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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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« Semantic Assembly of Business Projects | Organizing System Behaviors »
Monday
Apr282008

Service Performance and Compliance

So what are the essential components for Building Service Performance framework? What things would you want the building designer to be able to specify early in a project, without selecting a supplier, or a vendor, or a technology?

Some of you may recall an earlier post describing the business services provided by environmental conditioning systems in a big-box pharmacy. The first service was “Ahh, I’m here”. This highly variable service makes the customer glad they have arrived. The second service is a highly regulated environment for storing and dispensing labile pharmaceuticals. This service is less variable and this type of service may be tightly associated with detailed reporting and requirements. The third service, defined for the storage areas, was “Don’t melt the chocolate”. The effectiveness of this service can only be judged by information from inventory and sales systems.

Each Building Service must be defined in terms of Business Values, not in terms of processes or components. No retail business manager ever started the day thinking “I hope I can buy some air conditioning and compressors today”. Each business service implies a compliance metric. Compliance metrics define how quality of Service (QOS) is measured. Compliance metrics may be delivered and documented by building systems or by their effects on other business processes.

A business may have its own building service definitions. IT-savvy businesses often define their unique value proposition through a proprietary service definition. Even these unique service offerings should fit within the framework as a variant of one service or a combination of several.

The compliance portion of the framework defines how we get performance information about each service. The elements of compliance define the actual deliverables. We may be able to derive some aspects of compliance definition from the emerging Business Quality of Service (BQOS) web services standard. Compliance is the only rational basis for business decision making about system selection and performance.

Service and compliance may span several systems. For example, occupancy sensors for lighting systems can provide compliance information for the security service of intruder detection. Under a common Building Service Performance framework, compliance reporting for that service has identical requirements. The lighting system, though, may have other compliance requirements to support the other services it supports.

Why is this important?

Perhaps the most critical factor in improving building design and construction is making important decisions earlier and expressing those decisions in terms that allow the owner to be the informed decision-maker in control of the project. The owner cannot be in charge of a project when the questions are expressed in terms of equipment and processes that the owner does not understand.

Real energy modeling during design requires more than understand building mass and envelope, it requires understanding how the space is to be used and how many will occupy it. A developed Building Service Performance framework will enable design processes that develop real energy models based upon business services, and let the owner choose the compliance level he wants to pay for.

When building designs define compliance requirements up front, then the requirements for building commissioning will be known. This will make processes for automated commissioning possible. Automated commissioning will lead to perpetual autonomous commissioning, a key precursor to self-maintaining facilities.

Please post or email me your ideas on the business services that building systems provide, and what compliance framework each requires.

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