15 Years in the Collaboratory

Timeline Curated by Therese Sullivan, BuildingContext.me. Comments are welcome at therese@buildingcontext.me

Starting in about 1999, leading Building Automation professionals were early collaborators in the effort to put realtime data in service to better interior comfort and energy efficiency. They recognized their role as catalysts of this paradigm shift and set to work aligning all the necessary people, processes and technologies. Here's a timeline of their achievements. All the thought-leadership articles, commercial announcements, and press releases used to compile this timeline were found in the database of the online magazine automatedbuildings.com.

1999-05-01 00:00:00

Navigating & Searching

Navigation tips; use the timeline at the bottom to move through time. Push the 3d button in the left corner to fly though all the posts even faster. Each post includes a link to the full article.

1999-05-10 00:00:00

Internet Comes to Building Automation

Ken Sinclair reports on how Internet connectivity is set to change real estate, facilities management and the buildings automation and systems integration industry. This article was a first wake up call as to how significant coming change is going to be in the future.

1999-05-15 00:00:00

HTML for Building O&M

Any building with a DDC system that has a computer workstation interface has all that is needed to begin using HyperText Markup Language (HTML) for Operations & Maintenance documentation. This article explores the advantages of making that change as soon as possible, introducing the concepts of linking, searching, remote access, mixing graphics and text, password security, etc.

1999-07-01 00:00:00

Control HVAC per Demand with Network Control

Thomas Hartman explains how network-based control can improve HVAC energy efficiency and comfort performance in the variable speed era. With network control, you can set the speed of the device according to actual requirements of all the loads served rather than to meet a static pressure or temperature setpoint.

2000-03-01 00:00:00

Ethernet Arrives

John Petze, currently with SkyFoundry and, at the time, VP Product Development with Andover Controls Corporation, wrote in March 2000 that “Ethernet running TCP/IP is the protocol to bet on for open systems going forward. In effect, Ethernet has become the new "utility."

2000-05-01 00:00:00

Java and Building Automation Systems

Jim Butler and Keith Corbett of Cimetrics posit that BACnet and Java are complementary and they explore the use of Java for control systems. The article illustrates Java programs that communicate with BACnet devices. Java's technical challenges in this context are also evaluated.

2000-09-01 00:00:00

BACnet or LonWorks?

Respected industry author John J. "Jack" McGowan provides a primer here for system integrators deciding between the BACnet™ and LonWorks™ system communication protocol standards. Now that the market has settled on these two DDC network standards, the opportunity to achieve open systems and to leverage off-the-shelf technology and the worldwide web is at hand. However, there is still the challenge of choosing between these communication options. The author recommends close consideration of interoperability goals. Interoperability can be viewed as a continuum with levels: Connecting, Sharing and Substituting.” The article explains these levels and emphasizes that HVAC specialists need to expand their scope when evaluating interoperability, taking into account the interoperability levels possible with equipment used for fire alarms, security, vertical transport, office automation, etc.

2001-05-01 00:00:00

Online Training & Education Effort Launched

As reported by Ken Sinclair, the challenge of keeping up with all the new IT and Communications technologies impacting the job of the buildings automation/control system integration professional is confounding a percentage of the industry. automatedbuildings.com and Engineered Systems magazine committed to working toward freely providing educational content digitally. What they have to learn to understand today's Building Automation industry is written on a curve that appears as a wall layered with every control technology we have ever invented. Without reference to how we came to be here it is just that, a wall. The last layer may be the only chance we have of explaining ourselves. Information Technology or IT solutions abound and everyone must learn the power of browser-based presentation to move forward. The ability of browser-based media to allow us to move in multi directions rapidly at our own pace is the tool we need to analyze the information wall.

2001-05-01 09:34:10

Revolutionary Automation Trends in Large Buildings

In May 2001, Ken assembled 11 trends that he saw were catalysts for the rapid evolution of large Buildings Automation. To provide more detail on those trends, he extracted and edited content from articles published on the AutomatedBuildings.com web site. The list presented in this article provides reference to each key article so if you wish more insight you can read the complete article.

2001-11-01 00:00:00

BACnet in AutstalAsia

This interview with Jim Henry, Founder and current chairman of the BACnet Interest Group – AustralAsia (BIG-AA), recounts high interest in the standard through the Asia-Pacific countries. Henry reports that in 1999, Alerton, Automated Logic, Delta, and Simplex cooperated to put on a full day forum on BACnet, at which both Mike Newman and Steve Bushby, (respectively, the then Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the BACnet committee) gave lectures. BIG-AA members followed up with lot of presentations to consultants and large clients. Recently, he made trips to Korea, Japan and China in response BACnet momentum there.

