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Connecting Buildings to the Internet October 22, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Construction Industry Hardware, iPhone, virtualization.
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It’s great that LEED certified buildings can record the energy savings they return to their owners.  Now it is possible from every home, building or project in design to bring the activities and consumption data on-line with realtime sensors.  Energy and environmental data from objects, devices and buildings can be captured, reported and shared. Both Physical & virtual environments can be tapped.  I’d like to introduce you to a company focusing on the value of this technology called Pachube.

I read a recent interview with Pachube’s founder in Frontiers Economy Blog post called “Wiring Up the Internet of Things”  that caught my attention.  Today you need to look at “where technology, telecommunications and architecture are beginning to collide”.   The Construction Industry, Governments and Manufacturers can take advantage of these tools to make an impact on energy conservation and provide transparency.  Here are a few insightful ways Pachube can be used per their website:

an architect, you might use site-specific realtime sensor data to modulate (or generate) a Sketchup model, or use EEML data in conjunction with IFC-compliant models (as can be exported from AutoCad, etc.) to undertake post-occupancy evaluation
a facilities manager, you might connect up specific outputs from your Building Management System, so that specific data items (like current energy consumption or temperature level) can be shared with the public without compromising security
a property developer, you might connect together several buildings to allocate resources or monitor energy consumption and occupancy
a consumer, you might connect up your electrity meter to track it over time, embed usage graphs in your own website, calculate your realtime carbon footprint or use iPhone or gPhone applications to monitor it remotely

Pachube has been used to measure Air quality in Beijing, Hurricane Gustav’s strengh and location and has numerous apps for connecting environments and patching the planet.  The video below shows augmented reality of the sensor readout:

I am always interested in hearing about how anyone in the AEC industry has leveraged this technology.  Hope to hear from you soon.

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