Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
David Katz, BA, MBA
Over the last 20 years, there has been a lot of discussion and debate about the concept of an intelligent building. Work has gone on in many forums to define and quantify what the term really means. The end result of all of these efforts is that an intelligent building is not just one thing. It can be defined as the use of technology and process to create a building that is safer and more productive for its occupants and more operationally efficient for its owners.
The results from implementing these technologies and processes are buildings that cost less to operate and are worth more to their occupants. For building projects that are owner-occupied, such as corporate, government and institutions, the benefits of an intelligent building provide an immediate return-on-investment in terms of higher employee productivity and reduced operating expenses. For commercial developments, these building projects are expected to result in above market rents, improved retention, higher occupancy rates and lower operating expenses. All around this is a win-win situation.
So what are the technologies and processes required to create intelligent building projects, whether new construction or retrofit? The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) recently released a tool entitled the Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) that individually determines the requirements that make buildings "smarter" through assessing their intelligent building technology status.
The BiQ ranking tool has three functions. It serves as: i) a means to evaluate and measure the "value" of intelligent building performance; ii) a design guide for integration of building intelligence in new building projects; and iii) a building automation retrofit action plan tool.
"The Building Intelligence Quotient is designed to paint a clear picture of your building intelligence performance against best practices for design, installation and operation," states Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "It gives practical advice for improvements, offers resources for making the upgrades, and provides additional information on relevant strategies and technologies."
The tool allows property owners and managers to rate
a building's intelligence and provides design guidance to ensure that all
relevant issues are considered when making a choice of subsystems and their
level of integration. Owners and developers with multiple properties can also
use the BiQ tool to assess and compare the building intelligence systems in
In addition, as more and more buildings are BiQ verified, point scores will be aggregated in an anonymous database, enabling users to analyze how their building intelligence design performs in relation both to the median and to buildings that are similar in terms, type and region.
Because the assessment is completely online, owners and managers have the ability to change input up to a year, with an option to extend. This allows users to keep their assessment up-to-date as the building intelligence changes through the project delivery stages as buildings are retrofitted.
Building intelligence results in higher building value, improved comfort, security, flexibility and reliability while reducing costs and increasing productivity. Lower costs and higher property and lease values can result in aggressive return on investments and clear justifications for making buildings more intelligent.
The BiQ asks questions pertaining to integrated design processes, presence and integration of intelligent building subsystems, failure and emergency operations, and building support and maintenance.
Based on this information, the BiQ then generates a report that will provide benchmark rankings as well as recommendations for improvements in the following categories: communication systems; building automation; annunciation, security and control systems; facility management applications; and building structure and systems.
CABA has also introduced a validation, training and award program to compliment the tool. In order to create added value for BiQ users, CABA is implementing a validation procedure. For an additional fee, validation will provide BiQ users with an individualized site visit by a professional to determine whether their property actually conforms to BiQ criterion. BiQ professionals will also provide portfolio analysis services. Firms with more than one property under BIQ assessment will be able to purchase a corporate portfolio analysis in order to compare all their buildings. Undertaken by BiQ professionals, validation and analysis will allow for a more personalized, detailed on-site examination of intelligent building systems.
To support the demand for validation and corporate portfolio analysis, CABA is also introducing a BiQ training program. The program will certify evaluators, giving them the skills required to undertake BiQ evaluations and assign validation scores. Professionals seeking BiQ evaluator certification may be engineers, system integrators and technical experts in building automation.
Validation scores from the BiQ tool will be used to assess the intrinsic value of a building by supporting associations and the industry-at-large. Currently, CABA is negotiating with the Appraisal Institute, the International Facility Management Association and other associations to endorse the tool.
Once a building is either assigned platinum, gold or silver validation by a BiQ professional, CABA will acknowledge the validation by issuing a plaque to the building's owners or managers. Ranked buildings will be eligible to win awards.
The BiQ awards program will recognize buildings that exhibit excellence in building intelligence integration and that rank high on CABA's building intelligence assessment. The top three BiQ validated buildings will receive a CABA Intelligent Building Award at an annual awards ceremony, beginning in 2008.
BiQ in Brief
The BiQ tool lets you rate a building’s intelligence and provides design guidance to ensure that all relevant issues are considered when making a choice of building subsystem and their level of integration.
The tool allows property owners and managers to rate a building's intelligence and provides design guidance to ensure that all relevant issues are considered when making a choice of subsystems and their level of integration. The tool is available at www.caba.org/biq.
LonMark International Supports BIQ Tool
Most recently, LonMark International has become the first supporting organization of the BiQ tool. As an official supporter, LonMark International will actively promote and encourage the use of the BiQ tool amongst the industry in general and its membership in particular. LonMark International is a non-profit trade association that advances the business of efficient and effective integration of open, multi-vendor control systems, including those focused on building automation, utilizing ANSI/CEA 709.1 and related standards.
"Interest has been expressed in the concept of a building ranking system that evaluates and measures the intrinsic value of intelligent building performance," states Ron Bernstein, Executive Director of LonMark International. "We are proponents of this concept since we see it as broadening the range of specialized services and advice, specifically tailored to those interested in offering seamlessly connected building infrastructure."
LonMark International expects the ranking system to provide its membership with an objective means to evaluate and measure building performance and provide a design guide for the integration of building intelligence in new building projects and retrofits. LonMark International members will also benefit from an expanded marketplace.
CABA Offers Complimenrary BIQ to its Members
CABA is pleased to announce a special promotion that allows building designers, owners and operators to obtain one free building ranking using CABA's Intelligent Building Quotient tool. By completing a short questionnaire, CABA members will be allowed to test the tool at no charge.
The tool permits property owners, managers and designers to rate a building's intelligence and provides design guidance to ensure that all relevant issues are considered when making a choice about subsystems and their level of integration. Owners and developers with multiple properties can also use the BIQ tool to assess and compare the building intelligence systems in their portfolio.
Because the assessment is completely online, owners, designers and managers have the ability to change input up to a year, with an option to extend. This allows users to keep their assessment up-to-date as the building intelligence changes through the project delivery stages as buildings are retrofitted.
"The most critical challenge in designing, building and operating intelligent building technologies is the effective integration and interoperation of several different building management technologies and other technologies," stated Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. "The BIQ helps to ensure that your organization's building has the subsystems you need based on your functional priorities. It then guides the design team to properly integrate the various technologies. BIQ further increases the value of intelligent building technologies by providing guidance on the use of communications for remote monitoring, control and access."
Under the leadership of J. Christopher Larry, Chair of the BIQ Advisory Board and David Katz of the BIQ Consortium, the tool has been enhanced with several new features.
Currently, the tool is being used by Honeywell International, Inc. to evaluate the impact of its building automation products. CABA invites you to obtain a free ranking by contacting Brian Daze, CABA's Business Development Manager at 613.686.1814 x226 or email@example.com.
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