January 2014


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Ron ZimmerEMAIL INTERVIEWRon Zimmer and Ken Sinclair

Ron Zimmer, President & CEO

Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA)

"Life Cycle Costing of Intelligent Buildings"

The core objective of the research report is to identify what needs to be done, and by whom, to make life cycle costing a mainstream criteria for building system evaluation in North America.

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SinclairWhat is the latest research from CABA?

Zimmer:  The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is pleased to announce that the "Life Cycle Costing of Intelligent Buildings" Landmark Research Report has been released to industry and the general public free of charge, in an effort to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The report is now available at: www.caba.org/lccib.

Sinclair What is life cycle costing?

Zimmer:  Life cycle costs analysis calculates the cost of a building system over its entire life span. The process allows commercial property owners and operators to analyze the long-term impact of construction processes and infrastructure costs on forecasted operational costs throughout the expected life of a building.

Sinclair What is the core objective of the research?

Zimmer:  The core objective of the “Life Cycle Costing of Intelligent Buildings” research report is to identify what needs to be done, and by whom, to make life cycle costing a mainstream criteria for building system evaluation in North America.

This research project identifies the barriers to adopting life cycle costing and determines what issues need to be rectified in order to make life cycle cost processes more understandable.

Sinclair What did the report find?

Zimmer:  The report findings show that cost evaluations are not the industry norm. Instead, building technology purchases are most often based on low cost and relationships with past vendors.  Despite this, our research determined that industry participants agree on the use and adoption of life cycle costing as a valid prerequisite for building industry purchases is a key benchmark in the years to come.

The report found that valid concerns come up when discussing the benefits associated with life cycle costing, such as its rare and irregular application in the design process when developing intelligent building plans and technologies, which causes obvious incongruence later in the process.

In addition to the lack of collaboration among building technology segments, CABA also found budgetary restrictions often hinder the adoption of the best suite technology or project, particularly when life cycle cost is not taken into consideration.  Demonstrations of life cycle benefits clearly reflect the justification of key intelligent building investments, allowing industry stakeholders to take a future-proof approach to buildings that are still standing beyond the lifespan of the purchasers.

Sinclair Who sponsored the report?

Zimmer:  The report was sponsored by CABA and these CABA members: buildingSMART Alliance, Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc., CSA Group, Hydro One Networks, Hydro-Québec, Honeywell, International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Ingersoll Rand/Trane, Johnson Controls, Microsoft Corporation, PCN Technology, Inc., Philips, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Siemens Industry, Inc., The Siemon Company, Southern California Edison and WattStopper/Legrand.

Sinclair Who authored and commissioned the report?

Zimmer:  The report itself was authored by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by the Continental Automated Buildings Association, otherwise known as CABA.  CABA is an international not-for-profit industry association dedicated to the advancement of connected home and intelligent building technologies. 

The organization is supported by an international membership of nearly 350 organizations involved in the design, manufacture, installation and retailing of products and services relating to home automation and building automation. Public organizations, including utilities and government are also members. 

CABA's mandate includes providing its members with market research opportunities.  The "Life Cycle Costing of Intelligent Buildings" report is the result of cross-industry efforts coordinated through the CABA Research Program, which offers a range of opt-in technical and advisory research services designed to provide industry stakeholders with collaborative research and R&D opportunities. This research project also obtained the support of CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council, a group that specifically reviews opportunities, strategizes, takes action and monitors initiatives that relate to integrated systems and automation in the "large building" sector. The Council is comprised of leading and visionary representation from all segments of the building industry including manufacturers, service providers, building owners and building professionals.

contemporary Sinclair Where can I find the report?

Zimmer:  The complete report is available immediately, free-of-charge to all industry stakeholders at: www.caba.org/lccib.

Sinclair Why is the report free?

Zimmer:  CABA aims to produce and provide actionable research to its membership and the sector at large.  Sponsors of this report felt that by releasing this report to the public free of charge, efforts to increase energy efficiency and technology integration efforts in buildings would be enhanced.

Sinclair How can I learn more about CABA and its research initiatives?

Zimmer:  If you would like more information about this particular study or would like to learn more about CABA and its Research Program, please contact: George Grimes, CABA's Business Development Manager, at 613.686.1814 x226 or grimes@caba.org.


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