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GCN : August 2013
GCN AUGUST 2013 • GCN.COM 31 Bill Mitchel, senior director of Microsoft's World Wide Public Sector. The challenge is being able to collect and ingest data from a broad set of build- ings across the city, Mitchel noted. "The cloud is the only way to tackle this; it would be cost-prohibitive with hardware in each facility," Mitchel said. A cloud infrastructure allows engineers to correlate large data sets from multiple machines, tying energy-efficiency data with fault detection analytics or even weather information and other data that might have an impact on a building's pow- er usage, said Kreg Schmidt, managing director of Accenture Smart Building Solu- tions. The partners have deployed Ezenics' optimization and fault detection software that pulls data from disparate BMS and control systems and, using advanced al- gorithms, analyzes the performance of the equipment. "That's the golden goose in terms of driving efficiency because now you can easily identify the equipment that is out of tune," Microsoft's Mitchel said. The goal is to see if a cloud backbone and advanced analytics can unify all of these disparate systems in a real-world environment, Surrat said. It's one thing to work on the Microsoft campus where the business owners, property managers and engineers know their facilities. In the pilot, disparate owners, building managers and engineers are working together to unify system data and information onto an ag- nostic cloud platform. "We're hoping additional meaningful data will start to emerge by the end of this year, first part of next year," Surrat said. DUBUQUE: A MODEL FOR OTHER CITIES Dubuque is a living laboratory for sustain- ability. The mid-size city situated along the banks of the Mississippi River has worked with IBM over the past four years on water conservation and electricity usage pilots. Using a cloud-based framework devel- oped by IBM Research --- the IBM Smart- Cloud --- the city deployed a smart-meter solution that combined real-time monitor- ing, analytics and alerts to provide citizens with a means to intelligently manage their water consumption. The city later added electricity usage to the pilot program. Other smarter sustainable projects include health and wellness, recycling (smarter discards) and travel. "Dubuque's goal across all projects is to create a model that can be replicated for medium-sized cities with populations of 50,000 to 200,000, where the bulk of U.S. cities are today," said Chris Kohlmann, in- formation services manager for Dubuque, population 58,155. The aim was to deploy smart water meters and electric meters to show how citizens could help make their city sustainable. Active community en- gagement is a key component to any sus- tainability project. "It is one thing to collect data from smart meters and instrumented products, but cit- izens have to be engaged," Kohlmann said. Through a Web-based portal, pilot par- ticipants accessed real-time data about their water and electricity usage that helped them manage their household AT-A-GLANCE SEATTLE, WA POPULATION: 634,535; 4 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area PROJECT: Partnership between the City of Seattle, Mi- crosoft, Accenture and the Seattle 2030 District, aimed at reducing power consumption through real-time data analysis of four Seattle buildings. GOAL: Reduce downtown energy usage by 25 percent with smart buildings. DUBUQUE, IA POPULATION: 58,155 PROJECT: Pilot study with IBM using data analytics from smart meters to help citizens and the city moni- tor water consumption and electricity usage resulted in a 6.6 percent decrease in water consumption. GOAL: Serve as a living laboratory for other medium- sized cities, showing how to conserve resources.