April 2008
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Ron Zimmer

EMAIL INTERVIEW  Ron Zimmer & Ken Sinclair

Ron Zimmer is President & CEO
Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA)

 


CABA’s Convergence of Green and Intelligent Buildings Study

Our objective through this study is to provide strategic recommendations that will can demonstrate the positive environmental impact of today’s intelligent, integrated building systems and building technology solutions. In other words, this research will determine specific methods in which property owners and building designers can reduce energy consumption and costs, increase the profitability of their building stock through investments in intelligent building technologies, while at the same time reducing the deleterious effects of energy consumption such as pollution and emissions.

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Sinclair:  What is the latest CABA large building research initiative?

Zimmer: The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) has contracted Frost & Sullivan to conduct research that addresses the operation, energy savings and long term benefits of commercial facilities that implement intelligent and green building technologies above and beyond LEED certification. The research study will be entitled the “Convergence of Green and Intelligent Buildings (CGIB)”.

CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council will be leading this research effort. The Council is specifically tasked to review opportunities, strategize, take action and monitor initiatives that relate to integrated systems and automation in the "large building" sector. The Council will undertake this research in order to accelerate and drive broad market acceptance of intelligent building technologies. The research will evaluate the current LEED scoring system in relation to integrated systems. The Council will establish a task force that will work with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Canada Green Building Council, the Green Building Initiative and the Green Mechanical Council to monitor and modify the current LEED rating system in order to demonstrate the added value integrated systems can create when incorporated into green and sustainable buildings.

A further intent of the research study is to provide tools to persuade end-users, such as building owners, architects and contractors that a “greener building” can be achieved using intelligent technology and that this method of “greening” will also provide a greater return on investment (ROI) than other green technologies.

Sinclair:  Why are you undertaking this initiative?

Zimmer: CABA is undertaking this initiative because our organization is committed to increasing energy efficiency in the entire built environment by promoting green building practices. By definition, “green building” means building structures that promote energy conservation using environmental friendly products and creating healthy living and working environments.

In the United States, buildings account for 45 per cent of total energy use, 25 per cent of water consumption, 70 per of electricity consumption and 38 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions. Our objective through this study is to provide strategic recommendations that will can demonstrate the positive environmental impact of today’s intelligent, integrated building systems and building technology solutions. In other words, this research will determine specific methods in which property owners and building designers can reduce energy consumption and costs, increase the profitability of their building stock through investments in intelligent building technologies, while at the same time reducing the deleterious effects of energy consumption such as pollution and emissions.

Sinclair:  What form will the research take?

Zimmer: The research will cover a number of important aspects. However, the CGIB Steering Committee will make the final determination on methodology and deliverables. There will be a compilation of case studies that best demonstrate key technologies, capabilities and benefits. The case studies will focus on technologies such as building and network management systems, building automation systems, lighting solutions, HVAC and sustainable energy technologies such as solar energy, wind power, rain water collection and recycled wastewater.

The compilation of case studies will provide industry participants the means to showcase their technology and contributions towards intelligent and green buildings. Manufacturers and service providers are invited to financially back this research project to profile and promote their energy-saving products and services. End-users like developers and owners and invited to participate to showcase their buildings and better understand how to develop green and sustainable buildings.

distech Sinclair:  What exactly will the research measure?

Zimmer: The research will demonstrate to property owners and designers the long-term benefits of intelligent buildings to reduce greenhouse emissions, positively impact life-cycle costs, and determine the installation costs and the payback period for intelligent building implementation. The report will also examine potential energy savings and efficiency and improved occupant productivity from the implementation these technologies, along with performance ratios, occupant retention rates, and reduced risk factors.
Will CABA be able to utilize the research in other ways?

CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated Building Council is planning to form a Task Force that will be able to utilize the research to determine if integrated systems are receiving a fair score in LEED and other scoring systems. If the Task Force determines that the scoring should be modified, they will work with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Canada Green Building Council, the Green Building Initiative and the Green Mechanical Council on modifying the scoring program.

Sinclair:  How can my company get involved in this effort?

Zimmer: Any organization interested in participating in this research study should contact Fred Bryson at bryson@caba.org or contact the CABA office at 888.798.2222 or 613.686.1814 (x226). More information about the report is also available online at: http://www.caba.org/councils/council.html.

Ultimately, the report will be made available after its completion to building owners, architects and contractors and will substantially move intelligent building products and services towards a “mass market” reality.

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