A journey of 1,000 steps has many opportunities for success and failure. In the case of a building, that 1,000-step journey can be exciting and fulfilling; however, I think we can all agree that the best journeys start by taking the right steps at the very beginning.
We have often worked with building owners who have little interest in returning their building to its “commissioned” state. That’s because the system never worked correctly, even from the time of commissioning. There are a myriad of reasons, from fundamental design flaws to value engineering cutting out critical aspects, but fundamentally the systems have never worked well. The initial, somewhat standard operating methodology for commissioning only looks at a sampling of points because it is too expensive to test them all. And without catching all issues in commissioning, the chances of a misstep that later compounds massively in the journey are high for new buildings, and it is even higher for retrofits where commissioning is sometimes not even performed.
This is the genesis for the idea of a building management system (BMS) cloud integrator (cloud integrator for short). Cloud integrators for buildings —of which BuildingIQ is now the first in North America— can be a bit of a unicorn. Instead of just BMS expertise, they need to have data analytics expertise. And instead of just being a data insights company, they have to know the ins and outs of actually installing a BMS that serves the needs of the client. In other words, the Cloud Integrator brings years of expertise on the ground to augment the science in the cloud. Choosing to retrofit a system with a Cloud Integrator is a purposeful, bold first step in creating smart buildings.
At BuildingIQ, we leverage machine learning, patented algorithms, and artificial intelligence to provide services to existing buildings. The technology and market are ready —using standardized data formats and protocols like time series trended data, installation, maintenance and service data, and the BACnet protocol. With cloud integration, companies like ours design and implement the BMS so that it is cloud-ready.
The BuildingIQ Journey looks like this:
In the end, what a cloud integrator does is get your building started on the journey the right way. Even more, cloud integrators embed the processes, connections, and services to enable remote diagnosis/analysis and guidance up front — so your building either does not drift at all or drifts far less than a comparable building. This equals huge savings.
Finally, if you step back a bit, what has a cloud integrator done? First, they have set up a flexible, future-ready building that is properly integrated with key cloud services from day one. Second, squint a little and you realize the BMS is one, big IoT-type network – cloud-monitored or optionally controlled. The cloud integrator has just created a Building IoT (BIoT) system. Third, the architecture supports the addition of multiple network connections or IoT devices either through cloud-to-cloud API integration or embedding gateway software into the Appliance.
With cloud integration and integrators, you are taking the right first steps, and setting up your building for staying on the right path in the long term.
Steve Nguyen is VP of Product and Marketing at BuildingIQ. He loves products and ideas that transform markets or society. Whether they are transformative in and of themselves, or because they are enablers. He’s driven by creating the stories, teams, and strategy that make these agents successful.