Saturday, February 27, 2010

IBM Launches New Era of Smarter Buildings

On February 22nd  IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it is creating smarter buildings, offices, and urban infrastructure worldwide.

With intelligence embedded into the physical assets of an organization, IBM is helping clients create a command center to manage not only their data center and IT design, but also the physical assets as diverse as water mains, office equipment, door locks, printers, heating systems and fire hydrants.  

IBM's expertise in systems management, analytics and sensors is unmatched for bridging the physical and digital worlds and creating new intelligent infrastructures critical for buildings to operate more efficiently. Buildings account for 80 percent of New York City's carbon emissions each year, for example, and buildings emit more emissions into the environment than our cars do.  

A smarter building can quickly sense and respond at every system level possible. By joining its software, research and services expertise together with industry-leading partners, IBM is helping clients:

  • manage energy use by monitoring and analyzing heat, air conditioning and power consumption so that they can lower costs and decrease emissions;
  • identify security breaches;
  • maintain equipment proactively and even predictively, preventing breakdowns and ensuring that critical assets such as fire systems, manufacturing equipment, HVAC systems, etc. will work when they're needed;
  • locate assets across facilities including tools, equipment and machinery; and
  • manage printing costs and usage in office
"Smarter buildings are key to the economic and environmental sustainability of urban environments," said Rich Lechner, vice president, Energy and Environment for IBM, "Real-time infrastructure data coupled with analytics can enable better economic decisions and environmental outcomes. Together with an array of partners, we are delivering this value to clients today."

IBM is working with companies like Johnson Controls and Ricoh to make buildings smarter:  

  • Johnson Controls is working with IBM to optimize energy usage and improve security and comfort for clients in more than 150 countries. The new smart building solution will help clients improve asset performance, sustainability, productivity and safety across buildings and portfolios of buildings 
  • Ricoh is working with IBM on an advanced device and printing management system which infuses office devices with real-time tracking and monitoring to help firms significantly reduce their print-related costs, improve service and cut back on carbon emissions. Gartner estimates that organizations that manage their printer, copier and fax fleets can save between 10 and 30 percent of their print costs 
IBM also announced new customers using IBM technology to create smarter buildings at world-class facilities that require utmost precision and maintenance:

  • Galveston National Laboratories, one of two National Institutes of Health funded bio-containment laboratories in the United States, is using IBM software to ensure the proper function and maintenance of all equipment within its facility.  This helps ensure biomedical equipment like air-flow handlers, decontaminating showers, and door seals and locks are working properly to assure safe and secure operations (see related press release)
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the largest public power company in the United States, is using IBM software to manage and maintain IT and physical assets across its power facilities, including fossil, hydro, nuclear and wind energy.
IBM is also applying its Research capabilities to deliver predictive and spatial analysis for smarter buildings, critical for campuses, building complexes, factories and cities.  IBM Maximo software gives clients the ability to visualize and manage their assets within their building walls and beyond a city's limits, and act on critical data about the status of their company, city, utility or building's resources. IBM Global Business Services also offers a range of smarter buildings services including solution implementation and integration services.

Last year IBM created an industry alliance called the Green Sigma™ Coalition with companies specializing in metering, monitoring, automation, data communications and software to provide smart solutions for energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas management.  The coalition members are working with IBM to integrate their products and services with IBM's Green Sigma™ solution.

IBM is adding smarter buildings solutions to its own operations. For example, IBM is implementing smarter building analytics through Green Sigma™. Anchored on IBM Tivoli and Maximo software, this solution immediately alerts site operations teams when mechanical systems are not performing to a desired specification, which has led to higher building reliability and faster response times that drive energy savings. IBM's intention is to implement these processes across internal operations worldwide.

Smarter Buildings for a Smarter Planet
IBM is delivering technology that manages office buildings, warehouses, factories, power plants, laboratories, campuses, apartments, resorts and all types of buildings to save costs, better manage systems, and reduce carbon emissions.  IBM software, hardware and services help create, manage and maintain the world's most intelligent and interconnected infrastructures from smarter buildings, cities, utilities, offices, transportation systems and operations in every industry.

As physical and digital assets converge, the planet is getting smarter. Food and retail products are tracked with RFID tags. Traffic and energy systems are now managed with sensors. Cities are more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. This convergence challenges today’s infrastructures, but also offers the opportunity to integrate operational assets with hardware, software and services for improved service management that drives greater business value.

Video: Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino Uses IBM Software to Manage Buildings and Facilities

For more information about the Green Sigma coalition visit:

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