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Spring 2013 Volume 10, Number 1

CABA Celebrates 25th Anniversary Dr. Satyen Mukherjee, Chair of the CABA Board of Directors, provides a history and celebratory message on the occasion of the organization’s 25th anniversary.

www.caba.org/ihomesandbuildings

Smart Building Predictions in 2013 ZigBee – the next world changing technology – just like Wi-Fi Is the Bloom off Smart Grids? Unfinished Business: The oBIX initiative


CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council (IIBC) focused on areas of research that address the needs and priorities of high performance and intelligent buildings. The IIBC identified two key areas of exploration in its 2011 Landmark Research study - the impact of smart grid development on intelligent buildings, and the progression of intelligent buildings towards net zero energy. There is a growing marketplace outlook that achieving energy sustainability and the growth of building intelligence are interdependent and exert a collective influence in the progression of high performance intelligent buildings. Consequently, CABA’s IIBC members focussed the research study on an investigation and assessment of the impact of the smart grid on the commercial buildings sector. Though still early in development and deployment, the research also examined the relationship of smart grids and the progression towards net zero energy output in intelligent buildings. The purpose of this study was to identify, define and size the principle business opportunities presented by the growth of smart grids, in relation to “intelligent buildings”. An examination of smart grid should yield immediate value to all stakeholders in the intelligent building industry, as smart grid and auto demand response holds more relevance in the industry today - with opportunities in existing buildings and new construction. Energy capacity/supply problems need to be addressed in the short-term, and made available in emerging technology. This will serve to add to market education and understanding, and address market knowledge gaps. As well, open and interoperable communication between energy suppliers and commercial energy users is an eventuality - which was further explored in relation to smart grid development and intelligent buildings. The purpose of these initiatives is two fold – an educational and validation exercise for industry participants and a means to drive public opinion and facilitate policy decisions at industry stakeholder, public authority and government organization levels. The study was funded by these CABA members:

RUBY SPONSOR

EMERALD SPONSORS

DIAMOND SPONSORS

The research was undertaken by research and buildings technology consultancy, BSRIA, on behalf of CABA.

Your Information Source For Home & Building Automation www.CABA.org

To purchase this and other available research reports or explore new research opportunities contact: George Grimes CABA Business Development Manager 613.686.1814 x226 or grimes@caba.org

More Information available at: www.caba.org/estore


Spring 2013, Volume 10, Number 1 Contents Features Cover Story

CABA Celebrates 25th Anniversary by Dr. Satyen Mukherjee.................................................................................7

Large Building Automation

Smart Building Predictions in 2013 by Jim Sinopoli................................................................................................ 9

Home Systems

ZigBee – the next world changing technology – just like Wi-Fi by Cees Links.................................................... 12

Columns CABA Research Briefs

Intelligent Buildings and the Bid Specification Process .........................................................................................5

Impact of Smart Grid on Connected Homes 2012 Study....................................................................................... 6

Ken Wacks’ Perspectives

Is the Bloom off Smart Grids?................................................................................................................................. 16

Opinion

Unfinished Business: The oBIX initiative by Toby Considine................................................................................. 19

Departments New Members.................................................................................................................................................................. 4 Networking and Events...................................................................................................................................................11 Industry Trends............................................................................................................................................................... 15 Upcoming Events........................................................................................................................................................... 21

CABA NewsBrief

Please go to the CABA Web site at www.caba.org to learn how to freely subscribe and sponsor


Editorial Advisory Board

Managing Editor

Contributors

Dr. Kenneth Wacks Ken Wacks Associates (Chair)

Ronald J. Zimmer, CAE

Ken Gallinger

Steven Brown CSA Group

George Grimes

David Labuskes RTKL Associates, Inc.

Editor

Labib Matta NeXgen Advisory Group FZ-LLC

Rawlson O’Neil King

John Hall

Robert Knight Environmental Systems Design Harshad Shah Eagle Technology, Inc Jim Sinopoli Smart Buildings

Association Office Continental Automated Buildings Association 1173 Cyrville Road, Suite 210 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1J 7S6 Tel: 613.686.1814; 888.798.CABA (2222) Fax: 613.744.7833

Further editorial use of the articles in this magazine is encouraged. For subscriptions, circulation, and change of address enquiries email caba@caba.org. For editorial and advertising opportunities: www.caba.org/ihomesandbuildings

The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those held by the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). CABA shall not be under any liability whatsoever with respect to the contents of contributed articles. The organization reserves the right to edit, abridge or alter articles for publication.

CABA Board of Directors Chair

Vice-Chair

Dr. Satyen Mukherjee

Dr. Morad Atif

Philips

National Research Council Canada Directors

Scot Adams

Larry Ehlinger

Stephen Nardi

Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Pella Corporation

RealView, LLC

Kris Bowring

Jeff Hamilton

Barry Rogers

Best Buy Co., Inc.

Ingersoll Rand

SecurTek Monitoring Solutions

Scott Burnett

Bill Horrocks

Tom Semler

IBM

Comcast Communications

Hydro One Networks Inc.

Brian Casey

Elizabeth Jacobs

Alok Singh

Honeywell International, Inc.

Siemens Industry, Inc.

Southern California Edison Company

Dr. Yong Chang

Shahram Mehraban

Dana “Deke” Smith

Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd.

Intel Corporation

National Institute of Building Sciences

Michael Clay

Ian Milne

Thomas Starek

Verizon Wireless

Robinson Solutions

Diebold, Incorporated

Jonathan Cluts

Mike Nager

Microsoft Corporation

Metz Connect


CABA President & CEO’s Message Ron Zimmer Every organization reaches key milestones and objectives and it is important to recognize and reflect on those achievements. On that note, CABA was launched in 1988 and therefore has just reached its 25th Anniversary. CABA has already undertaken a number of activities to recognize this important achievement, including hosting several special receptions and events at CES 2013 and AHR Expo 2013. There will be celebrations to come including special Forums that will be collocated with CABA Board meetings. Since joining CABA 15 years ago, I still had the pleasure of working with Jack Fraser, Al McKinley, Gerry Meade and others that were instrumental in launching CABA. They shared stories about those first meetings which only involved a few people and organizations. However, there was consensus and a dream of creating an organization that could become “An Information Source for Home and Building Automation”. That dream has become reality and continues to grow as CABA has achieved much, including building the largest “connected home and intelligent buildings” research library in the world. Frank Bisbee, Editor of Heard it on the Street, which reaches over two million readers, was recently stated: “CABA is providing valuable research to the industry and there is no other organization that even comes close to providing this information.” It is important to recognize and celebrate the past and current CABA Board, members, staff and volunteers for the effort, support and passion that they have provided and continue to provide CABA and the industry. The original five members have now grown to over 300 and CABA has expanded into a global industry association reaching over 20,000 subscribers with the CABA NewsBrief. As CABA celebrates the past, watch for more announcements about new research and member benefits throughout this 25th anniversary year.

