October 2009


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Keeping our Feet on the Ground While Working in the Clou
"If we want to continue to be leaders in this industry, we must deliver the goods today, Tomorrow is not good enough."  

Ken Sinclair, AutomatedBuildings.com

Energy Management Canada

We are all ambassadors of the cloud and our future depends on our ability to walk in with our feet on the ground while talking about our successes and providing working examples of using the cloud to connect to sustainability, conservation, and energy real time information. 

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In Gordon Holness', presidential address to ASHRAE members "Sustaining Our Future by Rebuilding Our Past" which deals with Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings he states in his conclusion; "We need to remind ourselves that today we are in a virtual world. We are in the era of iPhones and Yahoo, of Google Earth and Wikipedia, of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. If we want to continue to be leaders in this industry, we must deliver the goods today, Tomorrow is not good enough."  

Gordon's background in Building Information Modeling BIM and Interoperability has provided him great insight into the power of the future to solve the problems of the past. Change is everywhere and Tomorrow is not soon enough to achieve it. 

This article by Sarah Erdman of Quality Automation Graphics has a today solution Energy Dashboards Inform and Educate shows us with pictures and powerful graphics how to wow our clients.  

As sustainable building increases, so does the need to educate the public about the importance of sustainability and energy efficiencies. With improved sustainable materials and more government funding available, health care, education and offices are expected to be the building industry’s largest areas for new non-residential green construction, according to FMI’s 2008 U.S. Construction Overview. 

Once built, facilities want to see how energy efficient the buildings are, and share this information with building occupants, visitors and the public. Displaying a building’s energy efficiencies or sustainable practices is a trend seen more and more in the green building industry. Using a solution such as an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED) provides details on the building’s energy efficiencies in a fast and easy to understand format. It can also help earn an Innovation in Design LEED certification credit from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

An EEED is a graphical user interface (GUI) that displays a building’s resource use in real-time by “talking” to a building’s automation system. It not only shows energy efficiencies, but serves as an educational tool that provides more information about the green features used throughout the building, photo-realistic graphics, company information and more. The Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard is offered by Quality Automation Graphics, an innovative leader in the design of user interfaces. This solution has been utilized by schools, a state capitol complex, libraries, a new McDonald’s restaurant, and is in the development process for several universities

If you’re interested in learning how you can use the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard as a green education tool, visit http://www.qagraphics.com/interactive-development/energy-efficiency-education-dashboard 

Your DashboardHow EEEDs Work
The live utility data, such as energy or water usage, can be shown in real time by integrating the EEED into the building’s control system.  The EEED “talks” to the building automation system (BAS) and displays the building's real-time resource use, making reporting the metrics of a building’s automation system easier to read and understand

The Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard is presented in a user-friendly format, similar to a website.  The dashboard can be displayed stand-alone or simultaneously on the internet, intranet, or a hardware device (touch screen or kiosk). Every EEED is designed to include the information and/or live data that you wish to display, incorporating interactive elements and creative features, branding, and photo-realistic graphics.

 A variety of features can include:
• Home page component
• Resource use shown in real-time
• Historical comparison graphs
• Display building’s green features
• Environmental information and tips
• Competition among multiple buildings
• LEED checklist
• Current weather conditions
• Donor/sponsor/advertisement page
• Interactive quiz
• Company information
• Other custom options 

An interview in our September issue provides more insight as to how this could happen with a multi vendor project.

The Multi Protocol Router.  The Router converts the disparate protocols and raises them to XML and serves out control pages using TCP/IP protocol. Many services such as trending, alarming, security, webpage design and many others are part of the onboard tool box.  David Oshoway, President, Energetic Concepts Ltd.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Sinclair:  What does the Multi protocol router do? 

Oshoway:  The Multi protocol router brings disparate protocols from the building systems world into the IT world. It is also a control web server using standard browsers to control and offers many other services. It allows us to interface BacNet, LonWorks, Modbus and many other protocols. It then converts the disparate protocols and raises them to XML and serves out control pages using TCP/IP protocol. Many services such as trending, alarming, security, webpage design and many others are part of the onboard tool box. 

How do we evaluate these services and products? 

Jim gives us some ideas in this interview;  

Smart Building Product Ratings  With a product rating we think that stakeholders will find the design, sourcing and integration of building systems simplified. Jim Sinopoli, Principal, Sinopoli and Associates

Sinclair:  How are products rated as a Smart Buildings Product?

Sinopoli:  Product rating is primarily based on integration standards developed and copyrighted by Smart Buildings. We understand that there are different ways to design integrated building systems and different concepts of what integration is. We’ve defined six different levels of building systems integration and use that as the common integration framework for evaluation. Our experience with clients is that the definition of different levels of integration brings clarity and understanding to system integration. One component of the product rating is which level of integration the product fits.

Smart Buildings evaluates products in every potential product class - from wireless sensors to information dashboards. The products are submitted for evaluation by manufacturers and vendors. The Smart Buildings team evaluates the product against an established and rigorous set of guidelines known as the Smart Building Principles of IntegrationÓ.

The above provides a plan of how you can start today with your feet on the ground showing your client better cloud connections.


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