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how a unified namespace (UNS) can solve data integration problems in commercial buildings

A unified namespace (UNS) is a method of data integration that originated from Industrial Automation. It allows for the convergence of the various networks in a building without compromising security.

The traditional data integration method in commercial buildings is a layer cake model, where sensors talk to controllers, controllers talk to the headend, and the headend talks to platforms further upstream. This method is no longer sufficient because we want to gain more exposure across the various platforms as technology progresses. This can lead to a spaghetti soup of network penetration and endpoint management issues.

A unified namespace (UNS) is a data integration method that originated from Industrial Automation. It allows for converging various networks in a building without compromising security. This is achieved by sending information out using a message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) protocol. MQTT is a good choice for this architecture because it allows for some openness within a network.

UNS Requires

  • A Centralized Repository: Imagine a system that acts as a central hub for all data from your building’s automation systems. This could include everything from sensors in HVAC units to lighting controls.
  • Hierarchical Structure: The data would be organized according to a hierarchical structure reflecting your building’s physical layout and functionalities. For instance, data from temperature sensors in the lobby might be stored under “Building/Lobby/Temperature.”
  • Standardized Naming: Devices and data points would have standardized names based on their function and location. This would make it easier for different systems to understand and utilize the information.

For example, instead of a sensor named “Sensor_7B”, it might be called “Building/Floor_2/Room_B/Temperature_Sensor_1”.

Traditional data integration methods in commercial buildings are no longer sufficient. A unified namespace (UNS) can help solve this problem. When implementing a digital transformation strategy, focus on value and people, not tools.


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