Remember – CABA works for you!

Join CABA Today! The Continental Automated Buildings Association provides more information about integrated systems and automation in homes and buildings than any other source. www.caba.org

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

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New Members The Continental Automated Buildings Association is a not-for-profit industry association that promotes advanced technologies for the automation of homes and buildings. CABA members benefit from timely, competitive intelligence on the integrated systems industry. Here is a sampling of our latest members.

ABB, Inc.

The Light Brigade

ABB is one of the world’s largest engineering companies and largest conglomerates specializing in robotics, power and automation technologies.

The Light Brigade, the world’s leading fiber optic training company, was founded in September 1986 to provide a growing population of fiber-optic end-users in the Pacific Northwest expertise with the technology.

Actiontec Electronics

Actiontec Electronics develops broadband-powered solutions that connect people to the Internet, applications and content. The firm provides gigabit Ethernet fiber routers, high speed bonded VDSL2 gateways, 4G LTE routers, DSL modems, and home networking solutions to telecom carriers.

NuLEDs, Inc. NuLEDs, Inc. designs, develops and manufacturers LED lighting systems. The firm specializes in general purpose LED luminaires, multiple channel SSL controllers, and high-quality white LED and RGB lighting.

ADT Security Services

Research Into Action, Inc. is a program evaluation and market research firm. It specializes in evaluation research and market assessment design and analysis services in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and natural resource management.

ADT Security Services is a U.S. and Canada provider of electronic security systems, fire alarm systems, communication systems, and integrated building management systems. EnOcean Alliance EnOcean Alliance develops and promotes self-powered wireless monitoring and control systems for sustainable buildings by formalizing an interoperable, international wireless standard.

Research Into Action

SCL Elements Inc.

SCL Elements Inc. provides CAN2GO building automation solutions for comfort and energy efficiency in commercial buildings. CAN2GO offers integrated wired and wireless solutions for HVAC, lighting and metering applications.

A complete CABA member listing with both product and service information and Web links is available at: www.caba.org

Connect with us at www.caba.org

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CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


caba research briefs CABA Research Briefs provide a condensed synopsis of specific research papers available in the organization’s research libraries. CABA research libraries provide industry intelligence to the home and large building automation and integrated systems sector.

Intelligent Buildings and the Bid Specification Process In 2012, CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated

Key Industry Dynamics

Buildings Council (IIBC) commissioned the “Intelligent Buildings and the Bid Specification Process” research study

ification process throughout the intel-

to identify and understand the market imperfections and inconsistencies that exist in designing and implementing

Slow economy and limited budgets

Undefined value chain practices

Lack of direct interface with specifiers and awareness issues

Increased competition and price pressures

Challenge

and related decision-making process. The broad purpose of the study was

Availability of advanced technology

Challenge

ligent buildings industry value-chain

Need for technology upgrades

Drivers

the commercial bid and product spec-

Green certifications and Regulatory Requirements

Drivers

to greatly improve the understanding of

Energy efficiency retrofits

intelligent building projects, as well

Short Term impact (0-3 Years)

as making investment decisions on

Long Term impact (7-10 Years)

intelligent technologies. To this end, the research identified and assessed critical areas and importance factors

Mid Term (4-6 Years)

Energy efficiency improvements will continue to drive the need for bid and spec projects, however, slow economic recovery will impact bid prices and vendor selection.

Industry Dynamics – Drivers and Challenges

to enable project sponsors to: further product/services market development; unify stakeholder decision-making processes; identify opportunities/needs for training and coaching to remove obstacles from the process; and to provide product demand information to parallel market segments and other business areas. The intelligent buildings industry in North America is still in the early adoption stage, though there are distinct signs of it gradually moving upward in the market life cycle. There are distinct dynamics that have driven, and challenged the use of intelligent technologies. The major characteristics of the intelligent buildings industry are: • Energy efficiency and operational cost savings have been instrumental in driving integration of intelligent buildings technology. With energy costs fluctuating and the building sector consuming more energy, operating costs are expected to continue rising unless energy consumption is more effectively managed.

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caba research briefs

• Building owners and managers are realizing the many financial benefits of intelligent technologies, such as lower energy costs, lower maintenance costs, and lower repair and replacement costs. Building owners and operators are leveraging the energy-saving aspects to fund intelligent technology projects. • A catalyst for many companies to commit to more intelligent buildings systems may also be found in the green and high-performance building movement which is gaining momentum daily. Building owners are investing in better building performance as a way to reduce energy costs. • Additionally, there is pressure on building owners to provide detailed accountings of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with taxation proposals or legislation (as in California) intended to either limit or tax emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases. • Bid and spec has been integrated into procurement processes by building owners to maximize project efficiency, particularly when it comes to incorporating cost-prohibitive intelligent buildings solutions. • A highly-fragmented delivery process and the presence of numerous stakeholders influencing the process create several hurdles in project execution. Schematic designs, adopted early on, often get revised on account of cheaper substitutes. • A consensus-based approach to project delivery is needed, whereby various stakeholders can collaborate from the early conceptual stages of the project. This will ensure that all goals are met in an optimal manner and generate long return on investment (ROI) over the life cycle of a building.

Impact of Smart Grid on Connected Homes 2012 Study In 2012, CABA conducted the Impact of Smart Grid on Connected Homes Landmark Research study with the objective of greatly improving the understanding of residential smart grid development and deployment in terms of: identifying market demand and growth areas for new products; comparing competing product strategies and communication of competitors; determining product preferences for end-users; developing messaging that resonates with the target audience; defining critical success factors to expand product offerings to end-user markets; and establishing a market approach and foundation for strategic decision-making efforts. The key takeaways of this research are the following: • Limited customer engagement and lack of personalization of solutions, as well as the lack of predictive and self-sensing capability of solutions, will continue to hinder value demonstrations in the connected home industry. • The industry horizon will continue to be dotted by both pure-play and turnkey players. Competitive advantages will, however, depend upon scalability of solutions to accommodate the emerging demand in technology integration. • The IP influence will dominate the convergence in domain expertise, but practicalities of full convergence are questionable and not a near-term reality. • The connected home’s relationship with energy is likely to be further stressed with the ability of such a home to integrate with the smart grid; however, optimized solutions in this area are currently only demonstrative in nature, with limited initiatives undertaken by the utility industry. • Industry participants need to collaborate in a cohesive manner to make smart home solutions work together; however, both conceptual frameworks and technology development initiatives should work simultaneously toward this end. For more information about the “Intelligent Buildings and the Bid Specification Process” and the “Impact of Smart grid on the Connected Homes 2012” research studies, please contact George Grimes, CABA’s Business Development Manager at 613-686-1814 x226 or grimes@caba.org.

