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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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BSI Part 2: What is the Building System Interface?

After the ASHRAE meetings, and during the AHR conference, several of us are getting together to discuss building system metadata. The goal is to define interfaces to support quick fast integrations of building systems into the wider world. This is the second of several posts describing this interface. Drop me a line or watch for announcements from LONmark if you want to join us for discussion.

To be enterprise ready, the BSI must include discovery. Building systems, virtual meters for plug-load, and appliances should be discoverable using WS-Device Discovery. Common system metadata, the same that describes a collection of points as an air handler, must be package-able into WS-Device Profiles. Each device must expose both a system profile and an energy use profile (based on EMIX).

Because system metadata and profiles create business objects, this work creates the rational basis for policy-based security as applied to building systems. It is meaningless to ask if a system is secure unless you define what security means to you. Are you looking for a locked door, or are you looking for business enablement? ( System profiles bring building systems into normal security.

So what are the essential building services? There is energy management, accessible for low integration re-hosting in the clouds. There is performance contracting, also in the clouds. There is energy auditing, which only exists as a business based on near-zero integration costs (because the metadata is already in the BSI). Energy auditing? Well what if we call it a live LEED rating, or perhaps 3rd party verification of the performance of the performance contractors… BIFER (BI for emergency responders) may even come from that mix.

And, of course, there are the enterprise and consumer interactions, based on WS-Calendar. As energy grows more expensive, and its supply less predictable, doing the right things only at the right times becomes more important. The corporate calendar, the smart cell phone, and the school schedule will talk directly to buildings through standards-based service interactions.

Modern service interactions are based on composable interfaces and open specifications. Composable interfaces tend to be small, and to solve a single purpose. They free the developer and the system integrator to create novel interactions, and new value, quickly. We can see what some of them are already.

Some of them start with commissioning. COBie (Common Operations Building information exchange) defines a family of information models that can be handed over from a construction Building Information Model (BIM). These include a catalogue of building systems and the spaces they support. A newly proposed aspect of COBie is Panel Layout information exchange (PLie) which ties electrical circuits to the spaces they support. If we can solve the metadata problem, we open the door to a large competitive market place for software that engages customers in smart energy while improving the service delivered by smart buildings.

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