mandag 22. februar 2010

IBM, Johnson Controls join forces to make buildings smart and green

Information technology is quickly becoming the best weapon in the battle for energy efficiency. And there’s new evidence of this today: Battery maker and building automation company Johnson Controls has teamed up with IBM to bake IT expertise into green building designs.
What does this mean? When you integrate standard building operations (think fluorescent lighting, air conditioning and ventilation systems) with networks and sensors built by companies like IBM, a tremendous amount of new data becomes available — data yielding opportunities for conserving energy while increasing occupant comfort and overall efficiency.
Some basic examples of this include lights that automatically turn off when no one is in a room, or heat that switches on a half hour before people usually begin to arrive so that the ideal temperature is achieved without leaving the system on all night. In the future, this type of automation could include subtle temperature shifts based on the weather outside, and more.
The partnership between Johnson Controls and IBM could refine all of these tasks. But the possibilities extend beyond temperature, ventilation and lighting control. The real boon will be the data generated from an integrated building/IT network. Building managers will be able to view exactly how much energy is being consumed, why, and what can be done about it at a higher degree of accuracy than ever before. Pinpointing the most effective solutions possible will yield higher energy and cost savings for buildings and businesses that implement such a system. And these changes aren’t relegated to energy and greenhouse gas emissions — water and waste management are sure to become bigger areas of focus as well.
For now, Johnson and IBM will be offering a portfolio of software and wireless networking tools accessible via a central dashboard. The two companies say they will be targeting municipal, education and large industrial buildings first, though early clients will be able to pick and choose which features they want to install. If fully implemented, such a system could increase energy savings by 10 to 20 percent, the companies say.
This isn’t the first time they have joined forces on an energy efficiency initiative. The duo has worked together to engineer greener data centers.
This is the first time VentureBeat has reported on Johnson Controls’ building automation business. We have taken a closer look at its vehicle battery building operations. It is currently competing with A123Systems, Panasonic, Valence Technologies and others to manufacture batteries for next generation plug-in vehicles. Its biggest supply deal so far is with the Ford Motor Company.
Companies: IBM, Johnson Controls

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