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CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


cover story CABA Celebrates 25th Anniversary Dr. Satyen Mukherjee, Chair of the CABA Board of Directors, provides a history and celebratory message on the occasion of the organization’s 25th anniversary. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Continental Automated Buildings Association, I have the distinct pleasure to express congratulations on the occasion of the organization’s silver anniversary. The Continental Automated Buildings Association was founded 25 years ago as a venue to facilitate networking and collaboration between industry stakeholders, educational institutions and organizations in order to further the development of a mass market in home and building automation. Starting with just six members, now 300 companies interact with CABA to access cutting-edge research, trends and analysis and to attend highly-focused industry seminars, workshops and conferences. CABA’s 25th anniversary is an opportune time to reflect on how joint industry efforts can strengthen the goal of mass market developments. Our anniversary also provides an opportunity for the organization to show its appreciation to our industry. For all those who do not know, CABA is an international not-for-profit industry association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent home and intelligent building technologies. The organization was originally founded as the Canadian Automated Buildings Association at a meeting called at the National Research Council of Canada’s headquarters in Ottawa to explore the possibility of establishing a Canadian association of like-minded, building-related organizations. Bell Canada, Bell-Northern Research, Ontario Hydro, Hydro-Québec, Consumers Gas, Canadian Home Builders’ Association, the Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association of Canada, Industry Canada, Minto Developments Inc. and the National Research Council of Canada attended.

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

This diverse group of organizations resolved to devote their resources to the promotion of intelligent buildings in Canada through the establishment of the Canadian Automated Buildings Association in November 1988. An initial fund of $100,000 was pledged by the Board of Directors and an interim office was supplied in Toronto by the Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association of Canada. Gerry Meade, a senior Ontario Hydro manager was seconded to occupy the post of executive director. Honeywell, a major manufacturer of heating and environmental controls initially occupied the organization’s chairmanship. In 1990 former Bell Canada assistant vice president, Jack Fraser, was appointed president. In 1991, Alan McKinley from the National Research Council of Canada became president of the organization. In 1995, the association organized its first major collaborative research project focused on home energy and environmental management systems. The $160,000 study involved 16 different funding organizations, including federal and provincial government agencies, manufacturers, and utilities. In 1998, CABA was renamed the Continental Automated Buildings Association and given an expanded international mission by its Board of Directors to encourage the development, promotion, pursuit and understanding of integrated systems and automation in homes and buildings throughout North America. In 1999, Ronald J. Zimmer, an experienced and certified association executive was appointed by the CABA Board of Directors to lead the organization. With the expanded mission, the organization began to grow to near 400 members involved in the design, manufacture, installation and

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Testimonials “I’m very pleased to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CABA. As one of the originals of the organization, I’ve watched it develop as a leader within this industry and help move it forward. Anyone who is not part of the organization should join.” – Bob Lane, Robert H. Lane Consulting “Throughout all of my experience, CABA has been extremely helpful. It is an excellent organization with excellent publications and initiatives which promote events and standard. I look forward to CABA’s next 25 years.” – John Antonchick, NCN Associates “I want to congratulate CABA for doing a great job over the last 25 years. CABA has been a leader in both the home and building markets through both its research and its industry outreach. Everything that the organization does is a valuable resource to our company and many others.” – Steve Harvey, Global Research Advisors “The relationship between CABA and Z-Wave Alliance is absolutely phenomenal. Over the years, the support from CABA has proven to the best relationship we have had in the home and building automation industry.” - Bill Scheffler, Sigma Designs “CABA has been instrumental in bringing us together with other organizations with similar interests, to form a common bond in order to understand where the industry is going. CABA undertakes specialized research and is an excellent source of information, through its Web site and various research studies and projects.” - Chellury (Ram) Sastry, Samsung Electronics

“In North America, a group that has taken the lead in promoting and researching intelligent building systems is the Continental Automated Buildings Association.” – Patrick McLaughlin, Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine “We feel that CABA is an excellent source to keep a pulse on industry developments.” – Phil Kopp, Energy Eye Inc.

retailing of products relating to home automation and building automation. In 2003, CABA and the Government of Canada completed the Technology Roadmap (TRM) for Intelligent Buildings Technologies, a collaborative $110,000 research project between industry and five federal government departments and agencies. The project focused upon commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings, and culminated in a final report that provided an in-depth examination of intelligent buildings technologies. Two years later, the organization’s Board of Directors endorsed a policy that further internationalized the organization by making its membership appeal global in scope. In 2006, CABA integrated the operations of the Internet Home Alliance. The Internet Home Alliance was a cross-industry network of leading companies conducting collaborative research to advance the connected home market. Founded in 2000, the Alliance provided its members with the real-world testing opportunities required to bring their home technology products and services to market more quickly, successfully and cost-effectively. In 2010, CABA’s collaborative research evolved and expanded into the CABA Research Program, which is directed by the CABA Board of Directors. The CABA Research Program’s scope has incorporated market research for both large building technologies and home systems and has produced several actionable industry reports. It is our desire that CABA continues to undertake such constructive work with the aim to continue to strengthen the home and building automation industry. Presently CABA provides a number of services to its members and the technical community at large including a technical library with nearly 1,000 reports and articles. CABA also provides a widely-viewed electronic newsletter. Further, our Board of Directors are illustrious members of industry, academia, and research firms who address major areas of interest in the sector.

Dr. Satyen Mukherjee is currently a chief scientist and senior director at Philips for research strategy in North America. He is also the Chair of the CABA Board of Directors.

“CABA is a doing a wonderful job in promoting and advocating more intelligence for buildings.” –Jim Long, Herman Miller, Inc.

