June 2012


Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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Ron ZimmerEMAIL INTERVIEWRon Zimmer and Ken Sinclair

Ron Zimmer is President & CEO of Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). Ron is a Certified Association Executive with over 20 years of Association Management experience. He has authored a number of articles and documents including, "Smart Communities: A Concept Paper," and he regularly speaks about integrated buildings and home/building automation at industry events.

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (http://www.caba.org), through its Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council (http://www.caba.org/iibc) and new Research Program, has begun work on its Intelligent Buildings and the Bid-Specification Process study.  Ron Zimmer, CABA President & CEO describes the organization and project.

Intelligent Buildings and the Bid-Specification Process Study

The Research will not just identify problems, it will also identify solutions.

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Sinclair:  What is the Continental Automated Buildings Association?

Zimmer:  CABA is a not-for-profit industry association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies. The organization is supported by an international membership of over 300 organizations involved in the design, manufacture, installation and retailing of products relating to home automation and building automation. Public organizations, including utilities and government, are also members.
CABA's mandate includes providing its members with networking and market research opportunities. CABA also encourages the development of industry standards and protocols, and leads cross-industry initiatives.

Sinclair:  What is CABA’s latest intelligent building research project?

Zimmer:  If there is one thing everyone in the industry can agree on, it is that they all have experienced problems with the bid-specification process.  CABA’s new research project, entitled “Intelligent Buildings and the Bid-Specification Process”, will provide insights into how to turn these problems into profits.

Sinclair:  What are the problems in the bid-specification process?

Zimmer:  Often low-cost technology, with quick payback, is favored instead of smart controls and automated solutions that may have a higher upfront cost, but could potentially lead to measurable returns in the long-term.  With contractors and integrators dominating the decision-making process and influencing building owners to commission projects on a budget for quick returns – a vast opportunity to incorporate smart building technology solutions appears to be largely ignored or indefinitely delayed at times.

Sinclair:  How will this research assist those who participate in the study?

Zimmer:  By uncovering market issues in the development and deployment of intelligent building technologies, the study will be designed to enable sponsors to identify the pain points in the bid-spec process and where they occur most frequently along with the current divide between various supply chain partners and the roadblocks to working towards mutual goals.  But the research will not just identify problems, it will also identify solutions. The research will determine what are the most successful RFP business models and technology rollout initiatives.  The research will also develop ROI benchmark data to support a robust value proposition of intelligent building data information exchange between different market places, for more informed decision-making regarding the benefits of adopting intelligent building systems.  The research will also help best address value and supply-chain problems and identify potential technology deployment initiatives amongst the various stakeholders within the bid-spec process.

Sinclair:  Who is participating in this research project?

Zimmer:  Some of the companies sponsoring the project are: Cadillac Fairview Corporation, Diebold Incorporated, Distech Controls, Inc., Honeywell International, Hydro One Networks, Inc., Ingersoll Rand/Trane, Philips, Siemens Industry, Inc., Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Verizon.

contemporary Sinclair:  How does the CABA research process work?

Zimmer:  CABA members have the opportunity to participate in leading-edge research by joining a CABA project steering committee, proposing topics and sharing costs.  A research vendor and a program manager are selected and contracted by CABA.  This process makes collaborative research cost-effective for CABA members.  Furthermore, participants get exclusive use of the findings during an embargo period.  This process is how the CABA Research Program operates.

The CABA Research Program (http://www.caba.org/research) offers a range of opt-in technical and advisory research services designed to provide industry stakeholders with collaborative market research and R&D opportunities.  
The program is designed to be flexible and to maximize relevant and actionable results for all research participants while concurrently sharing and minimizing costs.  It leverages agnostic, systematic and proven project management techniques to ensure that realistic and neutral research results are achieved.
CABA works to manage a number of market research and R&D projects.  The organization acts as an agnostic platform to ensure that realistic and neutral research results are achieved.

Sinclair:  How can organizations learn more and become involved in the project?

Zimmer:  To become involved in this research project, please contact George Grimes, CABA’s Business Development Manager at 613.686.1814 x226 or at grimes@caba.org. The prospectus and full presentation about the “Intelligent Buildings and the Bid-Specification Process” research project are available at: http://www.caba.org/research/projects/bid-spec.
We encourage all organizations involved in the bid-spec process to be involved in this study.  If the result of this research study enables you to create more efficient bid-specifications and increase your profits, your investment in this study will pay for itself with one new contract.


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