2002-01-01 00:00:00

Information Model: The Key to Integration

Eric Craton and Dave Robin of Automated Logic Inc. point out the need to adopt XML and Web Services Architecture for building information modeling in this article. It was a call to action: "If we do not take control of the data presentation of our dynamic information, the IT Industry will."

2002-01-01 21:22:41

Web Services Puddle

Ken Sinclair first heard about web services XML at the AHR Expo in Atlanta 2001 in a brief meeting with Eric Craton and Steve Tom of Automated Logic, held in the hallway of the convention centre. Eric explained his vision of how web services would change everything, but that many conventions needed to be established by the IT industry to make it really useful. Automated Logic’s early entry into web-based control with a full java platform allowed them to provide a strong lead in how web services might unfold. In January 2002 Eric helped Ken create a web services forum on the AutomatedBuildings.com web site.

2002-08-01 00:00:00

Guide to Web-Based Facilities Op's

In this supplement, the editors of automatedbuildings.com offered a guide to good operating principles, updated for the Internet Age. The guide offers instruction and insight on topics like understanding and utilizing Web features, establishing accountability networks, online energy accounting with immediate feedback, web-based knowledge management systems, and defining success indicators. It captures the key advantage of moving to browser-based access: “Web-based presentation of dynamic building information allows not only operators to operate from anywhere with full functionality, it allows interaction of contractors, equipment suppliers, and consultants to provide valuable feedback and feed-forward information to the building operating equation. Upper management can also participate by having browser-based bottom line screens that provide the dynamic proof of the success or failure of building performance.”

2003-04-01 00:00:00

oBIX Launch

In April 2003 at BuilConn in Dallas, Texas, the XML/Web Services Guideline Committee - started the work that is now known as oBIX. oBIX stands for Open Building Information Xchange, and it is an industry-wide initiative to define XML- and Web Services-based mechanisms to present building systems-related information on TCP/IP networks such as the Internet. Read the December 2003 interview with Paul Ehrlich, Chairman of the oBIX committee at the time, to understand why the buildings automation community launched this initiative.

2003-05-01 00:00:00

Energy Web Services - the Next Step

John J. "Jack" Mc Gowan defines the term ‘Deep Integration.’ In contrast to the “shallow" integration evident in a communication interface that provides only a subset of the points in a given controller and allows little or no access to control logic, ‘deep integration’ means to drill down to interact with the control logic. Also, a systems integrator ‘going deep’ is writing control logic to not only interact with HVAC control sequences, but for the other systems as well - fire, access and video surveillance. Web services that represent the convergence between Information Technology (IT) and Building Automation enable the ultimate in Deep Integration for comfort, energy management, security and other functions that support the customers' mission.

2003-06-01 00:00:00

Controlling for Comfort

Thomas Hartman was one of the pioneers in the development and implementation of control algorithms for the effective monitoring of space conditions in all areas served by a VAV zone. He recognized early that it was essential to permit occupants to register comfort preferences for multiple office "subzones." He recommended that a temperature sensor be installed in every separate occupied space within any building and that a method of control be implemented that recognizes and incorporates the space temperature of all occupied spaces in the operation of the HVAC system. He was among the first to explain that this approach pays off big in terms of comfort enhancement. Prior to the advent of network-based controls, system integrators could not employ more than a single temperature sensor for each terminal zone. The web and network-based controls changed that paradigm.

2003-08-01 00:00:00

Where Does Security Start?

John J. "Jack" Mc Gowan writes that, “In a post 9/11 world, security is not an appendage but an integral component of facility management. It begins with design and includes a host of Internet-enabled technology for access control, video surveillance, machine vision, "whole building" system integration, wireless networking, cybercrime data protection and more…. Energy and security are integral components of next generation building automation systems, along with the Internet and Local Area Networking technology. The key for energy industry professionals is to ensure that system effectiveness is not compromised through implementation by organizations that are not buildings experts. IT professionals are driving to acquire market share in the building automation industry, yet the next generation of integrators must have proficiency in building, security, HVAC and IT. In summary, owners and engineers must ensure that integrators have the requisite skills to successfully implement automation for energy management and security without compromising data integrity.