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CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


Large Building Automation Smart Building Predictions in 2013 Jim Sinopoli, PE, RCDD provides several predictions concerning the development of intelligent building technologies for the upcoming year. The Coming of Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) We’ve all used Google Maps or MapQuest to locate a place, get a map or directions. The underlying infrastructure is a collection of U.S. satellites providing a Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS doesn’t work well indoors though because the signal is blocked. However, locating assets and people within buildings has value for potentially improving the performance of buildings, businesses and life safety. There are “traditional” real time location systems (RTLS) for buildings that use RFID or Wi-Fi but they require a tag or device to be attached to the asset or person. But why use tags and devices when all of us are carrying a smartphone, aka “the new building sensor”. Indoor location technology is already being developed by some of the world’s largest tech companies. It will happen in 2013. How serious are these efforts? Twenty-two companies formed the In-Location Alliance six months ago; they include large multi-national companies such as Nokia, Samsung, Sony and CSR. While a number of technology approaches have potential for being the basis of indoor positioning (the identification of unique flickering of individual LED lights via a smartphone camera, detecting natural electromagnetic radiation, existing digital TV signals, etc.), it seems the “Bluetooth Beaconing” approach may be one that initially succeeds, partially because everyone with a smartphone or laptop has some familiarity with the technology. It’s interesting that Google, which is not part of the alliance, launched their Indoor Maps and Indoor Location in late 2011. They already have over 10,000 floor plans for a variety of buildings in North America, Europe and Japan and claim 5-10 meter accuracy indoors inside buildings. Being able to identify when and where people are in a building can improve energy management and life safety,

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

and can generate a treasure trove of customer and tenant data. Smart Becomes the New Green

Building owners, designers and facility management personnel are very focused on energy management and sustainability and many pursue green building certification. But who wants a dumb green certified building? Building owners also want smart buildings and believe that smart buildings already incorporate many green attributes. In addition, smart buildings really touch on aspects of technology, building systems, building operations and performance that aren’t addressed in the alphabet soup of many green certifications (Pop Quiz: How many of us are familiar with SERF, Earth Advantage, Earthcraft or Class-C green certifications?). The lives of typical tenants and building occupants are technology-laden with constant social and internet connectivity; they’re expecting advanced technology in buildings and smart building certification can meet those expectations. We anticipate many owners will complement the green certification and get their building certified as smart. Hey, What Are You Looking At? Eye-Tracking

Studying human eye movement has been around for roughly 150 years, initially performed by simple observation. Eye movement is important because what people look at and how long they look at it influences their decision-making and comprehension. Today one of the more popular approaches to eye-tracking uses video cameras sensing reflected light from the eye, an approach which is not invasive and generally inexpensive. As you may have guessed, today’s eye-tracking is more

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large building automation

about commercial applications. You’ll see eye tracking used in advertising, software interfaces, retail window design, web pages and almost anything associated with marketing and selling. Much of the eye-tracking is done for “prototypes” or “draft” products or ads, gathering data on how a consumer interacts with “visual stimulus” to perfect the ad or Web page. The basic data evaluates what people look at, and how long they hold their gaze. There are eye-tracking applications that can control computers, monitor automobile drivers or pilots and even usages allowing paralyzed people to operate wheelchairs via eye movement. And yes, eye-tracking has applications for building design and operation. One example is a company that has several “mock supermarkets” or “shopper labs” in order to track eye movements as people wander down the aisles to determine what items or displays catch their eye. Eyetracking can benefit a building’s interior design, signage, way finding, ergonomics of manual controls and kiosks. With eye movement directly related to decision making, we’ll start to see more use of research in the design and operation of buildings, touching on the “visual” structure of the facility, its layout, lighting, colors and placement of objects or controls. The results could be improved productivity in commercial buildings, wellness in hospitals and enhanced learning in schools. Community Gardens Are So Yesterday; Community Microgrids Are Now

Community gardens have been around for centuries and are found worldwide. Essentially neighbors share a plot of land to grow fresh produce and vegetables, and they may trade their harvest with others so everyone has a little variety. The community garden is environmentally sound, creates a sense of togetherness, and lowers the cost for fresh produce. Now substitute the word “energy” for “produce” and you have a community microgrid. Just like community gardens, microgrids have to deal with the issues of ownership, management and diversity of energy (or produce). Microgrids have several unique advantages. One is improvement of power reliability; a microgrid with multiple generation sources offers diversity and therefore greater reliability. Second, microgrids have the potential to lower or at least constrain energy costs, for example, using power from the larger grid when prices are cheaper than the microgrid; or conversely, maximizing the use of the

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microgrid when prices from the larger grid are high. At the very least microgrids offer more flexibility for owners in managing their energy costs. Third is a slight increase in energy efficiency; microgrids eliminate or decrease the transmission and distribution of energy losses and also have the capability to recover and use heat locally. The result is higher energy efficiency. Many neighborhoods and large housing developments already own and operate their own water systems, and microgrids will be seen as comparable to a water utility and can offer local control and positive involvement with energy resources. Expect a microgrid next to the community garden and well water. Cross Training for IT and FM

In sports or exercising, cross training means a person trains in an activity that’s not their main sport or has a variety of exercises to address different parts of the body. Cross training improves one’s overall performance. This is a concept that the IT and Facility Management departments will start to adopt. Each has their focus on IT or FM but some employees in each will be crossed trained in the other “sport”. Typically companies do cross training so that one employee can cover for another. That’s not the case with IT and FM. It’s about broadening the skill sets and knowledge of employees to better understand and appreciate each other’s department roles, concerns and issues. The upside for employees provided such training is that they gain new proficiencies and understanding that benefits them personally and professionally. IT is being pulled into supporting the building systems managed by FM; it’s not by choice but rather by necessity. In general, IT may know very little about the underlying mechanical and electrical systems in the buildings, unless they’ve had some experience in deploying or managing a data center where cooling and power is critical. If IT approaches the building control systems as simply different types of networks with different protocols, different devices and different functions, cross training may be a little easier. There’s a lesson here for not only IT departments but also IT companies, especially those trying to penetrate the building operation and energy management marketplace; you’ll have Continues on page 20

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


Networking & Events Over the past 25 years, CABA has brought together industry and thought leaders at numerous workshops and events.

CABA held anniversary celebration receptions at AHR Expo and the International Consumer Electronics Show in January. The organization also plans to combine its future semi-annual connected home and intelligent building events along with its Board meetings. Bob Lane of Robert H. Lane Consulting (left) with Ron Zimmer, CABA President & CEO (right) at CABA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Reception at CES 2013.

CABA’s Digital Home Forum, hosted by Qualcomm and held in October 2012, brought together leading companies involved in the integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home. Attendees discussed trends in the digital and connected home with a wide range of companies and explored market research opportunities.

