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HVAC Breaking News / Commercial Controls / Building Automation Systems

March 31, 2014: Building Automation Projects Moving Toward Convergence onto a Common Platform

Almost Half of Today’s Projects Involve Multiple Legacy Control Protocols That Don’t Interoperate

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Echelon Corp. has released findings from an online survey that shed light on plans for building automation systems of the future. Survey results indicate that a majority of planners intend to integrate HVAC, lighting, and security systems onto a common platform, and that almost half of building automation projects involve legacy systems running multiple protocols from different vendors. The conclusion is that multiprotocol and converged solutions will be key to extracting optimal benefit from the emerging Internet of Things.

Results of the survey include:

• Seventy percent of respondents said they plan to integrate their disparate building HVAC, lighting, and security systems onto a common platform — nearly one-third of them in the next 12 to 18 months.

• Almost half the survey respondents indicated that more than 50 percent of their building retrofit projects involve multiple protocols.

• Nearly two-thirds reported that at least a quarter of their current retrofit projects involve multiple protocols.

Over the years, building automation systems have been developed using disparate protocols such as BACnet, LonTalk, DALI, C-Bus, Modbus, KNX, etc., that currently do not intercommunicate.

“The convergence of siloed building automation systems will bring multiple benefits to building owners and tenants,” said Wendy Toth, chief marketing officer, Echelon. “With a single converged network, building operators can lower costs; more easily create powerful, integrated applications that boost energy efficiency while increasing comfort for people in the buildings; and choose best-of-breed products from a variety of vendors.”

Market research firms such as IHS predict that the Internet of Things will comprise a billion industrial and commercial devices by 2017, and that 500 million new devices will be added per year. Such predictions provide tremendous economic incentives to bridging currently separate device networks.

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Publication date: 3/31/2014

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