Infrastructure gets intelligent
“In the current harsh economic environment and with punitive measures on the horizon to persuade and inveigle enterprises to better manage their energy usage, not to mention the global emphasis on green issues, it has never been more important to save energy and reduce operating costs.”
This is according to Bradley Hemphill, MD of Cape Town-based Electrical Engineering Solutions, speaking this month at the ConnectivityWeek convention, in Santa Clara, California.
“Technology, which in the building industry is in the form of an intelligent infrastructure, without doubt lowers communication costs, reduces energy and lowers overall operating costs,” he continued.
Explaining how intelligent infrastructure should be deployed, Hemphill advised intelligent infrastructure should be based on Internet Protocol, with the normalised data stored in the data centre and the Web-based dashboard. The approach should be similar to that of service-oriented architecture. This should then connect to the business systems such as enterprise resource planning.
“IT infrastructure should be included in the early planning phase of commercial and industrial property developments. In this regard, the IT and building automation systems industries must engage and educate all the role-players.”
Hemphill emphasised that the smart building design process and implementation of energy design systems require a team approach. The building design team needs to interact to firstly set energy performance goals, and then work together throughout the process to fully understand the building system's interdependencies and produce more efficient, cost-effective smart building, he explained.
Reduction in energy use and improved savings is important to triple bottom line reporting: people, planet, profit. Triple bottom line accounting means expanding the traditional reporting framework to take into account ecological and social performance in addition to financial performance.
Energy use and improved savings will be a crucial component of corporate triple bottom line reporting, he noted, and executive management and shareholders will demand credible information on green issues.
He stressed that building a green environment or low carbon economy is not about slowing the economy down. “It is about building an economy that is sustainable.
“We will see and experience the biggest change to the global economy since the industrial revolution, and this at the pace of the technological revolution.”