Ron Bernstein, a noted energy control systems engineering consultant, moderated a session on the evolution of smart devices and appliances.

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

Over 100 attendees participated in CABA’s last Digital Home Forum. Due to the generosity of Qualcomm, the event’s sponsor, many attended the Miramar Air Show as VIP guests.

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home systems ZigBee – the next world changing technology – just like Wi-Fi Cees Links describes how ZigBee wireless technology will power The Internet of Things and the homes of the future. No one can argue with the success of WiFi. Since Wi-Fi’s market introduction in 1999 by Apple connecting the iBook via the Airport Router to the Internet, the number of Wi-Fi devices has grown astronomically: anywhere you go in the world, you will find computers, tablets and smart phones are equipped with Wi-Fi. In addition, many TVs, game consoles, eBooks, printers, cameras, etc. now also have Wi-Fi connections. At this moment there are about 600 million homes connected to the internet. A reasonable guess is that, on average, each connected home has five connected Wi-Fi devices, which equals three billion Wi-Fi devices. By the end of this decade, when the number of connected homes has grown to 700 million, this average Wi-Fi number will probably increase to 10 per home – expanding the market of Wi-Fi devices to seven billion. Having been deeply involved in the conception of Wi-Fi in 1988, through its early steps in the standardization (IEEE 802.11) and having seen its early adoption turning into a broad market success, I am very excited to now help bring ZigBee to the world. While working today on implementing ZigBee (IEEE 80.15.4), a technology for the smart home, I realized the many parallels that there are between the market adoption of Wi-Fi about 10 years ago and what we see happening with ZigBee today. But let me first explain ZigBee

What Wi-Fi provides for computers, TVs, etc. in distributing content through the home, ZigBee provides for all the small devices and gadgets in the home: light switches, thermostats, remote controls, security sensors, door locks, weighing scales, etc. These sense/control devices have much

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in common. They have only little data to share: just a few bits once in a while, literally. So, contrary to Wi-Fi, where high data rates are important, ZigBee is about sense/control data bits: about reliability, availability, low maintenance and responsiveness: pressing a wireless light switch should turn on the light immediately, just as with a wired switch. To achieve these requirements these types of sense/ control devices need a long battery life and that is exactly how ZigBee has been designed. One can live with keeping a Wi-Fi powered tablet or a smartphone charged on a regular basis, but think about the 100+ other small devices in the home. If each device has an average battery life of two years, one will be ending up with changing one battery per week. In many of these devices it is the communication that requires the energy. ZigBee has been designed in such a way that the life of the battery can exceed the life of the sense/control device, or that the device can operate without batteries (for example: a light switch running on the energy generated by flipping the switch). Therefore it comes as no surprise that many efforts have been undertaken to develop low power versions of Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, with some rare exceptions, these efforts have not been very successful, for the simple reason that Wi-Fi was never designed for low power. In many implementations the energy consumption of Wi-Fi is at least a factor 10 higher than ZigBee, resulting in a battery life of 1/10th of a ZigBee equivalent. This is not so much a result of difference in “transmission power” or “air-time”, but more because of the overhead incurred by supporting a high speed data-rate computer-based protocol. This high speed overhead also incurs an economic shortcoming of low-power Wi-Fi: even a low cost Wi-Fi device is easily twice the cost of a ZigBee device, and with

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


home systems

GreenPeak GP 710 Universal ZigBee Chip in the Set Top Box/Home Control Box) enables communication with all the various 100+ ZigBee sensors and devices throughout a home.

potentially 100+ wireless devices in the home, this expense quickly adds up. Well‌ so much about explaining the differences, what are the parallels between ZigBee and Wi-Fi? Competing proprietary alternatives

As already indicated, both Wi-Fi and ZigBee are IEEE standards for an open and freely accessible technology that is available from multiple technology suppliers and chip vendors worldwide. Frequency bands

Another interesting parallel between Wi-Fi and ZigBee is the sub-GHz versus the 2.4 GHz frequency band discussion. Different regions in the world (U.S., China, Europe, Japan, etc.) have reserved different frequency bands below the 1 GHz band for wireless data-communications, as well as one band in the 2.4 GHz that is uniform over all the regions in the world. The advantage of the 2.4 GHz band is clear: it does not matter where you go around in the world, Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz)

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

just works. The initial Wi-Fi developments however were done in the sub-GHz bands, for the simple reason that it is easier to get a better range in the sub-GHz than in the 2.4GHz. But the large companies were not interested. Different power cords for products for different countries were already enough of a headache and, different Wi-Fi frequency bands for different countries would only further complicate their logistics. So large companies as well as the IEEE spent significant time in the 1990-ties to harmonize the 2.4 GHz band worldwide – the sub-GHz bands were too different per region, so harmonizing those was just not feasible. Today, we still need different power socket adapters for different countries, but at least Wi-Fi is uniform. At this moment there is within ZigBee, as well as in the more proprietary alternatives (Z-Wave, EnOcean, io-homecontrol, etc.) serious interest and ongoing efforts for subGHz solutions. If the history repeats itself sooner or later these efforts will disappear: large corporations want uniform solutions and economy of scale will make the 2.4 GHz so much more cost-effective, that interest in sub-GHz solutions will just disappear.

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home systems

ZigBee as Low Power Wi-Fi One of the concerns about ZigBee is that ZigBee is such a broad family of standards that from the outside they do not seem to work together very well, in particular compared to Wi-Fi which looks very uniform today. And indeed, the different networking layers and application profiles in the ZigBee standard can create some confusion. ZigBee opponents like to point this out as a weakness, explaining that ZigBee is going nowhere. But also in this case there is an interesting parallel with Wi-Fi. True: Wi-Fi today is very uniform: it talks TCP/IPv4 (v6) and making a connection to the internet over Wi-Fi is as easy as one can imagine: find the network, enter the code and connect. However, we conveniently forget that it took significant engineering efforts and quite a few years of maturing before reaching this stage. Wi-Fi has gone through serious compatibility crises, security has been upgraded several times and the standardization of higher data-rates required a lot of negotiations: the agony about 802.11a, b, g, pre-N, n. But fortunately, Wi-Fi has matured now and grown into a household name. ZigBee is still in the middle of this maturing process, but a few characteristics are already very clear, and these characteristics are exactly the same as the ones that established Wi-Fi. ZigBee is an open standard, put together by members (not adopted by members) and has a clear standard IP policy about ownership of the developed technology (in legal terms called RAND: Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory). ZigBee is using one frequency band, worldwide, and does not have any regional flavors. This means for product makers that they can develop one product for the worldwide market against the lowest cost. ZigBee is covering the Internet of Things, but has split the different application spaces in clear domains in which full compatibility is pursued. Examples are: Home Automation, Building Automation, Retail Services, Smart Energy (an extension of the Smart Grid) and others. Great steps forward have been made and currently activities have been undertaken to also integrate TCI/IPv6 compatibility for ZigBee as well. ZigBee is also clearly differentiated compared to Wi-Fi. Where Wi-Fi is about content distribution, ZigBee can support all sense/control applications in a maintenance free manner, because of its low power and meshing capabilities.