2003-08-01 00:00:00

CABA Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council

Barriers to the growth of the building automation industry were identified in a document known as the Technology Roadmap for Intelligent Buildings researched by the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). In 2002, as a direct result of this roadmap, a number of Canadian government departments funded the formation of the Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council (IIBC), and put it under the management of CABA. The IIBC started with a core group of about 15 members, and grew to include some 170 members working in 5 Task Forces by mid 2004. Task Force achievements by that time included publishing a Building Control Network Protocols whitepaper and a Best-Practices Guide for Evaluating Intelligent Building Technologies. Another team was tasked with developing a Life Cycle Costs Analysis Tool. In the August 2004 interview with IIBC leader Thomas J. Lohner, a VP of TENG Solutions, more can be learned about IIBC activities and progress. In the November 2005 article he updates the IIBC vision regarding Valuation Tools.

2003-08-01 00:00:00

Your Building is An Enterprise

Brian Jones, of the S4 Group, writes about integrating IT infrastructure (hubs, routers, switches, UPS systems, etc.) with non-IT services such as building automation, factory automation, and process control systems. He illustrates that such convergence increases efficiency, improves quality and decreases costs in areas which have not been part of integrated enterprise business processes. His article examines the integration process.

2003-11-01 00:00:00

Marketing Convergence

Ken Sinclair teams with Jack McGowen and Anto Budiardjo of Clasma Inc. in the creation of a special digital publication about ‘Marketing Convergence.’ They write: “We cannot wait until convergence occurs and then get involved with how it gets marketed, because it will be too late; the marketing plan will not include our industry. Our industry's presence in creating a marketing convergence plan changes everything. We as an industry bring new concepts and tools to the convergence table in the form of "real time information." Our industry's business is collecting, acting on, and distributing real time data such as temperature, pressures, energy usage, client comfort, humidity, IAQ, video, security card ID’s. As an industry we are just starting to grasp the concept of how this realtime data converges with our clients' information enterprise. Our clients are also just starting to discover how information that is presented easily (and anywhere) can be extremely useful for enterprise growth and for staying competitive.

2004-01-01 00:00:00

Ethernet: the Common Thread

Jason Sprayberry, Digi International, compares Ethernet to “a phoenix rising from the ashes” to solve the interoperability challenges of integrators faced with adding legacy equipment like protocols, mediums and connectors to a new building automation architecture. He writes, “Ethernet is a low cost, high speed, widely deployed, universally accepted medium for local area and wide area networks. When layered on top the TCP/IP protocol, you have the initial ingredients of an open, more easily integrated system.” His article covers the perceived shortcomings of Ethernet for building automation and the ways some device server vendors are equipping their products to overcome these connectivity concerns.

2004-03-01 00:00:00

What is M2M?

In this interview Ken asks Glen Allmendinger, President of Harbor Research, Inc., to define this new term. The response: M2M is 1) a set of technologies and applications that permits devices, people and applications to engage in a continuous dialogue. 2) A set of applications that permits the automation of updating, repairing, replenishing and monitoring remote devices and assets and 3) An approach that complements and enhances service and support operations. Allmendinger observes that M2M is allowing companies to wake up to the concept of "smart services" such as services that collect actual evidence that a machine is about to fail, or that a customer's supply of consumables is about to be depleted, or that a shipment of materials has been delayed, and so on.

2004-05-01 00:00:00

Connecting the Dots

The purpose of this article is to provide a history, connection and insight into many of the valuable resource articles on the XML (extensible markup language) / Web Services movement as it has impacted the large building automation industry. Automated Logic's early entry into web-based control with a full java platform allowed them to provide a strong lead in how web services might unfold. So this article starts by quoting Eric Craton and Dave Robin’s article from January 2002. Ken also collects the contributions of CABA. “CABA provided shelter from the political storm by providing a non-HVAC organization that crossed over several major related industries such as Lighting, Security but still had a strong connection to ASHRAE.” A useful collection of links to understand community thinking at the time.

2004-07-01 00:00:00

BuilConn and the Buildy Awards

The BuilConn Forum was launched to bring together a new breed of specialized industry professional: the System Integrator. System Integrators combine the power of many computer-based systems in buildings with Information Technology (IT), the Internet and Web Services to increase occupant comfort and productivity. System Integrators apply sophisticated digital hardware, while creating and programming software to make “Convergence” possible. An awards program associated with Builconn, The Buildy, was organized to recognize the best in Integrated and Interoperable buildings. In 2004, The Summit Building located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, won the Best Integration Project Buildy Award.

