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Accountegration - Proven Integration at a Lower Cost

October 29, 2008
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The primary reason for these meager results is fragmentation. Fragmentation in the field leads to the growth of uncertainty in the design and bid process. As the electrical contractors and BAS control contractors developed their bids, they were unlikely to know in advance which two systems would be awarded the contract. This uncertainty, which normally fostered the best deal for standalone systems, actually encouraged each participant to add a risk premium to their price to cover integration uncertainty costs.

Competitive pricing is an important aspect to the process that must not be eliminated, but in an uncertain process, standalone systems will usually have a clear price advantage. In this bidding model, it is clear that no one has a stake in maintaining these uncertainties and the inherent integration risk that accompanies this outdated approach. Fortunately, there is a simple solution called Accountegration.

What is Accountegration?

Accountegration is the alignment of accountability with core competencies to substantially reduce risk, foster better competition, and increase the economic benefit for integrated lighting solutions. By aligning accountability with each participant’s core competencies everyone is put into to position to succeed.

In simpler terms, when lighting control is to be integrated into the BAS, lighting control should be provided by the BAS controls contractor and installed by the electrical contractor. This change fundamentally moves the expertise and accountability to those that are in the best position to deliver a sustainable, integrated solution.

Using the Accountegration methodology of specification, the BAS control contractor chooses a lighting control system proven to interoperate with the existing equipment and includes that system in the bid, effectively eliminating integration uncertainty. Likewise, the electrical contractor develops his bid knowing that he is clearly responsible for installing the lighting control system and ensuring electrical power and connectivity to the lighting. The designer can easily, confidently, and clearly specify that the lighting control system is provided by the BAS control contractor and is installed by the electrical contractor. The owner gets an integrated EMS that is sustainable and maximizes the return on their investment.



Green and Intelligent Buildings

Accountegration also aligns well with recent trends in green and intelligent building market, a trend toward a more holistic approach to building performance. Green and intelligent building performance expectations are moving lighting and HVAC control sequences of operation closer together. This is especially true with new ASHRAE 90.1 and LEED® standards. To support this market transformation, there must be local system experts to assist the design community in achieving an integrated solution that can eliminate integration uncertainty and virtually guarantee integration success.



Additional Benefits

Clearly, Accountegration addresses integration uncertainty which eliminates a risk premium, but there is much more to consider. Accountegration can also eliminate the need for separate lighting control system network. By placing the provision of lighting control within the BAS scope of work, the BAS network can be leveraged with substantial wiring and labor savings for the owner. The same approach can be used on retrofit applications as well.

Accountegration provides a single point of accountability for integration issues. When a problem arises or the specification is not being met, the BAS controls contractor is the single point of accountability. The result is fewer project delays and it eliminates the finger pointing that is prevalent in a fragmented process.

Accountegration also enables tighter control sequences and system optimization to ultimately drive better energy performance and savings for the building owner. There is a growing realization in our industry that lighting and HVAC must work together to provide sustainable energy performance and comfort for the occupants.



Conclusion

For over two decades, lighting control has typically been implemented as a standalone system, because integration through a fragmented approach predictably fails. This is in spite of the fact that building owners want an integrated system, open protocols have been widely available for over a decade, and lighting is the single largest electrical load in most commercial buildings. Fortunately, the problem is not the technology, the lack of demand, or the people involved; rather, it is the process The time has come to integrate not just the technologies, but the D-B process itself. Accountegration smoothly and effectively assigns the responsibilities to the appropriate players in the process. GIB

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