How smart can a building become? At this stage of the game, “genius” level might not be an exaggeration.

On February 22, Johnson Controls and IBM announced a new relationship to create a new era of smarter buildings. These two giants in their respective fields — JCI with energy services and sustainability, and IBM with software and hardware—are teaming up to provide a Smart Building Solution.

Sources report the arrangement will improve building operations and reduce building energy and water consumption in buildings on a global scale.

“With our Smart Building Solution, energy and asset management is enhanced in new ways that optimize environmental performance and operational efficiencies across a single building, or across an entire portfolio of buildings,” says Clay Nesler, vice president of global energy and sustainability for Johnson Controls.

The agreement picks up where the two organizations left off in 2007, when they embarked on a joint mission to design energy efficient datacenters. It will now expand to include a single building or a network of buildings. Sources report energy conservation and asset management will improve significantly.

In an exclusive interview with Contracting Business, Nesler said the JCI/IBM venture provides a more complete building intelligence program, one that will help building owners make more informed energy decisions.

“For the first time, we will formally link building energy management with asset management,” he said.

The JCI/IBM team approach is also helping to clear some long-standing hurdles in the world of building intelligence.

“We’ve found that for organizations that want to take the performance of their buildings to the next level, and manage their portfolio buildings as an enterprise, it required coordination and integration across those facilities and information technology (IT) silos,” Nesler explained. “This arrangement does that, by bringing ‘best in breed’ technology in an integrated fashion to those organizations. I think you’ll see a lot of business technology professionals becoming more interested in IT, and vice versa.”

The core IBM technology at work is the Maximo asset/maintenance management system, which many building owners use to do work order management, keep track of assets and optimize maintenance. The Johnson Controls Metasys Building Management System — when integrated with the IBM Maximo — provides tools and services that deliver between 10% and 20% savings across enterprises, by enabling visibility across a building portfolio, boosting the efficiency of facility operations, and improving occupant safety and comfort, use and lifecycle management.

“While it’s been possible for many years to integrate the building management systems with Maximo asset/maintenance systems, to generate work orders automatically and optimize maintenance, it’s been done rarely,” Nesler explains. “We think the key opportunity is for building owners to optimize: to reduce the cost of their assets, reduce energy costs, and reduce requirements for spare parts by coordinating these technologies.”

Key building-related functions to be addressed by this program will include:
• systems integration, to reduce operating costs and keep occupants safe, comfortable and productive
• energy management, by providing building owners, operators and tenants with actionable information to help reduce energy consumption and waste
• enterprise reporting: organizations will have the capability to calculate greenhouse gas levels by measuring, managing, and forecasting activities related to energy cost, consumption, energy efficiency projects, fleet emissions, and waste
• space optimization: under-used space can be identified, and more efficient options defined, including footprint consolidation, divestiture and relocation.

Core IBM components to be leveraged include:
• Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management,
• IBM Business Services Manager
• IBM Maximo Asset Management
• IBM Maximo Asset Management for Energy Optimization.

Johnson Controls products in play include:
• Metasys Building Management Solution
• Metasys Sustainability Manager
• Energy and Emissions Management System
• EnNEt middleware
• Visual Living Lab
• Technology Contracting Services.

“Johnson Controls’ Metasys Sustainability Manager provides automated diagnostics, dashboards, and reporting. Maximo and Tivoli provide data center management. We’re integrating these components together and providing common dashboards for both IT professionals and building operations professionals," Nesler said. "They’ll be able to view single buildings or a large collection of buildings. If an organization that owns a number of buildings decides to renovate one or build a new one, they can now bring that building into the overall enterprise view. However, even the owner of one building will be able to optimize cost and productivity of that single building.”

Nesler said the JCI/IBM program will serve to take a traditional controls project in a traditional building to the next level. Over time, the Smart Building Solution will allow for additional building intelligence, visualization of results, and capabilities.

Compatible with Standard Protocols
The ability to bring in data from open and closed/proprietary systems is critical to the value of this linking of IMB and Johnson Controls systems. That compatibility exists, Nessler said.

“Metasys takes advantage of BACNet and Lonworks open protocols for its field devices. It can also talk to third-party devices which use those standard protocols. Through EnNet, it can also talk to a variety of other proprietary systems. One of the keys is to get as much of that real time building data and information into a format where it can be visualized, analyzed, and used to automate processes,” he explained. ibm.com/smarterplanet and ibm.com/ibm/servicemanagement/index.html.




Campus Features Buildings as Smart as Students
Normal00117097381119411.1282000Ave Maria University, a six-year-old Catholic university in Southwest Florida, was built as a greenfield project from scratch, with Johnson Controls serving as the technology contractor on the project. Twenty-three building systems are managed over a single Internet Protocol (IP) network, including HVAC, fire, lighting, audio-visual, communications and security.

“It’s very much a converged building, from an infrastructure standpoint,” explained Clay Nesler, vice president of global energy and sustainability for Johnson Controls.

“We integrated Johnson Controls’ Metasys Building Management with the IBM Maximo Asset Management system. On campus, we can automatically issue work orders based on equipment status, run time, real time data variables,” Nesler said.

According to Nesler, Ave Maria University is an example of the kind of building functionality that has become reality: taking a traditional building with stand-alone, discreet systems installed by many trades, and integrating all systems together.

“It resulted in significant first-cost savings through reductions in infrastructure, significant operational savings and productivity improvements and energy savings through technology,” Nesler said.