2004-07-01 00:00:00

Mom & Pop Want Energy Savings Too

David E. Craven of Andover Controls issues this Wake-Up call to the commercial and industrial facilities industry: “The automotive industry has accomplished a lot over the last 50 years in terms of efficiency and safety. In comparison, we collectively have fallen short in C&I energy conservation and management, and specifically with the small C&I energy user. Few facilities under 50,000 GSF have any level of automation, and automated facilities below 5,000 GSF don’t exist. Being able to lower the bar on installation costs, via wireless networks, while simultaneously being able to embed a whole new layer of applications will eventually make it possible to bring automation to virtually every component in every electro-mechanical system in any building. The driver for doing so will be energy. Your basic Mom & Pop deli, the local dentist, the branch bank or the retail proprietor will only be able to afford automation if it comes to them in the form of an embedded appendix of those products they rely on to conduct their basic business. Their HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems etc. Oh, and by the way, the man-machine interface and networking of these devices to an IP connection will need to be as simple as unpacking the box, connecting the 110 and Internet.

2004-12-01 00:00:00

Niagara Appliance Program from Tridium

Announcement of the Niagara Appliance Program, the first time Niagara hardware, software, and professional services were bundled together and offered to equipment manufacturers who wished to enable communications to their devices and offer integration with other building systems. The M2M (Man-to-Machine/ Machine-to-Machine) capabilities provided via Niagara Appliance enabled remote diagnostics and troubleshooting of equipment, and provided a more efficient means of operating and maintaining equipment systems. “This program makes it easy for manufacturers to Internet-enable their products”, said John Petze, Tridium President and CEO. "In addition to meeting market demand, manufacturers are finding that they can offer revenue enhancing, value-added services with their products." Prominent manufacturers including McQuay International and SQUARE D have already taken advantage of the Niagara Appliance program.

2005-01-01 00:00:00

The Zigbee Revolution

In this interview with William Sandoval, he introduces Zigbee to automatedbuildings.com readers. Zigbee is a short range, low-power wireless communication protocol specifically designed for small building devices such as thermostats, lighting controls, ballasts, environmental sensors, and medical devices based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard 802.15.4. At the time, Sandoval was Business Development Manager, Digital Systems for Philips Lighting Electronics. Prior to joining Philips, he worked at Lutron on the first lighting automation system in the industry. Zigbee ignited new thinking in its ability to conserve battery, facilitate two-way communication among devices. It also opened a new door to the flexibility and benefits of interoperability. The concept was to keep the standard open to reduce the costs and risks associated with building the technology into devices.

2005-05-01 00:00:00

Corporate Enterprises Are Forever Changed With Real-Time Building Information

Real-time information is creating a revolution that is changing the direction and purpose of the corporate enterprise. Decision makers need to feel (measure and sense conditions), see (video conferencing, Web cameras, etc.), and hear (voice-over IP, cellular phone, pagers, etc.) what is happening in all corners of the managed domain. To illustrate the trend, Ken Sinclair brings together three cases in point: 1) an article about a company integrating building security with human resource records 2) an interview with Paul Ehrlich, the principal of a new consulting company focused on helping building owners to centrally manage groups of buildings and to connect building systems to business systems in the interest of energy management and 3) a case study about how real-time data delivering value to the owners of commercial food industry facilities who have started to capture and analyze data streams coming from temperature logging, drive-through timers, soda fountain monitors, DVR cameras, sign and lighting control, power monitoring, and climate systems control.

2005-08-01 00:00:00

Every Building Project Needs a CTO

In this mid-decade article, Thomas J. Lohner strips down the definition of ‘Intelligent Building’ to the basic technologies and essential communication infrastructures that - if designed, budgeted and implemented with the right oversight, planning and engineering - can make standard buildings considerably better and smarter than they currently are. From his vantage on the CABA Integrated and Intelligent Building Council Task Force No. 3 – Defining the Life Cycle Costs of Integrated and Intelligent Buildings - and a VP of a top-tier continental system integration firm - then TENG Solutions, now exp Global - Lohner has the background and experience to ask the existential questions: Why is it that data from these open protocol based sub-systems is not routed onto a corporate, or a property management Internet Protocol (IP) based network, as an industry standard? Given the prevalence of the Internet, real-time data transfer and web browser-based user interfaces, why are our buildings managed in a reactive, “wait-until-it-is-a-problem-or-broken” fashion? We see fragments of technology being implemented for individual building sub-systems, but nothing that seems like a well orchestrated plan.” This article is not only a call to action, it lays out the steps.

