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Facility Resource Management Solutions:

Emerging IT Tools Reshape Building Energy Management

Source: Don Bray and Graeme MacDonald, AltaTerra Research
November 2011, 81 pages

Summary Review

Enterprises around the world have elevated energy efficiency and sustainability to a strategic concern. For many, buildings have become a key focus: commercial facilities account for up to 50% of electricity use in the US, nearly 30% of which is wasted through inefficiency. Yet most Building Management Systems (BMS) were designed primarily to manage building operations and occupant comfort, and lack the ability to store, analyze and act on large volumes of energy use and trend data.

Over the last decade, technology has improved significantly in environmental monitoring and control systems, and advances in IT have made it cost effective to collect and analyze vast amounts of data. These developments have led to the emergence of new application software, control systems, and IT-enabled devices, evolving Facility Resource Management (FRM) to a new level. Building upon the BMS, facilities professionals now have access to a range of add-on solutions for continuous commissioning, automated demand response, tenant engagement, and other advanced capabilities. And while ROI varies widely by implementation, such solutions are demonstrating attractive efficiency gains of 10-30+%.

In this report, we describe twelve advanced Facility Resource Management (FRM) capabilities, in the context of a six-level reference architecture for enterprise sustainability. We profile example solutions come from technology start-ups including Agilewaves and SCIenergy, as well as major control systems incumbents JCI and Honeywell. Two customer case studies are presented, from leading-edge customers employing multiple FRM solutions. Lastly, we present a series of recommendations for how organizations can approach planning and implementation of FRM solutions.

Discussed and profiled in the report are solutions from Adura Technologies, Agilewaves, BuildingIQ, Cisco, EnerNOC, Enmetric, IBM, Johnson Controls, Lucid Design Group, SCIenergy, SynapSense, Vigilent, Accenture, Automated Logic, Echelon, Energy Star, Honeywell, Integrated Building Solutions, Optimum Energy, Planet Footprint, Redwood Systems, Schneider Electric, Serious Energy, Siemens, and WaterSignal.

A summary of the full report, including Executive Summary, Contents, Notes & Resources, Sample Findings and Excerpts, and Sample Tables are available for free and immediate download (following free, one minute registration). Please click here.

The full report is available for purchase and immediate download. The cost of the full report is $1,795 for registered members of the AltaTerra Research Network and $2,295 for non-members. Membership is always free. To become a registered member, click here. Government and non-profit rates are available, please contact us for more information.

Example Findings

  • Business cases for new FRM tools will benefit as dynamic pricing and energy efficiency rebate programs continue to expand. Driven by the need for utilities to aggressively manage demand, these programs offer external subsidies (both direct and price-based) and potential savings associated with demand shifting and rate arbitrage.
  • The addressable market for new FRM tools is large, and it will be concentrated at major facilities. Even though only 5 percent of commercial facilities are larger than 50,000 square feet, they represent more than 50 percent of the total square footage.
  • Software-enabled services and subscription-based pricing models will proliferate. Upfront capital costs for FRM system purchase and implementation challenge many prospective customers. At the same time, the complexity and breadth of FRM solutions continues to grow.
  • Technology developments will continue to drive FRM innovation. The introduction of commodity computing through the cloud has revolutionized FRM, by separating hardware and software, enabling frequent software upgrades and a host of new remote services.
  • Increasingly, facilities-related systems will be managed by IT. As FRM solutions continue to become more IT-driven, IT and facility technologies will continue to converge.
  • As sustainability solutions evolve, players and capabilities will consolidate. It is likely that leading level 1 and 2 Enterprise Sustainability Management solutions (e.g., IBM, SAP, Enablon, Hara) will add level 3 capabilities, and leading level 3 and 4 solution providers (e.g., Honeywell, Johnson Controls) will add higher-level capabilities.
  • Skills and training will be essential for both vendors and customers. Even with consolidation, the FRM marketplace will continue to be heterogeneous. Education will be a critical component in the sales cycle, and customers, vendors, and installation contractors will all need to build new skills at the intersection of facilities management and information technology.

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