New Industry Report Sees Emerging IT Tools Reshaping Building Energy Management

A new report from AltaTerra Research examines how advances in information technology have enabled a new class of Facility Resource Management (FRM) solutions, sophisticated software-based tools for optimizing energy efficiency in facilities.

Palo Alto, CA, December 02, 2011 --( AltaTerra Research announced the release of its highly anticipated report today, entitled, "Facilities Resource Management Solutions: Emerging IT Tools Reshape Building Energy Management."

Advances in information technology and cloud computing have made it cost-effective to collect, store and dynamically analyze vast amounts of building-related data, enabling improved control and optimization of resource use in facilities. Facilities Resource Management (FRM) solutions augment traditional BMS functionality, and support such capabilities as advanced control and optimization of HVAC and lighting, ongoing commissioning, and tenant engagement--demonstrating incremental efficiency gains of 10-30+%.

The report is designed for facilities, IT, operations, and sustainability professionals. It defines twelve advanced Facilities Resource Management (FRM) capabilities and profiles a wide range of emerging solutions, in the context of a six-level enterprise reference architecture. The 81-page report also describes key business and technology drivers, a facility resource management maturity model, case examples, and recommendations for organizations looking to implement FRM solutions.

The US Department of Energy estimates that commercial facilities account for up to 50% of electricity use in the US, nearly 30% of which is wasted through controllable inefficiencies. Improving efficiency means tens of billions of dollars in potential energy savings for owners and tenants.

As outlined in the reference architecture, FRM solutions operate primarily at level 3 or 4. They are focused on short- to mid-interval management of resource use, either in specific systems or across systems at a coordinated facility level, with the goal of improving and optimizing resource efficiency.

The marketplace for FRM solutions is complex. Different types of solutions are offered by a wide variety of vendors, including established corporate leaders in IT, controls, and facility equipment and an extensive array of recent market entrants. Discussed and profiled in the report are solutions from Adura Technologies, Agilewaves, BuildingIQ, Cisco, EnerNOC, Enmetric, IBM, Johnson Controls, Lucid Design Group, SCIenergy, SynapSense, Vigilent, Accenture, Automated Logic, Echelon, Energy Star, Honeywell, Integrated Building Solutions, Optimum Energy, Planet Footprint, Redwood Systems, Schneider Electric, Serious Energy, Siemens, and WaterSignal.

"The emergence of a new class of solutions for Facility Resource Management shows how traditional facilities systems and enterprise-level information technologies are converging in powerful ways," said the report's lead author and AltaTerra President, Don Bray.

The report also offers perspectives on trends shaping the growing marketplace for FRM solutions, including:

Business cases for new FRM tools will benefit as dynamic pricing and energy efficiency rebate programs continue to expand. Driven by the need for utilities to aggressively manage demand, these programs offer external subsidies (both direct and price-based) and potential savings associated with demand shifting and rate arbitrage.

The addressable market for new FRM tools is large, and it will be concentrated at major facilities. Even though only 5 percent of commercial facilities are larger than 50,000 square feet, they represent more than 50 percent of the total square footage.

Software-enabled services and subscription-based pricing models will proliferate. Upfront capital costs for FRM system purchase and implementation challenge many prospective customers. At the same time, the complexity and breadth of FRM solutions continues to grow.

Technology developments will continue to drive FRM innovation. The introduction of commodity computing through the cloud has revolutionized FRM, by separating hardware and software, enabling frequent software upgrades and a host of new remote services.

Increasingly, facilities-related systems will be managed by IT. As FRM solutions continue to become more IT-driven, IT and facility technologies will continue to converge.

As sustainability solutions evolve, players and capabilities will consolidate. It is likely that leading level 1 and 2 Enterprise Sustainability Management solutions (e.g., IBM, SAP, Enablon, Hara) will add level 3 capabilities, and leading level 3 and 4 solution providers (e.g., Honeywell, Johnson Controls) will add higher-level capabilities.

Skills and training will be essential for both vendors and customers. Even with consolidation, the FRM marketplace will continue to be heterogeneous. Education will be a critical component in the sales cycle, and customers, vendors, and installation contractors will all need to build new skills at the intersection of facilities management and information technology.

The full report, "Facilities Resource Management Solutions: Emerging IT Tools Reshape Building Energy Management" is available for immediate download at

About AltaTerra Research
AltaTerra Research is a research consultancy specializing in sustainable business and the commercial marketplace for clean technology solutions. Through research reports, executive events and advisory services, AltaTerra helps forward-looking organizations improve resource-efficiency in their operations and capitalize on new 'green' market opportunities. From our headquarters in Silicon Valley, we have been serving a global base of corporate, institutional, and government clients since 2007. More information is available at

AltaTerra Research
Eric Paul