October 2006
Interview
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Ed Richards, President, Richards-ZetaEMAIL INTERVIEW  Ed Richards & Ken Sinclair

Edmund B. Richards, President and CEO, Richards-Zeta

Edmund B. Richards is the President/CEO and founder of Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence, Inc. (RZ) located in Santa Barbara, California. Mr. Richards is a Mechanical/Environmental Engineer with a special educational emphasis on the indoor environment including, HVAC, IAQ and Building Automation Systems. For over 25 years, Mr. Richards has been a leader in the engineering and construction market with a special focus on the Intelligent Buildings segment over the last 8 years. RZ is a manufacturer of IP centric building integration controls, including a hardware and software solution known as the Mediator™. The Mediator™ provides an integration framework, known as the Multi-Protocol Exchange (MPX™), which allows for the convergence of multiple disparate building systems onto an IP network. Mr. Richards passion, energy and vision is keenly focused on bringing down the communication barriers in the Building Automation Systems Industry and allowing the industry to finally "catch up" with the much younger and advanced Information Technology (IT) industry.


RZ System Integrator's realizing Cisco Connected Real Estate (CCRE) Opportunities

Our SI's are joining forces with the Cisco Account Managers, who have learned about RZ through the CCRE Training Programs and summits held worldwide as well as from RZ's Cisco Partner Solution Profile.

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Sinclair: How are the Richards-Zeta System Integrators (SI's) realizing CCRE opportunities today?

Richards: Ken, through our relationship with Cisco and the CCRE initiative, RZ is bringing projects to our SI's. Our SI's are joining forces with the Cisco Account Managers, who have learned about RZ through the CCRE Training Programs and summits held worldwide as well as from RZ's Cisco Partner Solution Profile.

Sinclair: Are there any projects in particular that resonate an advanced CCRE project?

Richards: Certainly. Hotel 1000, located in the heart of downtown Seattle, was commissioned in June of this year. The RZ SI, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, combined with the Building Operator and Owners, MTM Luxury Lodging and First Avenue Properties, designed this hotel looking to bring a new level of luxury to the city of Seattle. The Hotel was designed to install, operate and manage a single converged IP network in which all IP addressable devices reside on the same network.

Sinclair: What devices are on this converged network?

Richards: Everything from the television, mini-bars, VoIP telephony, thermostats and of course our RZ Mediator™ reside on the converged IP network.

Sinclair: Tell me about the Hotel's Building Automation System?

Richards: Richards-Zeta's core peer controllers are controlling the Building Automation System. RZ I/O and expansion I/O are controlling the central chilled and hot water plants and air handler units. RZ's graphical programming software is being used to program the application using templates and macros derived from logic. The RZ Mediator™ with OMEGA software is the core integration device.

Sinclair: How is the Building Automation System utilizing the converged network?

Richards: The RZ Mediator™ resides on the converged network, thus bringing all BAS up onto this network. The Mediator™ is a middleware solution comprised of both hardware and software. This domain agnostic integration framework is able to communicate with a number of disparate protocols. The MPX software framework plays a central role in the integration process by normalizing both IP and legacy serial based protocols, which in turn allows for intra-protocol communication, the uniform application of services such as logging, and the common presentation of information that is sourced from the array of intelligent machines found in buildings.

Reliable Controls Sinclair: What about the User Interface?

Richards: Using the embedded suite of tools on the Mediator™, custom web-pages and website was created for the Hotel and designed and hosted on the Mediator™. Alarms, logs, control sequences, schedules and trends were also configured using these tools. Using the Mediator™, the Facility Manager and his team of engineers are notified via an alarm through the Mediator™ to emails, PDA's, pagers and Vocera wireless badges of all system problems. Alarms are then logged in an FTP server. The Mediator™ provides remote access to the system, allowing the Facility Manager the ability to log on to the system from remote and troubleshoot the system. Our SI, MacDonald-Miller, is able to have a technician troubleshoot the system while off-site, significantly reducing the number of site-visits.

Sinclair: What are the significant benefits for having a converged IP network?

Richards: Through this converged network, the parties involved were looking to gain further value from the building systems. By determining and resolving problems prior to affecting the guests, they are able to exceed guest expectations. Through a standard internet explore browser from anywhere, the facility manager, or other approved personnel, is able to view, monitor, schedule, trend, alarm and troubleshoot the system. The Hotel has a Smart Building Design, bringing all building systems that are independent of each other creating advanced systems integration. In addition, no additional front-end software/hardware is required. Using a standard Internet Browser, the user now has all control functionality.

For more information on Hotel 1000, download the Case-Study or view the Video Presentation.

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