July 2013


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John PetzeEMAIL INTERVIEW John Petze and Ken Sinclair

John Petze, Principal, SkyFoundry

John Petze, C.E.M., is a partner in SkyFoundry, the developers of SkySpark™, an analytics platform for building, energy and equipment data. John is one of the founding volunteers of the Project-haystack.org initiative. John has over 25 years of experience in building automation, energy management and M2M, having served in senior level positions for manufacturers of hardware and software products. At SkyFoundry he rejoins Brian Frank, co-founder and chief architect of Tridium’s Niagara Framework, as they look to bring the next generation of information analytics to the “Internet of Things”.

Project-Haystack Update

an update on Project-Haystack since the Haystack Connect conference

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SinclairCan you give us an update on Project-Haystack since the Haystack Connect conference that was held in Chattanooga?

Petze:  It’s been a very busy and exciting time for the Project-Haystack effort. The conference really accelerated the work being done by the community. Some people that had been watching from the sidelines, or commenting only infrequently had the chance to meet in-person and the activity level and involvement has dramatically increased. It’s amazing to see the impact that in-person meetings and industry events can have. I guess its good news that people still need to get together face to face to make things happen in this day of electronic communication, webcasts, and email.

One of the things that came out of those meetings was that a number of people have been utilizing Haystack data modeling techniques but have not had the opportunity to contribute all of their work back to the community. So now a small group has been assembled to rapidly review that work via a series of focused conference calls. Then the work will be submitted back to the community forum. The result will be rapid advances in the area of standard data models for a range of equipment systems. This is one of the many exciting results that have occurred from the conference.

We are also excited to announce that the work being accomplished by Project-Haystack has been recognized with a Digie award at the Realcomm/IBCon event earlier this month. That’s a great recognition of the impact Haystack is making and of course helps drive awareness.

Project Haystack was awarded the Digie for Best Intelligent Building Technology Innovation at the Realcomm/IBCon conference June 12-13, 2013. Realcomm has been presenting the "Digie" Awards (short for Commercial Real Estate Digital Innovation Awards) since 1999 to recognize companies, projects, technologies and people that have gone above and beyond to positively impact the Commercial Real Estate industry through the use of technology, automation and innovation.

The award recognized Project-Haystack for:

Full details on the Digie award can be found here: http://project-haystack.org/forum/topic/100

Project-Haystack Supporters Press Release. In addition, a number of leading companies providing a wide range of technology for smart buildings have joined in a press release confirming their support for Project Haystack. You can find the press release here:


Guide Specification. Another item worth noting is that there is now a Guide Specification available to help consultants specify Haystack data modeling in projects. The Guide spec is available here: http://project-haystack.org/forum/topic/68

SinclairCan you remind our readers how to participate in Project-Haystack?

Petze:  Sure. Perhaps a bit of review is merited. Project-Haystack is an open source community-based initiative to develop naming conventions and taxonomies for building equipment and operational data. The community defines standardized data models for sites, equipment, and points related to energy, HVAC, lighting, and other building operational systems, etc. And, there is now a simple REST API designed to facilitate the exchange of Haystack data over HTTP.

The Project is open to anyone that wants to participate. Simply go to Project-Haystack.org and sign up to participate in the forum. Project Haystack encompasses the entire value chain of building systems and related intelligent devices. Owners and consultants can specify that Haystack conventions are used in their building automation systems to ensure cost effective management of their buildings for years to come. System integrators and manufacturers who integrate Haystack support into their projects and products are positioned for the future of value added services.

The Haystack community and all associated intellectual property is managed as an open source project using the Academic Free License 3.0. Anyone is free to participate as long as contributed IP is licensed under the AFL. This ensures that Haystack IP is open and freely available for any commercial use.


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