I have three different quotes from designers at Arup that illustrate some of the practical issues around standards in the world of buildings.First observation:The current trend is for a steady move away from proprietary offerings to standards based solutions that are: integrated, cheaper and more reliable. There has been significant change over the past 5 years that I have sat in at controls conferences as vendors talk about their systems. 5 years ago it was rare that you would hear someone mention open standards, today it is a basic requirement in the sales pitch.
Observation 2.We are getting there.Getting data out of systems is becoming easier as suppliers think about how to present the data that their systems are capturing. But actuating control is still hard and not so commonplace. Which is not necessarily a surprise since the control companies would expect their job to be doing the controlling. But we are obviously missing a huge opportunity here since it makes the integration of systems to support holistic control based on multiple independent systems difficult.
Observation 3:In addition to the technical / political challenges of what standard to specify there are two very practical problems. The first is a cultural one where there are entrenched views and nervousness about responsibilities for delivering and operating systems that are likely to consist of separate “plug and play” elements. The second is around the commercial barriers that will require changes to business models for many incumbents who are currently doing reasonably well. To move from a project and product focus to one of service and performance based facilities management requires different skill sets and therefore new risks.
Standards + IoT<br />Duncan Wilson <br />http://www.arup.com/ <br />ECTP + Expert Group on IoT<br />
Information Technology is beginning to have a profound effect on the way the Built Environment is planned, designed, procured, constructed and operated.<br />http://iot.io/ @djdunc<br />
3D GIS<br />Kwun Tong Line Extension Preliminary Design, Hong Kong<br />http://iot.io/ @djdunc<br />
"Arguably the most significant barrier to the evolution of the Intelligent/Smart building over the years has been the lack of standardisation. It has taken the IT industry and the success of IP to provide the necessary common platform for the building controls and automation industry to now produce systems that adhere to the standard provided by IP."<br />http://iot.io/ @djdunc<br />
"It may talk IP, communicate in an open language like BACnet and integrate with other IT standards through ESB, XML etc, but the fact remains that if I want to change the way my controller operates the AHU or the lights (or make those systems talk to each other), then I still need the controller manufacturers programming application to do that – I’m still locked into them through the software; it’s just that they’ve hidden it way down at the controller level and protected it with a password/dongle/key by some means."<br />http://iot.io/ @djdunc<br />
“[what can we learn] from a web approach to interoperability? Web sites and services can expose APIs and this approach could work well to make physical things talk, too. REST interfaces for instance could be implemented for any device to get, set, add, remove data. It would be great to have completely transparent, open and standardised protocols, but it the meanwhile just having an open, well documented API might just work and keep the suppliers and manufacturers happy about their proprietary stuff."<br />http://iot.io/ @djdunc<br />