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Designed for high data rate applications, Wi-Fi requires 100,000 times more power than ZigBee and 10,000,000 times more power than ZigBee PRO Green Power, which is designed for energy harvesting uses (no batteries – no AC power).

Most importantly: many cable operators have recognized the opportunities of sense/control networks for rolling out new services to their subscribers, requiring an open worldwide wireless communications standard, for which there actually is no alternative next to ZigBee. Cable operators are equipping their set-top boxes and gateways with both ZigBee and Wi-Fi. ZigBee provides the home’s sense/ control services while Wi-Fi, in the same box, prpvides for content distribution. Cable operators are laying the foundations for making ZigBee a similar household name as Wi-Fi. Actually this points to a last parallel between Wi-Fi and ZigBee. Wi-Fi (was truly launched in the market by Apple in 1999 with the introduction of the iBook. Once Apple had set the direction, other PC vendors quickly followed, realizing that supporting an open communication standard made sense for everyone. Although few people would put Comcast in the same category as Apple – it is now Comcast leading the way for setting ZigBee as the standard for set-top boxes and remote

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


home systems

controls as part of its Xfinity platform. It may be less spectacular than Steve Jobs on-stage, but it is ultimately equally profound, the first steps to building a new industry on an open standard. In the future we will be looking back at 2012 as the break-through year for ZigBee to be set as another household name, probably most easily described as low-power Wi-Fi for sense/control networks. At the end of this decade, when the number of homes connected to the Internet has grown to 700 million, then

we can expect to find next to the 10 Wi-Fi devices per home at least 100 ZigBee devices enabling consumers to live in really smart homes - safely, comfortably and managing their energy, security and health in a responsible and cost effective way.

•

Cees Links is CEO of GreenPeak Technologies.

Industry Trends Indoor Air Quality Health-related factors, most specifically improved indoor air quality (IAQ), were cited as among the benefits of a green building, according to a McGraw-Hill Construction report. Properly maintained green buildings with healthy IAQ typically enhance worker productivity, among other benefits.

Smart Appliances Pike Research says the market for smart appliances will boom from $613 million in 2012 to $34.9 billion in 2013. The market firm notes that as utilities install smart meters throughout the world, smart appliances have a significant role to play in achieving the efficiencies and grid optimization we expect to see in the smart grid.

LEED Certification The number of U.S. firms seeking LEED certification has declined from 61 percent in 2008 to less than 50 percent according to Turner Construction. However adoption rates indicate that LEED will remain the de facto standard for defining a green building and serve as the roadmap for whether or not a building is ultimately certified.

Internet Television Half of U.S. consumers surveyed by Accenture report they are watching over-the-top video content streamed over the Internet on their televisions in addition to their customary cable and satellite TV programming. Some 49 percent of consumers in the U.K. and the U.S. are subscribing to various video delivery services, up from 8 percent in March of last year, according to Accenture.

Second Screens Most people who watch TV shows or movies on their wireless devices are not actually on the go, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which found that 63 percent of the viewing took place at home, with 36 percent taking place in a room even with another device available to watch content. The report also found that two-thirds of respondents watch more than one hour a week on their smartphones or tablets, with 85 percent of it in short bites, less than 10 minutes in length.

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

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KEN WACKS’ PERSPECTIVES

Is the Bloom off Smart Grids? By Ken Wacks

Attendance at smart grid conferences in 2012 dropped at least a third from the previous two years. The excitement and lively conversations are more subdued. Was the smart grid idea a flash-in-the-pan? I was asked about this by Brett Brune, the editor of Smart Grid Today, an industry newsletter. Brett’s publisher, Modern Markets Intelligence, Inc. granted permission to reprint the interviews, which appeared in the December 14 and 21, 2012 issues. Some traditional firms go “back to knitting” Smart Grid Today, December 14, 2012

“Interest is growing in using energy management agents (EMAs) in homes or businesses to implement power consumers’ preferences automatically during demand response events,” Kenneth Wacks, GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC) member and president of the management consulting firm Home & Utility Systems told us this week. “But there is a clear and present danger of ‘more traditional’ utilities in the US falling behind those in Europe and Asia when it comes to this and other smart grid technologies,” he said, reflecting on presentations at Grid-Interop this month [December 2012] in Texas. “There really wasn’t much talk about the recession,” said Wacks, who wrote the book Home Automation and Utility Customer Services and this month [December 2012] chaired a session at Grid-Interop on price-responsive appliances. “After all, the electric utility industry has been the recipient of stimulus funding. There was more talk about the fact that stimulus funds have all been allocated now. And the question is, ‘How will utilities and service providers in the U.S. move forward?’ It’s clear that the industry outside of the U.S. is not slowing down – in China, India and Europe. In spite of the economic problems in Europe, they are still moving ahead in this area.”

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“Europeans have made it clear that we may have started a little sooner on smart grids in the US, but they are determined not to be a follower. Europe is not going to play second-fiddle to anyone.” Business as usual

The question on some vendors’ minds is whether they will have a market if the US smart grid industry slacks off. “I don’t think it’s the recession in the U.S.; I think it’s utilities going back to their knitting – and trying to say, ‘OK, we’ve explored smart grids. Let’s go back to the business we know well because we’ve been running it for a century and we know how to do it.’ The problem with that approach is that the world is moving on towards more distributed power grids, including distributed energy resources like wind and solar and more diverse loads like electric vehicles. Things are never going back to the way they were. And if our more traditional utilities think that, they are going to be the losers in the long run.” A national industrial policy

“US history shows the nation is unlikely to set a federal policy that would help spur utilities to keep on track with smart grid developments,” Wacks noted. “If we do set industrial policy, it’s likely to be very indirect,” he added. “In the 1950s, we didn’t have a transportation policy, but President Eisenhower got a major funding bill as a defense appropriation to build the Interstate Highway System. You know, the Interstate Highway System was supposedly built to transport armaments around the country. And yet, I don’t drag a missile when I go on the Interstate. The point is, if we do an industrial policy, it’s in the guise of something else, or we hope for the best.”

