IBM Unveils Software, Services to Monitor Building’s Environmental Data

by | Oct 1, 2010

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IBM has added new software and service offerings to help owners and managers of commercial buildings leverage the latest energy-efficiency technologies and compliance systems.

IBM also announced that Autodesk has joined its industry alliance, Green Sigma Coalition, which is expected to help the group improve buildings’ sustainability from blueprints to daily operations. The company also expanded its relationship with Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, to deliver new combined offerings that monitor and reduce energy use to make buildings smarter.

Building partnerships is a big part of IBM’s strategy for developing “smart” building and infrastructure solutions.  In July, IBM announced it would collaborate with a Honeywell division to deliver “smart” technologies and solutions to help companies improve the efficiency of their buildings including commercial and retail spaces, and Carnegie Mellon University to create smarter infrastructures, aimed at more efficient and cost-effective building management.

The new IBM solutions include the Smarter Building Solution, IBM Maximo Asset Management for Energy Optimization 7.1.1, Myincentivefinder, and IBM Sustainability Management System.

IBM is installing its first customer-ready smarter building solution at its headquarters in Armonk, New York and its manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota. The IBM Smarter Building solution links with building-management systems such as the ones provided by Johnson Controls, Tridium and Schneider Electric.

The solution, implemented with Johnson Controls, connects information from the building management system, site electrical meters, the Maximo asset management system, and external sources such as weather data. The advanced analytic tools add intelligence to provide operators with new information on energy consumption, operations and space use to show them how and where to save money.

The new IBM Maximo Asset Management for Energy Optimization 7.1.1 collects and displays a data center’s energy and environmental data including temperature, humidity and power use. It helps reduce costs and risks by generating a thermal map of the environment, and merges temperature and humidity information with data about equipment and other assets to update preventive maintenance schedules.

Myincentivefinder automates the process of navigating the forms and processes needed to earn incentives from energy-efficiency upgrades.

The new services offering, called IBM Sustainability Management System, is based on IBM best practices, integrating sustainability efforts with business strategies. The system is a home-grown solution developed in concert with an ongoing internal program to manage IBM’s environmental responsibility.

As an example, at its semiconductor factory in Vermont, IBM reduced water use by 29 percent from 1990 to 2000, while manufacturing capacity at the plant rose more than 30 percent.

IBM has saved 5.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity between 1990 and 2009 and avoided associated 3.4 million tons of CO2 emission. Last year, 76 percent of the company’s hazardous waste was sent to recycling.

IBM also plans to work with Eaton Corp. and NC State University to create and demo a working model of a smart home at the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center in Raleigh, N.C.

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