2005-11-01 00:00:00

CABA Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council

IIBC leader Thomas J. Lohner, a VP of TENG Solutions updates the IIBC vision regarding Valuation Tools for Intelligent Buildings.

2005-11-01 00:00:00

What is an Intelligent Building

According to Paul Ehrlich of the Building Intelligence Group, Intelligent Building Design is the “use of technology and process to create a building that is safer and more productive for its occupants and more operationally efficient for its owners.” In a two-part series Ehrlich breaks down the project components including budgeting, site selection, whole-building thinking, i.e. integrated design, project negotiation and value engineering, construction processes and facility operations. The series is a great primer on all the parts and players that must come together in a new construction or energy retrofit project for the system integration audience. It also includes one of the first mentions of the USGBC LEED rating system to appear in automatedbuildings.com.

2005-12-01 00:00:00

Tridium Announces the JACE-2®

Lower in cost and with a smaller footprint, the JACE 2 introduces a new modular design and an expansion slot for easy plug-in of accessory devices. The JACE 2 was a welcome response to demand for a controller/server that met the needs of smaller facilities, remote sites and integration challenges that were best met by multiple controllers. System integrators made good use of its up to 64 points of local I/O for direct interface and control of legacy equipment.

2006-01-01 00:00:00

GridWise Constitution

The historic and groundbreaking GridWise Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia on December 6-7, 2005, and assembled those with the will and the vision to move this important endeavor forward. Our contributing editor Anto Budiardjo help organize the event and contributing editor Jack Mc Gowan sits on the DOE GridWise Architecture Council and the Energy and Power Management Technical Advisory Board

2006-01-01 00:00:00

@ the 2006 AHRExpo

In Ken’s “Virtual Value Visions’ Session at the 2006 AHR Expo, he talked about how success is dependent on stepping out of the comfort zone of our industry and entering into the convergence industry. He explains “The new convergence industry is built on virtual values that exist only in software but bring great value to our clients. The convergence industry will lead us to new solutions and new ways whether we are part of it or not. Trust me, we all do want to be part of this exciting new era. My December ES Building Automation Column “Guess Who's Coming To Dinner” and January column “The New Kids on the Block are Giants” talk about Cisco and HP entering our arena. This is a very positive step for our industry but it is the harbinger of a new era, it is no longer about horsepower it is all about change and successful convergence. Do not fear change, embrace it. These giants will need all the partners they can get to help define our virtual value future.” Great stuff…and still true today (thought some of the giants have changed.)

2006-05-01 00:00:00

oBIX Unbound: Web Services Standard Complete

Aaron Hansen, Chairman of the oBIX XML Standards subcommittee and Tridium spokesperson, reports that the standard is available for public review. He explains that oBIX is much more than just a way to describe points, historical trends and alarms. “It is an extensible model that describes other models - a meta-model. oBIX allows control vendors to fully describe their proprietary systems and allow enterprises to discover non-standard data and invent new applications for it.” Read Hansen’s description of the oBIX Architecture.

2006-05-01 00:00:00

ZigBee Alliance

Bob Heile, Chairman ZigBee Alliance, describes the composition and goals of the global ecosystem of companies formed around the ZigBee wireless communications protocol. In an interview with Ken Sinclair he describes how the technology is finding wide deployment in a variety of sensor and control applications. According to Heile, “Within a couple of years many major commercial buildings will be using the technology for lighting, HVAC, security and safety systems resulting in huge savings.” An advantage of the standards-based solution is that it gives building owners the freedom to buy from multiple sources. ZigBee also enables solutions to be both AC powered and battery powered. An objective of the ZigBee Alliance is to ensure that all products bearing the ZigBee logo will work as stated. Heile predicted then that as the network technology becomes more dominant, commercial buildings will see a number of features and benefits that will change the way we look and think about building construction, operation and maintenance, all the while providing building occupants a better experience and safer environment.

