12/10/2004 - Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON), the creator of the LonWorks® device networking platform for connecting everyday devices to each other and the Internet, announced that the building specification newly finalized by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) - based on LonWorks technology - has been adopted by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. This is the first time that the three branches of the U.S. military have agreed upon a single, open system specification for automating buildings and facilities. The specification provides the necessary guidance to create LonWorks based buildings for military bases in over sixty countries and territories around the world.
The Corps chose to base the specification on the LonWorks device networking platform after an extensive evaluation of existing building automation technologies and a rigorous public review process. Their review determined that the LonWorks platform offered the most mature and ready to implement building automation platform on the market and that, of all alternatives, specifying an open system was easiest using the LonWorks platform.
Called the Unified Facilities Guide Specification (UFGS), the specification addresses longstanding problems with incompatible control systems in buildings that have prevented the military from creating a fair and competitive bidding environment, thus adding significant cost and complexity when creating and maintaining facilities. The new specification reflects the U.S. military's commitment to using open, nonproprietary, commercially available building automation systems in its $9 billion annual construction program.
TAC/Tour Andover Controls, a world leader in building automation, security systems and energy solutions and a major Echelon customer, has already won its first contract based on the new specification. According to Dean Meyer, president of the company's Americas region, "This specification enables the military to save money now and in the future. Facilities can be designed using any of thousands of interoperable devices from hundreds of manufacturers worldwide. Moreover, the open bidding environments for maintenance and service contacts will dramatically reduce costs over the life of a system and provide military bases with life-cycle options."
There are 450 military bases in the United States alone, and several have awarded contracts based on the new specification. TAC/Tour Andover Controls is currently building a LonWorks based open system construction project at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. Moreover, with potentially thousands of facilities in over 60 countries impacted by this specification, the worldwide momentum for advanced construction based upon the LonWorks platform continues to increase dramatically.
"The Corps' work has had a worldwide impact already – resounding throughout the building automation industry," said Anders Axelsson, Echelon's senior vice-president of sales and marketing. "The specification calls for devices from multiple vendors, a common database for network management and maintenance, and an open front end. These open guidelines can be of enormous benefit to any industry, not just the military, and we expect to see an increased interest in LonWorks technology based upon this endorsement by the United States Army, Navy and Air Force."
About the UFGS Specification
The UFGS specification is comprised of two documents, UFGS-13801 (Utility Monitoring and Control Systems) and UFGS-15951 (Direct Digital Controls for HVAC and other local building systems), that have been written to work together where, ideally, a utility monitoring and control system (UMCS) that serves as the foundation for a base-wide system, is included in the initial project along with one or more building-level DDC (direct digital control) systems. The resulting LonWorks network database (LNS database) can later be expanded as new building DDC systems come online, and can also accommodate other monitoring and control applications, such as lighting control and energy monitoring.
On a worldwide basis, military personnel may take courses on the Unified Facilities Guide Specification including UMCS LonWorks (Course 094), HVAC Control Systems Design (Course 340), and HVAC Control Systems Quality Verification (Course 382). Course descriptions and availability can be found at the USACE Professional Development Support Center website: http://pdsc.usace.army.mil.
About Echelon Corporation
Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) is the creator of the LonWorks platform, the world's most widely used standard for connecting everyday devices such as appliances, thermostats, air conditioners, electric meters, and lighting systems to each other and to the Internet. Echelon's hardware and software products enable manufacturers and integrators to create smart devices and systems that lower cost, increase convenience, improve service, and enhance productivity, quality, and safety. Thousands of companies have developed and installed LonWorks products and more than 40 million LonWorks devices have been installed in homes, buildings, factories, trains, and other systems worldwide.
Echelon is based in San Jose, California with international offices in China, France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Further information can be found at http://www.echelon.com.
Echelon, LonWorks, LNS, and the Echelon logo are registered trademarks of Echelon Corporation registered in the United States and other countries.
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