May 2007
Interview
AutomatedBuildings.com

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Ed RichardsEMAIL INTERVIEW Ed Richards & Ken Sinclair

Edmund B. Richards, President and CEO, Richards-Zeta
erichards@richards-zeta.com

Edmund B. Richards is the President and CEO of Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence Inc. located in Santa Barbara, California. Richards is a Mechanical/Environmental Engineer with a special educational emphasis on the indoor environment including, but not limited to, HVAC, IAQ and Building Automation Systems. For over 25 years, Richards has been a leader in the engineering and construction market with a special focus on the Intelligent Buildings segment over the last 5 years. Co-founder of Envenergy, Inc., Richards secured capital in excess of $15M. Today, Richards passion, energy and vision is keenly focused on bringing the communication barriers down in the Building Automation Systems Industry and to finally allow the industry to "catch up" with the much younger information technology (IT) industry.


Richards-Zeta (RZ) Partner's Realizing the Value of Normalized Building Systems Data

This eliminates the need for multiple host workstations for each building system and most importantly now allows the leveraging of the IP network and all the application, services and client views that are available worldwide.

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Sinclair: What is the value of normalized building systems data?

Richards: The value proposition is simple. With normalized building systems data, all data from multiple physical interfaces (Ethernet, RS-232, RS-485, FTT-10, USB, etc.), systems protocols (BACnet, LonWorks, Modbus, Proprietary~ JCI, Staefa, BC NW 8000, etc.) and domains (HVAC, Metering, Lighting, Energy, Security, etc.) are abstracted and presented in one common IT standard model. This eliminates the need for multiple host workstations for each building system and most importantly now allows the leveraging of the IP network and all the application, services and client views that are available worldwide.

Sinclair: What is the problem today for most buildings?

Richards: The problem today is that proprietary and closed systems are the norm and the installed base where end-users and building owners are effectively held hostage by the "incumbent" vendor de jour. The physical layer and protocol layer is not necessarily the problem but the means to the problem, as this business model ensures the control of the end-user. This business model leaves the end-user and building owner stuck and with little options to improve, upgrade and advance their building systems .Migration pathways to upgrade legacy systems are obsolete and the end-user is being sold on the need to simply remove and replace the legacy systems with new systems with no backwards compatibility!

Control Solutions, Inc Sinclair: Ed, tell me how Richards-Zeta's System Integrator's are realizing this value?

Richards: End-users and building owners are looking for options! RZ SI's are hitting the market hard, full-filling the needs and the goals of the end-users and effectively differentiating them selves from the norm by providing options. A brand new RZ SI, Mechanical Service and Systems (MSS), has immediately begun to see the value proposition of differentiation. In a matter of three (3) months, MSS has proposed, sold, installed , integrated to and opened up numerous BAS systems, including JCI Metasys NCM (N-1), JCI Metasys NAE, Staefa Smart II, Trane Summit, Trane Com4 (Voyagers & Vari-Trak), Barber Coleman NW 8000, Modbus RTU, and different LonWorks systems using RZís powerful products and solutions.

Sinclair: Interesting. How is this data normalization achieved?

Richards: Ken, the RZ MPX Mediator platform breaks down the barriers that exist within building systems and normalizes all information at the source with an open platform and framework. By leveraging the existing assets via integration, RZ SI's are able to add value to the existing building assets and leverage the installed IP networks

Sinclair: What opportunities are being presented to your SI's.

Richards: Richards-Zeta's powerful solutions (hardware & software) provide the infrastructure for advanced systems integration opening up a wide market for lucrative value adds. By offering customers options, RZ SI's are able to add tremendous value to their customer's needs...creating value with the infrastructure they have already invested in! By offering this option to leverage existing assets of a building RZ SI's are expanding their market share and offering support & confidence to disillusioned end-users where weak and distrusted local support has been present.

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