2006-11-01 00:00:00

NetZero "Building as Power Plant”

Edward H. Brzezowski, P.E., LEED AP Director of Engineering The Ferreira Group http://www.ferreiragroup.com/ is doing some very interesting work with Net zero Buildings. I feel the below web pages tell the story better than words. Clicking on the page icon below or the URL under each will provide dynamic data.

2006-11-01 00:00:00

Enterprise Energy Management Systems

Jack McGowan notes a renewed focus on automation for energy management with the advent of Web-hosted software. He sees a future where Smart Grid technology will be integrated via standards like oBIX with EMS Smart Building technology to evolve a smart enterprise. The driver according to McGowan is the relentless volatility in energy costs which will make this technology essential to help building owners control costs without sacrificing the vital work that must be conducted by their occupants. He pulls together all the evidence for these trends here.

2006-12-01 00:00:00

Moving Toward a Sustainable Building Industry

Thomas Hartman challenges all the professions that comprise the buildings industry to unite as a positive force and together employ the principles of sustainability to fight against the perils of global warming. He then gets specific about what can be done such as 1) joining the Green Building Movement 2) getting involved in Conservation Programs and Public Policy, particularly working toward conserving more energy in the operation of existing building stock 3) and - a particular call to action for Engineers, Contractors, Manufacturers and Property Managers - work to solve those forces inhibiting fast and widespread adoption of energy efficiency project work such as Design Variations, Procurement Problems, Lack of Continuity and imbedded inefficiencies in their own processes and interactions. It’s a well conceived and well articulated manifesto.

2007-01-01 06:52:21

Utilities Need to Get Onboard

In a four-part series of articles, Thomas Hartman looks at how ASHRAE, the HVAC Industry, the Buildings Industry at large, and the Utility Industry need to change to get on solid footing to take their rightful role as a unified and leading force for sustainable energy use. He observes, “Sustainable design and operation of our building stock is not presently compatible with the current value equation of this industry. Utilities make their money by selling more energy, manufacturers by selling bigger and more expensive equipment, contractors and designers are paid by markups or percentages of that equipment. Doing more with less simply means less money for everyone in our industry according to the value equation now in use.” The series is followed up by an interview with Ken Sinclair in March. Hartman offers reasons to be optimistic that change is happening and he calls on individuals to become more personally active. His rallying call is as relevant today as ever.

2007-01-01 11:17:35

Case Study: Sydney’s Four Points Sheraton

When this hotel sought to increase the support of its internal operations, reduce energy and operational costs, migrate to an open, Web-based enterprise platform, integrate all the building systems and improve guest comfort, it turned to Tridium and local system integrator Airmaster to design a complete end-to-end solution consisting of both hardware and software. Ken Sinclair interviews Craig Arnott, NSW Controls Team Leader for Airmaster and Nigel Wright the project chief engineer to get details for this article. The level of integration and connectivity achieved by the team for the 630-room hotel room was breakthrough, and it achieved measurable savings and improvements in Facilities Management, Workflow, Energy Management, Security and Building Efficiency.

2007-02-01 11:17:35

Technology Contracting

Terry W. Hoffmann, Director of Marketing, Building Automation Systems, for Johnson Controls, Inc. outlines the new technology contracting model. Here, the general contractor hires one vendor - he calls the Technology Contractor - to design, integrate, and commission all integrated building systems. Mechanical and electrical consulting engineers still coordinate systems specification. Electrical contractors still install systems for medium and high-voltage power distribution, as well as emergency power generation. But, the technology contractor designs, installs, and commissions everything else: building systems, IT systems, and specialty systems. This team member needs to be involved from the outset of the new construction or retrofit project. The objective is to have one overseeing authority that can seize all opportunities for intelligent integration and cost savings. He posits that this contracting model is the best way to achieve single-point monitoring, control, and programming of both mechanical and low-voltage electrical systems.

2007-03-01 00:00:00

ADR & America’s Energy Future

Jack McGowan identifies Automated Demand Response (ADR) one of the hottest energy business opportunities in a generation. By definition “ADR provides electricity customers in both retail and wholesale electricity markets with a choice whereby they can respond to dynamic or time-based prices or other types of incentives by reducing and/or shifting usage, particularly during peak periods, such that these demand modifications can address issues such as pricing, reliability, emergency response, and infrastructure planning, operation, and deferral.” In 2005, McGowan was among the first to report on the significance of the first successful test to evaluate ADR at five large building facilities in California by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2007, he was named Chairman of the GridWise Architecture Council, evaluating the best ways to utilize interoperability between computer systems on both sides of the meter. This insightful article offers his vision of how ADR will roll out and lead to additional business opportunity.

