LEEDS Green Building - Flickr

Until recently, building automation, lighting controls, fire safety and other base building systems were designed to support a single building service and operated independently on proprietary networks and cables. As Green-Buildings.com explains in a recent article, buildings continue to evolve in intelligence. So, it’s becoming more common to see building automation systems incorporate the control of energy use, fire safety, power, security and lighting systems.

According to Forbes, green building’s emphasis on integrated design and whole-building performance has accelerated a convergence into a single platform that transforms a fragmented, vertical value chain into an integrated, horizontal value chain. This convergence of information and communications technology and physical infrastructure is providing building owners and occupants with actionable information about a building or space that allows them to manage that building or space more effectively.

This green-induced convergence is also shaking up the competitive dynamics of the commercial real estate market. A variety of companies ranging from industrial conglomerates like Schneider Electric and Johnson Controls to start-ups like BuildingIQ and JouleX are scrambling to take advantage of this convergence by developing integrated building information, management and controls platforms. Schneider Electric, the French distribution automation and energy management conglomerate, has invested more than $2 billion in strategic acquisitions. This includes Summit Energy Services, Telvent and Viridity Energy‘s EnergyCenter 2.0 product.

A small number of well-positioned players in the property management industry have developed similar portfolio-management platforms by partnering with software and controls companies. For example, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the global real estate services and property management firm, engaged Pacific Controls, an emerging leader in automation and controls solutions for buildings and infrastructure, to develop the IntelliCommand system.

The IntelliCommand platform combines cloud-based, automation technology with flesh-and-blood engineers and facility management experts to effectively operate building portfolios located worldwide. Now, JLL uses IntelliCommand for 24/7, real-time remote monitoring and control capabilities to ensure that all building systems operate at peak efficiency.

IntelliCommand is expected to reduce energy costs by an estimated 18 percent in the first two years of operation, according to JLL. The long-term value proposition includes fewer business disruptions, continuous commissioning and reduced operating risks. “With IntelliCommand, building equipment and operational issues are resolved before they become complaints, problems or failures,” said Chris Browne, International Director of Integrated Facilities Management at JLL. Given the potential of systems like IntelliCommand, look for more organizations to do what JLL has done.


Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader, LLC. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM-based organization tweets here: @ryanlahti

(Photo: LEEDS Green Building, Flickr)