Building a Solution
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Aug 01, 2008
There’s more than meets the eye to any integrator who
is tasked with full building automation.
I got a firsthand look at this growing market niche
when I attended the Honeywell Building Solutions
users’ track in Scottsdale, Ariz., in June. Nearly 200
users were in attendance discussing automation and control
systems. Paul Bardon, general manager for the
Americas, said Honeywell lists $12.5 billion in global
sales, which includes building solutions, security and
A topic of prominence was video analytics. This
made my ears perk up a bit because, as Bardon said, it
registered nearly $37 billion in sales during 2007. Now
we’re talking real money, even for Honeywell. The company,
Bardon said, is a factory-driven group. Honeywell
sells what it makes but also believes in best-of-breed
deployment of equipment.
By industry, Honeywell goes after the usual suspects,
including airports, industrial, commercial and government
clients, healthcare, education and life sciences
integration. That means security product integration is
coupled with fire, IT, energy and HVAC.
So, where’s the growth anticipated in the building
automation sector? You already know there is a “green”
movement afoot. Honeywell officials all claimed that
when a building is being retrofitted, or during new construction,
the green advantage is first and foremost on
everyone’s mind. It begins with all the usual suspects with
the energy market in a major growth spurt. Higher education
also is growing by leaps and bounds because of mass
notification, but campuses also take part in the greening
of North America through energy conservation programs.
What does all this have to do with security? Well, it’s
all about video. As Honeywell officials said, motion
detection or video analytics is the sensor of the future.
And when there is new construction, bandwidth gets a
prominent mention at the design table. Networks come
first, meaning there will be plenty of bandwidth to handle
all the components.
Remember a few years ago when convergence was all
the rage? Bandwidth seemed to be an afterthought, but
today it often begins the conversation and is the final note
of the day. Adequate bandwidth will allow solutions to
safeguard people, assets and intellectual property. It also
plays a key role in access control, digital video and asset
tracking. It’s all about security in one form or fashion.
Let’s take a look at a case study that tugs at the sensibilities
of all security providers. In an emergency,
schools need effective communication to keep parents,
teachers and staff informed. Many school districts rely
on phone trees and other outdated methods to deliver
news. Today, there is a different approach. For example,
Honeywell’s Instant Alert offers administrators the ability
to broadcast messages directly to families and
employees, wherever they are.
This is an integral part of building automation:
preparing for the worst. From severe weather to acts of
violence, schools nationwide are forced to deal with a
variety of emergencies every year. As a result, districts
and administrators have become well-versed in crisis
planning. One basic element of an emergency plan is
communication: knowing how to get the right information
to the right people at the right time.
It sounds simple in our high-tech world, but it’s
increasingly difficult given today’s on-the-go lifestyles
and the variety of technologies people use to keep in
touch. Placing a call to a home phone is not as effective
as it used to be. The world of security demands notification
technology as diverse as the many methods people
now use. A Web-based notification system can broadcast
messages to any communication device—phones, cell
phones, pagers, e-mail and PDAs—by sending up to
100,000 30-second phone calls in 15 minutes and 6,400
text messages per minute.
With this kind of technology, people receive timely,
accurate information in an emergency. It also helps
schools focus their resources on managing the situation,
not the phone lines. That’s why mass notification technology
has gained traction.
“Security is an evolution for us,” said Luca Messei,
vice president of marketing and strategy at Honeywell
While security is our complete message each month at
Security Products, we also delve into life safety and, once
in a while, touch on building automation. Complete building
automation allows the end user to provide quick and
effective communication during a crisis. And it allows the
right information to be presented at the right time.
Security and life safety management solutions can
be customized to the needs of any facility, no matter
the complexity. Your integrator can find best-of-breed
products to employ advanced systems. Security solutions
have the ability to collect, integrate and distribute
information from multiple points. Honeywell
Building Solutions officials say the right solution minimizes
security breaches, speeds response time, helps
reduce risk in an emergency, optimizes asset use and
The ability to process more information quicker
gives the end user greater strategic control of an operation.
Systems must do more than prevent and deter.
There must be a managed response for risk mitigation.
Security is a serious business. End users should partner
with an experienced leader with innovative solutions
who has a vision to match their own.