Greening the Built Environment : Autodesk joins IBM’s Green Sigma Coalition : IBM Flexing its Market Power Muscle : BIM


Quick jumble from IBM to BIM and it seems a lot of threads are coming together between IBM and the AECOM community. Smart Buildings and Smart Cities, IBM and Dassault, IBM Maximo, etc.  How this comes to grind with LEED, and EnergyStar initiatives , etc remains to be seen but there is quite a roster to this invite only list.   Charter members include:  Johnson Controls, Honeywell Building Solutions, ABB, Eaton, ESS, Cisco, Siemens Building Technologies Division, Schneider Electric and SAP but nothing like owning the  process and selling services, hardware,  software, product to achieve Green Sigma.  The process itself :

“Combines real-time metering and monitoring with advanced analytics and dashboards that allow clients to make better decisions that improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce environmental impact.”

IBM goes on to outline the validation process which is, you guessed it, validated by IBM. How this differs from LEED which:

… is an internationally recognized green building certification system,  providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Now I am a capitalist so increasing shareholder value is something I take to heart, sure there’s a lot more in the mix than that and who am I to take IBM to task for flexing its market power muscle but aren’t we talking the same side of the coin only IBM wants to own the coin too.  One could argue that Green Sigma is the practical application of LEED principles.  That should keep respective communication departments off my back.  Regardless of who owns the process the end goal for each is laudable, and now proven that ‘green’ is good business.

As reported by Lauren Browne at Connect Press IBM brought Autodesk in for its expertise in modeling and the built environment.

“It occurred to IBM, that it would make sense, given that the built environment requires multiple layers of solution sets including hardware, software, services, financing, etc. that no one company could do this (tackle greening the built environment) in isolation. And if they did, they would be handicapping themselves.”                                – Emma Stewart, Senior Program Lead, Sustainability, Autodesk.

This could help explain the Photofly and PointCloud tools expected in the most recent release of Autocad but if you start doing the math,  +$400 billion in sustainable retrofits, +75% of construction done in the built environment you understand why the big guns are out.

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