IBM is taking buildings to school to make them smarter. The company discusses its Smarter Buildings initiative at the Pulse conference for IBM Tivoli users.
is taking buildings to school to make them smarter.
Well, IBM is not exactly taking the
buildings themselves to school, but the company is adding smarts to buildings
to help managers manage them better. Indeed, the "smarts" help make
it so that the buildings can manage themselves. The company talked up Smarter
Buildings here at its Pulse conference for IBM
Rich Lechner, IBM's vice president of energy
and environment, said, "Many of the systems that constitute a
building-heat, water, sewage, electricity [and so on]-are managed independently
and often inefficiently."
Indeed, Lechner said, "Buildings alone are a source of huge waste,
accounting for 70 percent of all energy use and 38 percent of all carbon
dioxide emissions in the United States.
That means each year buildings emit more harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
into the environment than our cars do."
However, "By adding a layer of intelligence, [IT can make it so the]
elements of a building can now be integrated for better management and control.
Thousands of sensors can monitor everything from motion and temperature to
humidity, precipitation, occupancy and light," IBM said in
its Smarter Buildings fact sheet.
"IBM is delivering technology that
manages office buildings, warehouses, factories, power plants, laboratories,
campuses, apartments, resorts and all types of buildings to save costs, better
manage systems and reduce carbon emissions. A smarter building ... can quickly
sense and respond at every system level possible."
At the core of IBM's Smarter
Buildings and overall Smarter
Planet strategy lies the company's IBM
Maximo Asset Management and IBM Maximo
Spatial Asset Management software. IBM said
the software "delivers a geospatial view of work and assets such as
electric gas and water infrastructures. Maximo Spatial Asset Management
provides a map view from ESRI ArcGIS Server within Maximo which allows users to
visualize assets and work in the context of their actual physical location and
surroundings. This view streamlines maintenance activities and presents advanced
real-time analytics to crews and planners understanding traffic and weather and
other influencing factors."
Bill Cheng, vice president of Maximo asset management products at IBM,
said, "Sustainable Asset Analytics draws on IBM's
business analytics capabilities and consulting expertise to provide strategies
and analysis for making real estate, facilities, capital projects and daily
business activities sustainable for clients in the following areas: Property
carbon footprinting; property carbon audit; travel carbon footprinting; project-based
travel tracking and analysis; workplace transformation; consolidated real-time
property-related data reporting; product and service life-cycle carbon
analysis; [and] data center management."
Moreover, the fact sheet said:
"Sustainable Asset Analytics is
supported by a number of key IBM
offerings, services, software tools and products, including:
IBM Maximo Property Performance Management
Solution software, which is designed to extract and consolidate key property
data from across all of a client's real estate to help assess and manage true
total cost of ownership and environmental performance for buildings and other
The Green Sigma consulting offering,
which is based on Lean Six Sigma methods, tools and advanced analytics to help
clients measure and reduce energy and water use, waste and greenhouse gas
emissions. After the data are collected and analyzed, the information is
presented on a dashboard that allows the client to understand where consumption
and waste are occurring;
Strategic Carbon Management, which
uses a Component Business Model approach to help analyze CO2 emissions and
energy use in any part of a client's business or an entire operation. This
allows the client to prioritize where to make changes that will lower
environmental impact and reduce costs.
IBM's strategic information management and
analytics tool, Cognos, which is being integrated with many of our offerings in
the sustainability arena: notably with both IBM Maximo and Green Sigma. This will allow
powerful, flexible, customizable queries across the entire set of asset-related
Al Zollar, general manager of IBM's Tivoli
unit, said, "Some buildings are already showing signs of intelligence by
reducing energy use, improving operational efficiency and improving comfort and
safety for occupants."
For instance, "IBM is developing an
intelligent hotel management system for China's Hangzhou Dragon Hotel (Dragon
Hotel), integrating all of the hotel's major systems-the management system, the
communications system and the one-stop service center-which include the
personal digital assistant (PDA) system,
self check-in kiosk, interactive TV, radio-frequency identification (RFID)
system, Internet telephony, cell phone system and room control system," IBM
In addition, IBM said, "The St.
Regis Hotel in Shanghai is the only
five-star hotel that is a Smarter Building
in the Shanghai region in China.
Working with IBM, the St. Regis integrated
12 subsystems to create one intelligent building, with a ratio of energy costs
to revenue below 5 percent compared to 8 percent for other five-star hotels in
the Shanghai region-a 40 percent
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.