Konkana Khaund's Blog

The Best Practices Technology Showcase for Intelligent Buildings

29 Nov 2013 | by Konkana Khaund
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Realcomm’s upcoming webinar on “Best Practices – Best of the Best for 2013 Intelligent Building Technologies” to be held on 12/12/2013, is a timely look at some of the best practices adopted in technology integration in intelligent buildings. For an industry that is still grappling with how to define intelligence, and most importantly take the right decision in investing in intelligent solutions, this webinar will offer crucial pointers towards what is available within the domain of best-in-class technology from some of the active innovators in this industry. It is my privilege to moderate a distinguished panel of speakers from organizations such as Tridium, LinkSprings, ESI, Switch Automation and Building IQ on this very pertinent subject.


An intelligent building transcends integration of systems and sub systems to achieve interaction in which the previously independent systems work collectively to optimize the building’s performance and constantly create an environment that is most conducive to the occupants’ goals. Additionally, fully interoperable systems in intelligent buildings tend to perform better, cost less to maintain, and leave a smaller environmental imprint than individual utilities and communication systems. The end goal for any intelligent building is to conform to fully dynamic environment that responds to occupants’ changing needs and lifestyles. As technology advances and as information and communication expectations become more sophisticated, networking solutions both converge and automate the technologies to improve responsiveness, efficiency, and performance. To achieve this, an intelligent building combines data, voice, and video with security, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration, lighting, building controls, and other electronic controls on a single IP network platform that facilitates user management, space utilization, energy conservation, comfort, and systems improvement.

Given that the industry has come to agree on some of the salient principles of achieving intelligence in a building such as, embracing the idea of open architecture, interoperable systems, integrated and IP-centric intelligent building technologies, etc., it is inevitable that the number of technology options to achieve these principles is mushrooming. Keeping up with these technologies is an increasingly challenging task for not only building owners and operators, but most importantly the value chain that services this industry. It is almost impossible for system integrators, contractors, and for that matter even consultants and design build service providers to keep pace with technology innovations and advancements achieved by the vendor community. This often results in transactional practices and value engineered approaches overriding a well justified investment in the appropriate intelligent technology option that could benefit a building.

Of course, the degree of “intelligence” varies by the sophistication underlying the software-aided applications and communication network that helps these devices and systems function in an interoperable manner and share operational data. This ultimately forms the backbone of this evolving concept. Examples of intelligent buildings in North America range widely, starting with structures where some degree of system automation and control strategies have been implemented to achieve significant reduction in energy and resource wastage, to a comprehensive enterprise-wide integrated platform that eliminates all silos. Intelligent buildings today exist within three distinct profiles: non-integrated, partially integrated, and fully integrated buildings. While the majority of buildings today conform to the first two profiles, it is the fully integrated profile that ultimately provides the building its intelligence quotient. Intelligence, in turn, is dependent upon the level of system integration, interoperability, inter-communication, and granular visibility into the operational dynamics that has been achieved in a building.

However, a key challenge for building owners and service providers is understanding what is the best option available to design and maintain intelligence in their buildings over time. Hearing from the experts will provide the necessary knowledge of best practices and technology advancement that can be incorporated into their buildings, while also being able to justify short and long-term ROI. Join me and my panel of experts in this great information showcase on 12/12/2013.