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


ken wacks’ perspectives

Cost of energy

Usage data

Appliance/DER rating

Energy Management Agent

User energy budget

Appliance/DER control

User preferences

Figure 1 – Energy Management Agent (EMA) Parameters (DER = Distributed Energy Resources)

Automated demand response

“In the U.S., demand response penetration is stuck at about 10 percent,” Wacks said. Certainly, it will help to implement programs like OpenADR – “so customers don’t have to be involved every time there is a utility event, or, when dynamic prices are available, customers don’t have to figure out how to translate these prices into actions with regard to which equipment (for commercial) or appliances (for residential) should operate at what time,” he said. Under automated programs involving EMAs in homes, for example, utility customers “might set preferences along an economic dimension,” Wacks said. “If they are accustomed to paying say a $150 per month, they may request that their automation system try to keep the bills at that level. At the same time, the customers would express preferences along an activity dimension: take a shower at 8 in the morning, cook at 6 at night, and maybe take a dip in the pool at 8 at night. The EMA would balance the economic and activity preferences with appliance needs, the cost of energy, and the availability of power from local generators, such as wind and solar, and from any storage devices in the home.” [Illustrated in Figure 1] Some elements of automation “would either operate appliances automatically in a more or less energy conserving mode or give a gentle nudge to the consumer and say, ‘Look, you can save a little if you delay this action by a couple of hours’,” he said. “And the customer makes a simple choice:

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

Wash dishes now, or can it be put off a few hours?” [Please see Figure 2 for a possible user interface.] The EMA could be “a stand-alone device or embedded in other home devices like set-top boxes,” he added. Interoperability is here

At Grid-Interop, some vendors demonstrated interconnectivity and interoperability. “The MultiSpeak people who work with the rural co-ops showed a system all the way from the meter to a simulated back office that was all interconnected,” Wacks said. “It included a complete AMI [Advanced Metering Infrastructure] system with data management, as well as access to the meter data by the customer.” Optimism for smart grids

In a follow-up article for Smart Grid Today, I expressed optimism that smart grid developments will proceed methodically with less hype. The Grid-Interop conference was followed by an intensive day of discussions between U.S. and Korean smart grid experts. Both groups shared smart grid experiences and discussed cooperation on advancing smart grid technologies and business practices. Here is the newsletter interview. US, Korea see positive trends at interoperability meeting in Texas Smart Grid Today, December 21, 2012

17


ken wacks’ perspectives

issues, as well,” he said, noting that they have six working groups focused on these issues.

1. Wash dishes now. 2. Delay wash by 3 hours and save 25¢. 3. Delay wash by 6 hours and save 50¢.

Figure 2 – User Interface Showing Options for Reducing Energy Costs

The Korea Smart Grid Standardization Forum and the [U.S.] Smart Grid Interoperability Panel [SGIP] held a joint meeting in Texas this month [December 2012], Kenneth Wacks, GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC) member and president of the management consulting firm Home & Utility Systems, told us recently. “They are very much paralleling what we do in the U.S.,” he said. “In fact, some of their drawings looked similar to ours and some of the terminology was aligned. And I think that’s all for the positive.” “Marianne Swanson, a senior advisor for information technology security management in the computer security unit at NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] and chair of the SGIP cyber security working group, addressed cyber security at the meeting in Texas,” Wacks said. NIST Interagency Report 7628, entitled Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security, came out in August 2010 and provided guidance for risk assessment and mitigation. That report is being revised and will be made public early next year [2013], Swanson told people attending the meeting in Texas. The privacy section has the most changes – “especially for third-party service providers,” Wacks recalled from the meeting. “Some of the Koreans at the Texas meeting, scientists from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute [ETRI], gave their perspective on cyber security

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Columbia, Ecuador next

In the next year or so, “I’m hoping we’ll find similar progress and cooperation with the other countries with which the SGIP has signed letters-of-intent to cooperate, namely Columbia and Ecuador,” Wacks said. SGIP cooperation with the European Union [EU] and Japan is already underway. The SGIP had held joint meetings with people working on the same issues in the EU. “And Japan came to an SGIP meeting in 2011,” Wacks said. “A representative for the prime minister told us that Japan had made a fundamental decision to focus on renewables, and they were determined to drive the price of solar power down to one-third of the current level by 2020.” The SGIP and the Korea Smart Grid Standardization Forum set a standards coordination alliance in March 2011 – with plans to share conceptual models, cyber security requirements and technology, and requirements for certifying interoperability standards-testing. Focus on implementing smart grids

The smart grid bandwagon is receding, but the real work is progressing. Utilities, equipment suppliers, standards organizations, trade associations, regulators, and legislators are looking at smart grids as a long-term undertaking. As President Obama said is his January inaugural address, “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.” Thus, I am optimistic that the goal of moving the utility industry toward smart grids will continue with increased diligence and will eventually come into full bloom.

Dr. Kenneth Wacks has been a pioneer in establishing the home systems industry. He advises manufacturers and utilities worldwide on business opportunities, network alternatives, and product development in home and building systems. In 2008, the United States Department of Energy appointed him to the GridWise Architecture Council. For further information, please contact Dr. Wacks at 781.662.6211; kenn@alum.mit.edu; www.kenwacks.com.

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


OPINION

Unfinished Business: The oBIX initiative By Toby Considine

In 2003, CABA launched the effort to define standard interactions between building control systems and the enterprise. This effort led to the open Building Information Exchange (oBIX), an OASIS specification for XML-based interactions with any building control system. In 2004, the development of oBIX began in earnest in OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). The core oBIX 1.0 specification was completed in 2006 and is now in widespread use as a middleware layer for communicating with building control systems. Today, more than 40 North American companies offer products that provide oBIX access to their systems, many based on the Tridium NIAGARA product line. Open source projects for both oBIX clients and oBIX servers are available. oBIX has been used in research projects world-wide, including by US National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the US Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research Development Center (USACE-ERDC) and Construction Engineering Research Lab (USACE-CERL). In the European Union, several energy management systems now offer native support for oBIX. The Japanese Green University of Tokyo project produced not only an open source oBIX client, but an oBIX server “personality” for iLON as well. Korean products such as Energle use oBIX in each layer of a multi-tier architecture. Since publication of the completed specification six years ago, oBIX has been declared a success. oBIX is now meeting again to tie up loose ends and to address some new issues in enterprise to building communications. The biggest new issue is energy use. Smart energy became the official policy of the United States with the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Real work on smart energy, in which buildings are partners of smart grids, was finally treated as a priority in 2009, when NIST teamed up with EPRI to begin to develop a smart grid roadmap.

