July 2008
  
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Intelligent Middleware for Intelligent Building Systems
The goal of the partnership was to create a vendor neutral industry document designed to serve as a tool aiding in the implementation of intelligent building systems.

Richards-Zeta and Frost & Sullivan
Industry White Paper

Over the course of the last 10 years we have seen the Automated Building Systems industry mature and ripen. With the acceptance of first stage open standards and the growing appetite for advanced systems integration the industry is poised for the major IT giants, next generation companies and people which will transform our industry and catapult our vision into reality. AutomatedBuildings.com has been the cornerstone and a highly respected industry forum which we have learned to depend deeply on. We applaud the efforts of Ken and Jane Sinclair and look forward to supporting their efforts while the industry gets ready to embrace the future of building systems and scaled enterprise systems. Congratulations AutomatedBuildings.com on 10 extremely productive years. The future will be very fun and exciting.

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Richards-Zeta is a global leader in Intelligent Building Systems and a key advocate and innovator towards the convergence of building systems and IT. The company provides powerful technology based solutions that integrate and elevate building systems to global IT standards. Frost & Sullivan is a global leader that has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities.

Richards-Zeta partnered with Frost & Sullivan to compose an industry White Paper focused on assessing the need for Intelligent Middleware and Intelligent Building Systems (IBS) solutions. The goal of the partnership was to create a vendor neutral industry document designed to serve as a tool aiding in the implementation of intelligent building systems. “There is no better way to demonstrate the critical role of the intelligent building system (IBS) infrastructure than by proving the value with testimonials, references and case-studies from people who truly understand and ‘get it’,” says Ed Richards President/CEO of Richards-Zeta. “Our goal with this paper is to continue to articulate our “story” of integration, connectivity and interoperability but to more importantly demonstrate the critical role of the intelligent building system (IBS) infrastructure with the end game in store here-“Search”. It’s all about connectivity and a large ubiquitous network and platform (IP). It’s all about information and what can be done with it. Everything is Search and Search is Everything. Extending Search and Analytics deep into building systems will be huge.”

Building controls have traditionally been divided into separate and disparate systems. With the increasing needs for automated and intelligent buildings, these independent, proprietary, vendor centric and unconnected legacy systems have to be unified in order to deliver more intelligent capabilities. To support intelligence, a building system has to provide a truly open and extensible infrastructure that supports real-time control systems, enterprise applications and seamless, bi-directional flow of information to applications and services. Despite the fact that open protocols have been in the market for over a decade, end-users have limited options to fully integrate a building’s control into one single system. A lack of awareness of Building Automation Systems and the benefits of integrated systems represents a major challenge facing this industry.

With the vision to drive the building automation industry to the next level, there is a requirement for an open protocol technology and intelligent middleware solution which facilitates the flow of data for simpler and more efficient BAS operations, a multi-protocol exchange (MPX). For customers this means easy data access through the Internet and simplified interoperability and integration between new and existing building infrastructures. As Patty Myer, Account Executive for McKinstry says, “The RZ Mediator enabled us to provide a vendor-free or a vendor-independent relationship for our clients. It’s enabling best of breed and the connectivity of our services that we offer our clients.” From an end-users’ perspective, this is a huge value addition because with an intelligent middleware solution they can leverage their existing assets and tie in enterprise data with building systems and building automation data for better control and performance efficiencies. A seamless integration is the ultimate aim that will lead to the fulfillment of the Intelligent Building concept. “Companies are not going to be held captive by the BAS companies that don’t want to play, they are not going to stand for it, they will rather spend the money versus being held hostage,” says David Shroyer of NetApp.

CatNet Systems There exists a huge capability gap between the “South” and “North” side of an enterprise building’s data infrastructure. An intelligent middleware technology is required to bridge this capability gap and bi-directionally move all data, information, content and interaction from the south (building systems) up and onto the north (IP network enterprise applications and services) allowing building owners to interconnect all the various systems, devices and data into one common platform. “Working with somebody like Richards-Zeta who gets it, who understands and has a passion and a sense to achieve certain goals, makes all the difference in the world,” says Patrick Nielsen Chief Facilities Engineer for Google. “That passion is built on delivery and accommodation, not just purely profit motive.” Google Mountain View Campus was recently awarded the 2008 Green Initiative Buildy Award at Connectivity Week in Santa Clara, CA. Google is committed to being carbon-neutral for 2007 and beyond and in order to honor this pledge they increased the energy efficiency of their own operations, actively pursued the use and creation of clean and renewable sources of electricity and they invested in projects that help offset the carbon generated for the emissions they cannot reduce directly at this time. Google has embarked on an aggressive deployment of an Intelligent Building System (IBS) infrastructure and backbone. The RZ Mediator is the intelligent middleware platform enabling the advanced deployment of a full IBS. RZ is providing the technology and services in order to integrate a multi-vendor environment into a single cohesive network.

Environmental issues like green house gas emission from buildings and fluctuating energy prices drive developments such as energy management systems (EMS), which form an important part of the Intelligent Building solution leading to lowering of both cost and energy usage. Whether from a green building or energy management perspective, Intelligent Buildings provide end-users with the means to increase efficiency, generate cost savings, and provide energy savings as well as lower the carbon footprint. The intelligent middleware device becomes the critical path in deploying automated demand response (ADR) solutions. “We have created a load response solution in which the customers get paid for curtailing their consumption during the period of high or peak demand on their systems,” says Peter Kelley-Detwiler of Constellation New Energy. “The way we help them is we take the Mediator and use that to coordinate with the building and send a signal to automatically shut down systems.” The intelligent middleware solution is now consuming utility pricing signals and will eventually deliver energy payload forecasts. The results of which represent the beginning processes which address the world’s global dilemma of balancing our continuing thirst for energy with our newly acknowledged requirement to better the environment.

The future of building systems is likely to see a lot of convergence and is expected to address the challenges of building integration. This driver is likely to result in collaborative efforts between the IT and the building domain specialists who share a highly positive synergy when it comes to Intelligent Buildings Systems (IBS).

Contact sales@richards-zeta for more information.

Download a copy of the white paper. http://www.richards-zeta.com/news/intelligent%20middleware.pdf


 

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