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April 2017
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Advancing Smart Building Industry Standards

through Project Haystack Collaboration
Christine Boles
Christine Boles,

 GM of Industrial and Energy Solutions Division for the Intel Internet of Things Group
Intel

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In the next year, smart building applications such as HVAC, lighting and other environmental systems, are expected to lead the overall IoT market as a result of increased connectivity and reduced device cost, according to Gartner. Building managers looking to implement smart and connected solutions across a number of structures, such as offices, retail spaces, sporting arenas and high-scale luxury apartments, are eager to gain real-time insights that can help them increase energy efficiency, lower maintenance and improve the tenant experience. 

In fact, a truly Smart Building implementation requires integration of several systems together and delivers seamless experiences to its tenants and facilities managers. Example, if a Smart Lighting, HVAC system and a room finder application all need room occupancy information, each vendor implements their own solution to create information from the same data object or sensor.

However, one of the biggest challenges facing those who wish to reap the data-rich rewards of smart buildings is the sheer volume of data that is generated from multiple vendor and service provider systems that fail to connect and communicate with each other. The main reason for this is that many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) use a homegrown data language within their system that is foreign to other equipment, causing a language barrier between connected assets. What’s needed is a standardized method for describing data, making it easier to analyze, visualize and derive value from our operational data. Without integrated systems and a standardized way to contextualize disparate system data sets, building operators may struggle to create a clear picture of overall facility operations, negating the much-touted efficiency and benefits of smart building systems.

To advance the effort in this space, Intel joined Project Haystack, an open-source initiative created to streamline the integration of data from the Internet of Things (IoT). Members of the initiative are standardizing semantic data models and web services with the goal of helping end users, and solution providers unlock value from the vast quantity of data being generated by the smart devices found in our homes, buildings, factories, and cities. This work currently targets applications in automation, control, energy, HVAC, lighting and other environmental systems.  But this can expand to other vertical applications such as Industrial and Retail.

By using semantic modeling, or data tagging, Intel, and Project Haystack members are working to develop a method for defining and describing smart device data, called Haystack Tags, which will allow software applications to consume automatically, interpret, analyze and present data from smart devices, smart equipment, and systems for IoT.

An open standards-based solution for smart building data tagging will help building owners and operators better understand the data generated by various building systems in a comprehensive way, eliminating one of the main barriers to IoT adoption and streamlining future deployments for smart buildings. With interoperable solutions, building owners can rest assure when selecting a combination of smart building devices from multiple vendors that best suits their property needs and avoid the fear of vendor lock-in caused by incompatible proprietary protocols.

Intel Wheel of Connectivity

Reliable ControlsIntel’s smart building offerings, such as its Building Management Platform (BMP) and robust ecosystem of solutions, already enables an open-standards based environment for building managers to deploy various technologies to seamlessly connect to the cloud and process data input for actionable insight. By collaborating with the Project Haystack Organization, Intel is working to establish IoT data standards and messaging protocols that allow vendors to provide integrated solutions. At the same time, Project Haystack is helping remove data semantic barriers that are inhibiting interoperability, to enable more innovative, scalable and cost-effective solutions for smart buildings.

Interoperable solutions can help transform the smart building industry to deliver more value across sustainability needs, maintenance, tenant comfort, and more.

Learn more about Intel’s IoT solutions for smart buildings here.

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About the Author
Christine Boles is GM of Industrial and Energy Solutions Division for the Intel Internet of Things Group and is responsible for leading global, cross-functional product development teams from concept to product launch.

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