BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
Proactive Energy and Technology
RPA|HP, LEED AP
Stanley & Mathews Associates
all systems and devices in commercial office buildings will
be connected. You may not believe or want this to happen, but it is an
unavoidable fact that the time will come. Look around and notice how
the connected capabilities in cars, TV’s and phones have advanced in
the past five years. Your next tenant may choose to install a networked
LED lighting system that not only controls light levels but will also
have embedded temperature sensors and motion detectors.
The issue is not if or when, but rather how do we enable these technologies and who will be responsible for the integration of all these diverse systems. Who will take the lead? Will it be the controls vendor or the engineering consultant, or the energy consultant? What role will IT or your third party network administrator play in the convergence of these technologies? It is time for building managers and operators to have this discussion and to ponder how it can be accomplished. It is also critical that the process be defined from an integrated building systems view and not from a single vendor solution perspective.
As legacy building systems reach the end of their useful life, the plethora of new technology offerings could lead to badly coordinated and inefficient planning. There is always the temptation to go with the large controls vendors who are already vying for dominance in this space and want to provide their unique solutions. All of them claim to use open standards and communication protocols such as Niagara and BACnet, but they want to lock in their customers as they have always done in the past.
The transition to more advanced high performance1 building technologies will be challenging to most owners. In reality, not all of the building systems will be upgraded at the same time but the choices that are made will either pivot them: (1) toward a path of expensive and incompatible systems, lacking the features that will result in lower energy and operating cost opportunities, or (2) towards a well thought out strategy that embodies a holistic and integrated approach, specifically tailored to an individual building.
Historically, base-building systems operated within their own silos. There was no inter-action between HVAC controls vendors, and security system providers, submetering vendors or the elevator contractor. The demand response provider had no dealings with the energy consultant or the lighting systems vendor. The connected world is changing all that.
Today’s advanced building systems are data driven with data sharing and inter-operable capabilities including:
Most managers try to keep up with new
developments in building
technology by attending seminars or reading trade papers. But in
general, they often do not retain very much of the subject matter.
Stanley & Mathews is pioneering a low cost, high value approach to
proactive energy and technology integration in the existing buildings
space. We take the process directly into the building and engage the
staff by enabling them to relate these challenges to their actual
building. The objective is to go directly to those involved in the
day-to-day operations, taking an educational approach by pushing these
issues into their consciousness thereby letting the solutions grow
organically and on their terms. The Energy and Technology Integration
Strategy is designed to ensure all the data driven elements of a high
performance building such as building automation, lighting systems,
security, elevators, energy metering etc., are pieced together in an
integrated manner to enable data sharing and inter-operability. Cyber
security is also included in this approach.
We begin by conducting a Building Energy and Technology Assessment, and depending on type and vintage of the currently installed systems:
We will provide the narrative and hold
talks with key personnel on how
this adoption process will work. Tony Campbell, principal of Stanley
& Mathews Associates, has the knowledge and insight from over 30
years of experience on what really matters and what is relevant to
enable the existing building to stock transition to a higher level of
Why do we need data sharing and interoperability?
Buildings are now at the edge of the grid. We believe that in the foreseeable future, a building’s annual energy costs will largely depend on its ability to interact with the smart grid. Those that do not have the installed capabilities to interact will have higher energy costs than a building with intelligence and two-way communications features.
Grid operators and utilities as well as the large technology firms, are
struggling with the challenges of building a reliable Smart Grid. The
integration of renewables and new battery storage capacity, both at the
utility level and at the building level, are presenting even more
complexities into the mix. Public utilities commissions in states like
California, New York, and others to follow, recognize the need to
reform the utility distribution model and are taking the necessary
steps to ensure that these challenges are met.
In order to accomplish this objective,
there has to be some form of
inter-action between the supply side and demand side. This is where we
are heading. Many of the latest BAS have Automated Demand Response
features built in. Demand response is not only about shedding load
during heat waves. It is about data exchange to enable the grid to
react to fluctuations in the supply side and the end user side on a
continuous basis. The sharing of data also allows the building systems
to react like never before to internal conditions such as occupancy,
temperature and CO2 levels. Having these capabilities: leads to reduced
energy consumed in buildings, the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions
and a smarter and reliable grid.
1 The terms:
“high-performance building”, “smart building”, and “intelligent
building” are inter-changeable.
The preferred term: 'high-performance building' means a building that integrates and optimizes on a life cycle basis all major high performance attributes, including energy conservation, water conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, productivity, sustainability, functionality, and operational considerations.
About the Author
Tony Campbell RPA|HP, LEED AP is the
principal of Stanley & Mathews
Associates. He has developed data driven energy information systems as
well as leading in the design of one of New York City’s first IP
Backbone installations in twelve (12) high-rise buildings in the New
York Office portfolio of Vornado Realty Trust. Tony served as Subject
Matter Expert, writing chapters for BOMI’S new High Performance
Buildings certification program.
With over 35 years of real estate operations and management experience, his in-depth knowledge of how buildings used to operate, - are currently operated - and how they will operate in the future is shared with passion and insight of the road ahead.
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