2007-04-01 00:00:00

Gridweek & the GridWise Alliance

The GridWise Alliance is a nonprofit advocacy group for the development and promotion of the Smart Grid. Its members are utilities, IT companies, and technology companies. Founded in 2003, on the premise that electrical “loads” (e.g., equipment and appliances) must actively participate in the day-to-day (and even minute-to-minute) operation of the electric grid in the future, by 2007 it had grown to 25 members. In April 2007, the Alliance held its first GridWeek, a new national conference to bring together member leaders to work toward a national plan to use power plants (and other energy generation sources) much more efficiently and cleanly, and reduce operating costs. The challenges of interoperability, security and privacy were brought to the forefront. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supported the event and provided the Secretary of Energy as keynote speaker. In this article Ken Sinclair interviews Steve Hauser, GridWise Alliance Executive Director, and learns more about the organization and the conference.

2007-08-01 09:34:10

Daylight Harvesting

This article by Craig DiLouie, Lighting Industry journalist, analyst and marketing consultant, is a quick tutorial on daylight harvesting techniques. A daylight harvesting system decreases electric light contribution as the daylight contribution increases. When deployed as an innovative control strategy daylight harvesting can generate 35-60+% energy savings. The article covers offers some simple definitions, e.g. dimming versus switching, and then goes into detail on open-loop versus closed-loop control methods, with illustration courtesy of Watt Stopper/Legrand.

2007-10-01 00:00:00

ADR as Killer App

Anto Budiardjo writes about why Automated Demand Response is the Killer App for Energy Management, i.e. “the service that is so useful that people will buy particular piece(s) of computer hardware and/or an operating system simply to gain access to the application, one that is so valuable that it transcends any concerns, risks or need to learn something new.” He outlines the impact on Building Automation and invites readers to learn more at the DR-Expo in Chicago.

2007-11-01 08:48:24

Net-Zero Commercial Office

A project team in the San Francisco Bay Area - Integrated Design Associates (David Kaneda), EHDD Architecture, and Rumsey Engineers - complete a small-scale Net-Zero Energy commercial retrofit—a national first. The team started with a 1960’s-era windowless concrete bank branch building and transformed it into a highly efficient and comfortable office space. The success of the project - ie proof that electrical load was less than the amount of energy generated from roof-top photovoltaics - was reported in ASHRAE High Performance Buildings journal in 2009.

2008-02-10 00:00:00

ControlTrends.org Launched

In 2008, Eric Stromquist created ControlTrends (controltrends.org) to provide HVAC and Industrial Controls professionals a place to learn and share information about the rapidly changing world of commercial and industrial controls.

2008-03-01 00:00:00

8 Predictions & 3 More

Jim Sinopoli, Managing Principal, Smart Buildings LLC, started doing his yearly predictions of Smart Building Trends for automatedbuilding.com in 2008. The feature has become a January reader favorite ever since, particularly because Jim looks at trends around the globe in gathering his data. He foresaw that Ethernet network switches would add RS-485 and RS-422 network ports to accommodate BAS systems connection to IP backbones, that energy reporting would gain steam in some geographies and be mandated in others, and that there would be demand for Google-earth type Geospatial technology to be applied to asset tracking. The whole list is well worth reviewing. Jim follows up in March with a deep-dive about Energy Reporting that details how a flood of new building sensors, system meters and visualization tools will be deployed to gather and present the data. He illustrates with a description of how Oberlin College delivers real-time report and builds engagement and behavioral change at its campus.

2008-05-01 00:00:00

Open Source: Beyond Open Systems

Anno Scholten, current President of Connexx Energy, observed that, by 2008, most control system manufacturers could provide BACnet, LON and Tridium web solutions, and most were working on WS/XML oBIX solutions. Still, he writes that the industry should take ‘Open’ to the next level. In this article, he describes his vision of an open source development platform. Such a platform would harness the collective wisdom, experiences, expertise and requirements of the building automation industry’s most demanding users and direct it toward evolving a standard abstraction layer for software development. Such an infrastructure would permit rapid application development, he suggests. “Think how quickly we could develop enterprise connectivity solutions, or energy data analysis applications, or the next generation web user interfaces.”

15 Years in the Collaboratory

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We can be contacted by email at: hello@tiki-toki.com.

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