By Ron Ambrosio
You walk into a room at night and flip the light switch on the wall. The lights come on. You didn’t think twice about that …you were certain it would work. While we’re not at that point everywhere in the world yet, it is true of most industrialized regions that electricity is a highly reliable resource. But the reality behind that simple action of turning on a light switch is a constantly evolving list of uncertainties that utilities deal with 24/7.
Uncertainty takes many forms in the utility industry, from the health of individual devices as they age, to volatility of fuel prices, to the behavior of you, the consumer, and your use of electricity or natural gas. And uncertainty can be equated to risk — the risk of failing to achieve both operational and business objectives. That’s not a risk any business wants to take. Continue Reading »
By Joe Phillips
As you sit in your office reading this story, consider this: you’re surrounded by data.
Computers, lights, power strips, air conditioning, elevators, alarms and meters – all of this is generating data inside the building. This data can reveal powerful information to make offices, campuses and large buildings work better.
While the Internet of Things has entered the building, this explosion of data constantly reports out on what’s going on, but often it’s not easy to use. Many organizations don’t see or take advantage of data as well as they could. They often operate on a system-by-system, building-by-building basis with little correlation to business outcomes. Continue Reading »
By Jared Miller
Atlanta is the ninth largest metropolitan area in the U.S., home to over 5.5 million people including 15 million residents in the counties surrounding the new Atlanta stadium – the future home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta, currently under construction.
Building a new stadium is a massive undertaking. The physical structure itself must be sustainable, not to mention come in on time and on budget. The physical and digital infrastructure needs to be state-of-the-art not just in year one, but also five, 10, even 20 years down the road. Continue Reading »
By Wayne Balta
Businesses operate in a competitive global marketplace – where they must not only deliver value and be efficient, but also must operate responsibly. That includes responsibility towards the environment.
In my view, environmental sustainability must transcend whether or not the topic is popular at any given time, and regardless of short-term business cycles.
Environmental sustainability should be a strategic imperative that anticipates and prevents, rather than reacts and fixes. It should be systemic, not an episodic fad. It’s much more than a demonstration project, or a marketing campaign. Continue Reading »
By Lisa Mandell
Much has been said and written about the need to optimize the data centers of the world to be more efficient and less costly, especially in a down economy. And while the discussions have generally centered on technology solutions, such as virtualization, de-duplication, thin provisioning, etc., there is a growing need to not only explore, but to strategically think about data center power consumption.
In this age of Big Data analytics, “visibility” into the inner workings of the data center is not only possible, it’s critical. Both great savings and improved performance can result from getting control of, and fine-tuning data center systems. But it takes accurate data, robust analysis and a will to act on the results to make it happen. Continue Reading »
By Vince Ward
What started out as a community-based energy project on the Isle of Wight has morphed into a bona fide social movement.
Encouraged by the work of IBM Distinguished Engineer, Andy Stanford-Clark, who created a “smart” house that monitored, managed and optimized energy use, three years ago the Village of Chale created the Chale Community Project, which seeks, among other things, to reduce home energy costs by up to 50 percent. While the project has indeed raised awareness and helped residents lower costs, it has also had a serendipitous outcome – it has brought the community together.
From the very beginning of the Chale Community Project – during planning and roll-out phases – we worked on ensuring the local community was on board. Going from door to door, the team would communicate with residents about the plan of action, encourage participation and try to boost morale. Continue Reading »
By Christopher Luongo
More school systems across the U.S. are looking for ways to balance their commitment to providing a top-notch education with the pressure of keeping their buildings in tip-top shape. To achieve this, some schools are moving away from paper-based systems and putting all their data, from operational and maintenance information to real estate and resource data, online. Doing so, however, is creating a whole new set of issues as the schools are now left to deal with the management of “Big Data.”
Since it’s unreasonable to build brand new, energy-efficient buildings from the ground up, more school districts are looking within and starting to leverage and exploit the Big Data of building information. They’re starting to sift through critical data to make school structures more energy efficient and more cost-effective.
School districts from Portland, Oregon to Palm Beach, Florida are taking this approach. And with IBM’s help they’re finding highly profitable solutions that are helping to cut costs, save energy and enable schools to make smarter decisions on how school buildings are maintained and used. Continue Reading »
By Martin Kienzle
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, the hype wasn’t all about the latest smartphone or tablet launch. Exhibitors and attendees alike were abuzz about the rapidly evolving smarter home – a concept that calls for connecting not only your mobile device to the web, but your TV, fridge, washing machine, thermostat and even your carbon monoxide detector.
The analyst firm Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected to the home network by the end of 2015. The breakthrough that’s driving this mass adoption – cloud computing. Cloud is quickly becoming the common platform to connect these disparate devices into an “Internet of Things.” Continue Reading »
By Andreas Dümmler
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of injection molding machines used to make plastic products, ARBURG GmbH + Co KG is essentially a manufacturer’s manufacturer. We are as committed to smarter manufacturing processes in our own plants as our clients.
One of our foremost priorities is energy efficiency. As a family-owned business, environmental responsibility is a significant part of our culture. We make use of necessary resources, but stay true to a guiding principle to use the most energy efficient production and management systems in our plants as possible. Key tactics in facility engineering and management include the use of geothermal energy, photovoltaic technology, combined heat and power plants, rain water, waste heat from production equipment, and the use of natural ventilation and extraction in our buildings.
By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications
Every time you walk into a building, think about this: it’s alive and kicking and wants to be fed.
It’s not just some static structure standing there. As Dave Bartlett, vice president of smarter buildings at IBM, sees it, a building is remarkably analogous to a living organism.
The heating and cooling system is also the building’s respiratory system, bringing in fresh air and removing carbon dioxide. It consumes enormous amounts of energy and water along with producing the associated waste.
The musculoskeletal system provides form, support, stability and movement to the building. Sensors, computer monitoring and other instrumentation make up the building’s nervous system.