JLL Launches IntelliCommand Service for Greener Buildings

JLL Launches IntelliCommand Service for Greener Buildings

The cloud has become the place to be for building performance management solutions that focus on sustainability.

With the launch of its IntelliCommand system this week, Jones Lang LaSalle joined the small but growing list of companies that have turned to cloud-computing with expanded services for managing buildings, their environmental impact and their performance.

IntelliCommand made its debut at the CoreNet Global Summit for commercial real estate professionals after about a year of beta testing, said Dan Probst, the chairman of energy and sustainability services at JLL.

"We really put it through the wringer," Probst told me. "It's ready for primetime."

We recently reported on Johnson Controls' impending commercial launch of its cloud-hosted building efficiency applications and services called Panoptix, which blends technology, live support from systems experts, and social networking for users and other green building devotees.

Last week, Serious Energy rolled out the latest development related to its year-old energy management business. The firm introduced SeriousCapital, a service that enables building owners and tenants to upgrade their premises for greater energy efficiency without paying any upfront costs. The work and Serious Energy's fee are paid for with savings realized from the retrofits. Serious Energy -- previously branded as Serious Materials to emphasize its manufacturing of more sustainable building materials -- is partnering with Grubb & Ellis to market SeriousCapital.

JLL is the first commercial real estate company to bring its portfolio services and building sustainability programs into the cloud. The solution reflects the perspective of a firm whose forte is property, from investment, to building and facilities management and green leasing.

Like other firms providing building performance management in the cloud, JLL describes its offering as an end-to-end solution. When I asked Probst what the difference is between his company's service and any other, he replied: "It's truly an integrated, end-to-end solution."

IntelliCommand, which is powered by technology from Pacific Controls Inc., pulls data from the building systems for energy, lighting, heating and cooling, fire and safety monitoring, and security to do its work. Competing services have yet to unite all those aspects of building management in a single cloud-hosted solution, although a representative for Johnson Controls said early on that he anticipates that Panoptix will soon add apps to harness information from fire, safety and security systems in buildings.

With IntelliCommand, the analysis of the data yields real-time information that enables property managers and owners to make better decisions on how to run their buildings, Probst said. IntelliCommand also provides early detection of potential problems by continuously monitoring building systems and looking for anomalies. Building commissioning -- checking systems and equipment to make sure they are performing as designed -- and energy audits are important to do, but they are, in effect, just a snapshot of building performance. Between those extensive checkups, "a building can deteriorate rapidly," Probst said.

IntelliCommand sends its analysis and alerts to a control center. Issues that can be addressed remotely are taken care of, and if the situation merits human intervention, or the client prefers it, a technician is dispatched. Here is a diagram of how the system works:



As a side note, the emergence of JLL's IntelliCommand provides an illustration of coopetition in action in the greenspace. It is not unusual for business rivals to come together as strategic partners, while other units of the companies go head-to-head as competitors in offering products or services.

Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle and Serious Energy were strategic partners in the green retrofit of the Empire State Building, which recently earned a LEED-Gold rating. Now, they are all competing for a share of the market for cloud-based building performance management systems.

Cloud-computing for a range of business activities is becoming more and more popular among companies, according to a report presented at the CoreNet Global Summit.

Results of the Workplace of the Future survey conducted on behalf of international office furniture designer and manufacturer Teknion showed:

  • 46 percent of the companies participating in the survey said they use cloud-based computing for a work-related material.
  • 90 percent said they plan to increase investment in technology.

Top photo CC licensed by Flickr user Miss Turner. Insert image courtesy of Jones Lang LaSalle.