. This means that Commissioning can rarely be tied to the energy model.

In essence, there is no interface defined, although there is plenty of procedural information. To me this is a problem.

For a good look at a large complex system that defined interfaces (not procedures) across a multitude of systems, many of them proprietary, look to the European Union Seafood Safety System. It scales, and is successful, because it focused primarily on the interfaces, not the internal processes, of its composite parts. A single transaction for them might span a restaurant, a delivery company, a local retailer of seafood, a long distance trucking company, a port-town warehouse, dock operations, a fishing fleet management system, and PDA’s on a boat at sea. You cannot do that while focusing on the internal operations of each step in the supply chain.

My personal interests are in making each building a participant in an open market of energy sources that span a continent. ( ) At the same time, within a building (or campus) there might be mix of energy generation (PV, wind, Stirling Engine,..) and energy storage (Battery, Hydrogen, water pools, …) systems.

The complexity of such systems is impossible to manage, or orchestrate, or choreograph unless it is hidden behind abstract interfaces. If they are all tied into one tight control system, then we have created a realm wherein the producer of each system cannot be held accountable for performance. We also create a rigid system wherein individual system failures lead to cascading failures rather than simple degradation of overall performance. This means that I want abstract interfaces even between systems in the same building.

With these abstract interfaces in place, one could add new systems as new technologies become available. I can swap in substitute systems without re-programming the others. This intensifies competition between these large systems by reducing the friction on the transaction of switching from one to another in an existing facility. This competition is at the heart of what the new market structures

If we make these abstract interfaces discoverable, the we can easily imagine a competitive market of agents that can find and interact with these building systems as well as with the business processes (or life preferences, if in a home) of the building inhabitants. Those agents could interact with the power grid and live energy pricing on the basis of a single building. As the abstraction level grows, the agent could be located outside the building, to bid aggregate power use for an industrial combine, or for a portfolio of homes with either similar desires (I want all wind power. I want a carbon-neutral mix. I want the cheapest power available.) or complimentary power use patterns.

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