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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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Welcome to the TAB

I am looking forward to this week to my first meeting with the OASIS Technical Advisory Board (TAB). OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, is the home of oBIX, a web service standard for communicating with building systems. Two years after delivery of the 1.0 specification, OBIX has a growing deployment list. We have more than 70 oBIX servers in the UNC EBMS project (search on blog for more information) and oBIX runs the entire Olympic district and all stadiums that you will see on television this week. So far, oBIX is exposing web-ready interfaces to control systems, but as of yet, just a few businesses have embraced what such an interface could mean to e-commerce enabling building services.

When running for the TAB, my platform urged the attention of e-commerce players to this area. OBIX needs to better learn the lessons of exposure and the interaction patterns of modern global business. How well we solve these problems will determine whether the smart grid is something just a little better than the old electrical grid, or whether the full force of entrepreneurial innovation is released on the problems of power management, energy storage, and evolving local distribution. The same infrastructure, if done right, will radically improve the quality of maintenance and operations in buildings and change the ways in which buildings interact with society and the environment around them.

Examples include:

  • Every building a day-trader in energy markets on behalf of its owner.
  • Knowledge-based maintenance of buildings based upon remote analytics and virtual maintenance companies
  • Energy markets driven by clearing markets in different energy sources replacing regulated cost-recovery models.
  • Policy-based security extended from enterprise IT to physical access control and intrusion detection
  • Buildings as a source of situation awareness during disaster and emergency response.
  • Life-time self-commissioning of autonomous building systems

Nothing really happens very well, or happens for very long, without economic interactions that support it. For 100 years, the need for large cartel production and distribution efforts, not only in the electrical grid, but in other energy sectors, have insulated the ways in which we harvest, store, and convert energy from the full force of market-driven innovation.

I’m hoping we can fix that.

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