From Russia with Love (for BACnet)

Last issue, we noted that our friends from north of the border were involved in interesting developments on the intelligent building front. But just as the Russians took exception to Canada being the favorite to win Olympic hockey gold this year, eliminating them in the quarterfinals, they also aren't to be upstaged by the Canadians when it comes to open and intelligent buildings.

03/01/2006


Last issue, we noted that our friends from north of the border were involved in interesting developments on the intelligent building front. But just as the Russians took exception to Canada being the favorite to win Olympic hockey gold this year, eliminating them in the quarterfinals, they also aren't to be upstaged by the Canadians when it comes to open and intelligent buildings.

At the ASHRAE Winter Meeting and AHR Expo in Chicago in January, Andrey Golovin, executive director of "BIG-RU"—BACnet Interest Group Russia—made a presentation on a historic Russian project—Moscow City, specifically its centerpiece, Federation Tower. "It's the first real Russian BACnet project," said Golovin.

That said, it has a distinct U.S. stamp, as the tower is being developed by Turner Construction, and Johnson Controls is the building automation vendor.

According to Golovin, Federation Tower is set to become one of the most prestigious office buildings in Moscow and will be the tallest building in Europe at 354 meters. It will make up the heart of Moscow City's International Business Centre, an ambitious project that borrows from the town-planning concepts inspired by New York's Battery Park, Canary Wharf in London and First Canadian Place.

The development's main goal, according to Golovin, is to create a foundation for a new business strategy in Russia that creates a physical space to promote the integration of business, power and society within a zone of dynamic international activities, and ultimately establish Moscow as a center of global business. "But Moscow City prevails over the others [the aforementioned international business centers] in the scope of construction work, originality of architectural solutions and the transport communications infrastructure itself," boasted Golovin.

But the news doesn't stop there. Russia, he said, is looking for partners and wishes to capitalize on Western experience. And that's where BIG-RU comes in. The group was officially founded in Sept. 2005. Its mission, said Golovin, is to promote the use of BACnet in Russian HVAC and controls systems. And opportunities in BAS work are as vast as Russia, as he pointed out that building automation is a $200-million market annually in that country with an annual growth of 20% to 25%.

As part of this initiative, BIG-RU is assembling a world database of BACnet projects. According to Golovin, any vendor or system integrator who wishes to get involved will be able to include information about their experiences in BACnet implementation. This information will be included in the database free of charge, although no more than 30 documented projects will be accepted, he said.

Elsewhere, BIG-RU is developing a marketing report entitled "Who's Who in the Russian BACS Market." Golovin said the report will be available in English later this month for BIG-RU members.

Golovin also offered a couple of tips for those interested in experimenting in the Russian BAS market. First, he said, start in Moscow, as it gets about 40% of the country's budget. Second, target distributors who already operate there. BIG-RU will be preparing a database with contacts of leading Russian companies in building automation. For more information on BIG-RU, contact Golovin at golovin@bacnet.ru .

But Russia is not the only non-Western nation exploring BACnet. Representatives of KMC Controls were in Tianjin China last month to conduct a conference for Chinese consulting engineers on the use of protocol in HVAC systems.

One speaker at the event was Huo Xiaoping, general manager of Shanghai Integrated Technology. According to KMC's Ben Dorsey, the controls vendor worked with Huo's company to deliver greater energy savings via BACnet-enabled controllers, particularly for some extremely large VAV installations.

Those interested in the Chinese BAS market, he emphasized, should visit www.Qianjia.com .





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