Article - Jan 2000
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As the embedded functionality skyrockets, management and integration of this new virtual building material must be given a new profile and an integrator.

This article was prepared by for the CABA Quarterly Supplement "ADVANCES"and is slated for the May spring supplement.

CABA MemberCABA (the Continental Automated Buildings Association) is North America's key source for information, education, and networking relating to home and building automation. ADVANCES is the new supplement to CABA's Home & Building Automation QUARTERLY.  With input from its members, ADVANCES will concentrate on opportunities in specific areas of the Home and Building automation industries.  ADVANCES will premiere in the Winter 2000 issue of CABA's Home & Building Automation QUARTERLY, and will highlight opportunities for Home Networking, Telecom, Builders/Developers and Systems Integrators.

When I first grasped the concept of a Building Automation Integrator it seemed simple. Open Networks and Common Communication Protocols allowed a person called "An Integrator" to piece together a more flexible control system from several vendors' products. It seemed to be a natural evolutionary step for existing automators to use their newfound networking powers.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]It seems that however, that simple concept only deals with one level of building integration. The rapid evolution of large buildings towards becoming their own for space marketing and project presentation suggests a new level of integration is required. As the embedded functionality skyrockets, management and integration of this new virtual building material must be given a new profile and an integrator. For the purpose of this article I will call this new integrator identity "Building Information Architect - Systems or BIAS ". The "BIAS" should be involved early in the design process leading project owners, architects and engineers in a possibilities brief of what is possible, what is practical, and what will be included as part of the project design. The agenda for the first meeting could look something like this:

To provide answers to all these conceptual integrating design questions it is obvious that the BIAS is going to have to interface with a host of system integrators in addition to the presently identified Building Automation Integrator. Does this critical new player exist in our present building design? Who is providing this function now? Are owners aware of the potential integration opportunities or only the ones that are presented by the design team? If a BIAS team player is identified will the player be from architectural, engineering, project management, or a new profession?

Many questions must be answered and many successful demonstration projects done to achieve the optimum integration. We cannot wait for this virtual building material to be concepted, developed, installed and then stand the test of implementation and feedback in the normal large building cycle. We must lead the way with mockups of what is possible and practical to insure successful integration in our new building designs. My bias is that the existing Building Automation Integrator must grow rapidly or a "BIAS" will be required for each major project.

Ken Sinclair, Editor

CABA, North America's Home and Building Automation Association, is a key source of information, networking and conferences. We have grown to over 300 members including, most recently, 3Com, Avio Digital, Bell Atlantic Construction and Communications (BACCSI), Conexant, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), Dream House Software, Farallon Communications, GTE, Infolutions, Interactive Interiors, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), NetX, Scientific Atlanta, Security Link by Ameritech, Sharp Digital Imaging and TELUS Multimedia. Follow our link through or visit our website at for more information. While you are there feel free to access free samples of our CABA Home and Building Automation QUARTERLY, Information Series and Event Reports at our sub-page For more information please contact David Dern, CABA Marketing Director. Phone: 888.798.CABA (2222), or 613.993.6760. E-mail:

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