Space and energy encompass a wide spectrum of disciplines that have traditionally operated with minimal interaction. These include lighting, water, HVAC, fire and safety, premises monitoring, access and security, even elevators, and more. IBM, in noting that “one of the biggest line items on your balance sheet could be your building,” now adds PEHV (Petroleum Electric Hybrid Vehicle) management to the mix in its Smarter Planet services portfolio. It’s all part of IBM’s Tririga Energy Optimization solution. Tririga, a Las Vegas-based provider of energy optimization, facilities management and enterprise asset management solutions, was acquired by IBM in 2011. Another major player is Johnson Controls. The Milwaukee company’s Metasys building automation system unites building systems — comfort control, lighting, fire safety, security, and assets — so that they operate together as a continuum. Metasys leverages the IT infrastructure with wireless capability, and uses BACnet (Building Automation and Control network) as its backbone protocol.
Regulated energy systems, most notably lighting control, have joined the party in only the last five years, says Scott Ziegenfus, a senior applications engineer with lighting solutions manufacturer Lutron. Bringing lighting control into the HVAC firmament has proven to be crucial in overall smart building management, but requires a bridging of cultures and areas of expertise. “The problem is that these are very different disciplines. HVAC is mechanical, lighting is electrical, and the contractors, who have never interacted, have to be brought together,” says Ziegenfus. “What you need is to bring on an integration expert, someone with broad multidiscipline expertise who works as a coordinator with IT, lighting, HVAC, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, security, and more.”
Jacobson agrees, saying, “Make sure there is one party ultimately responsible for integration and automation, with the authority to see it through. This can be an engineer, integrator, or