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

Smart energy moves the focus from static efficiency to aligning energy use with current energy market supplies. While demand response (DR), under which buildings reduce energy use when its supplier announces a critical shortage, has drawn early attention, energy surpluses offer a greater opportunity. Buildings that can use energy when wind-farms are producing surplus can save money every day—a better scenario than responding to DR a dozen times a year. New standards for service oriented information exchanges were developed to meet priority needs identified by the roadmap. WS-Calendar was developed as an all-purpose means to exchange schedules, for energy availability is always changing. EMIX (Energy Market Information Exchange) describes energy market products and transaction, using WS-Calendar to express how they change over time. Energy Interoperation (EI), defines the market interactions not only for DR, but for transactive energy as well. oBIX 1.0 omitted scheduling. Scheduling was considered too contentious. There was no specification that could be borrowed. Today, WS-calendar describes interactions that are already understood by business and personal calendar systems. Buildings must already understand WS-Calendar to respond to smart energy communications such as OpenADR, based upon EI. oBIX 1.0 did not consider energy directly. If a building system did include an electrical meter, it was read as just one point among many. The oBIX historian provides single-purpose telemetry, less flexible and compact than the report and projection model defined in EI. Interest in standardizing building telemetry is growing world-wide, driven in part by energy, but including many other areas.

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opinion

The U.S. National BIM Standard (NBIMS) has undergone rapid development this same period. COBie Lite now offers a standard for describing building spaces (rooms) and their amenities that is becoming accepted by enterprise schedules and calendars. This establishes a potential basis for aligning BAS performance with Business activities. We have tools now that were not available during the development of oBIX 1.0. The OASIS oBIX Technical Committee has begun meeting again to address these and other issues. The objective is to keep core specification small, addressing compatibility and inconsistencies to complete oBIX 1.1. The TC will then create a series of small companion standards including: • To exchange energy use projections and history. • To interact with enterprise schedules and calendars (and smart energy signals!) • To exchange-BIM-based descriptions of the underlying BAS.

• To define alternate bindings of the core protocol. First up is a likely JSON binding of oBIX. These standards will reference the core specification. It is the Committees current intent to keep the core specification compact. oBIX started in CABA and relies on the broad perspectives of the CABA membership. CABA members are encouraged to join the OASIS Open Building Information Exchange Technical Committee. Information can be found at www.oasis-open.org. If you have any questions about the projects, or need assistance in working through the process, please contact the committee Chair, Toby Considine, at toby. considine@gmail.com.

Toby Considine is President of TC9, Inc. and is Chair of the OASIS Open Building Information Exchange Technical Committee.

LARGE BUILDING AUTOMATION continued from page 10

little credibility with a facility manager without understanding the building systems and operational challenges. On the other hand FM is dealing with the building systems penetrated with some sort of IT infrastructure and often times doesn’t have the internal resources to address those IT issues. Even if they did have the capabilities, FM would need to coordinate with IT. The idea of putting both organizations under an umbrella of “Systems Engineering” to bridge this gap sounds appealing but it requires much more effort than simply cross training key personnel; and that’s what will happen in 2013. Pilot Projects for Direct Current Infrastructure in Buildings

The argument for DC infrastructure in buildings is quite compelling. Most of the devices and equipment we use operate internally on DC. Some of the renewable energy resources generate DC and also power storage is DC. Plus, eliminating the conversion of AC to DC saves some energy. DC infrastructure or at least a hybrid of both AC and DC infrastructure seems to make some sense. However, implementation issues with DC can be daunting: relatively few people are experienced with the installation of low voltage direct current; circuit protectors,

20

fuses and insulation materials may need to be redesigned. Products and devices may need to be modified, training and test methods need to be developed, and buy-in by architects, engineers and contractors are critical. The best way to address these potential issues is through independent pilots in commercial buildings, most likely involving a hybrid AC/DC infrastructure with maximum use of DC in building systems, renewable energy and storage. The objective of the pilot programs would be to develop real world metrics and identify the work needed for full scale deployment. Most building owners don’t want to be in the vanguard; they want some assurance that that the comprehensive approach has been deployed elsewhere and there are some case studies documenting the outcomes. Even if the results of the case studies identify some problems, it’s positive for the DC infrastructure industry as well as building owners possibly interested in the technology or developments. The idea of using DC infrastructure in buildings has merit; implementation issues addressed in credible pilots will move the idea forward in 2013.

James M. Sinopoli, PE, RCDD is Principal of Smart Buildings.

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013


upcoming events Need information on upcoming industry events? Go to: www.caba.org/events

IWCE 2013

ISC WEST 2013

March 11-15, 2013

April 9-12, 2013

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, NV

www.iwceexpo.com/iwce2013

www.iscwest.com

6th Ajman International Urban Planning Conference

April 16-18

March 11-14, 2013

Dallas, TX

Ajman, UAE

www.bbcmag.com/2013s

Broadband Communities Summit 2013

thepowerfulsolutions.com/conferences/energy-saversuae/esuae2013/

LIGHTFAIR 2013 April 21-25, 2013

NFMT 2013

Philadelphia, PA

March 12-14, 2013

www.lightfair.com

Baltimore, MD www.nfmt.com/baltimore

BuildingsNY April 24-25, 2013

Energy Savers UAE 2013

New York, NY

March 17, 2013

www.buildingsny.com

Abu Dhabi, UAE thepowerfulsolutions.com/conferences/energy-savers-

CONNECTIONS

uae/esuae2013

May 20-23, 2013 Las Vegas, NV

2013 DC Building Energy Summit

www.connectionsconference.com

March 26, 2013 Washington, DC 2013.dcenergysummit.com

Guangzhou Electrical Building Technology (GEBT 2013) June 9-12, 2013

CABA’s Home & Building Automation Networking Forum

Guangzhou, China bit.ly/zWJ3iN

April 24, 2013 Toronto, ON

Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition

www.caba.org/caba-forum

June 9-12, 2013 Guangzhou, China

Beijing International Building Technology

bit.ly/zWJ3iN

April 8-10, 2013 Beijing, China bit.ly/rWc6a1

CABA iHomes and Buildings Spring 2013

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iHomes & Buildings Magazine 2013 edition  

This edition of CABA's iHomes & Buildings magazine celebrates the 25th annivesary of the Continental Automated Buildings Association.

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