Taiwan Intelligent Building Association (TIBA)
M2M APPS: When we examine the development of "Intelligent Architecture" in this country, what do you think Taiwan's advantages and disadvantages are, compared to other countries?
HSIU-LING WEN: “Intelligent Architecture” is a new industry that integrates many areas, from construction, electronics, electrical engineering, telecommunications, computer, household electrical appliances, and automation of security management to system integration and more. Such an industry structure poses a great challenge for the internationalization of Taiwan’s related companies. In light of this, the Taiwan Intelligent Building Association (TIBA) tries to integrate the skills and technologies amongst its members and provide comprehensive solutions to “Intelligent Architecture”. On the other hand, the Association also cultivates potential system integrating companies in Taiwan to ensure our international standing in the global “intelligent living” trend.
M2M APPS: “Intelligent Architecture” is an integrated industry that involves many different areas. However, there is a difference between the product cycle in architecture and ICT. Would this be a concern for introducing “Intelligent Architecture”?
HSIU-LING WEN: The cycle of architecture is measured by hundreds of years. Yet in ICT industries, changes take place constantly. Hence, a building should be designed to allow for constant replacement renewal of technological equipment. It is important to establish rules for technology in architecture, to ensure that all new buildings in the future have “intelligent” environment. In addition, for the 97% of existing buildings, we must formulate integrated provisioning rules based on studies of existing spatial design.
M2M APPS: Could you elaborate on “integrated provisioning rules”?
HSIU-LING WEN: Well, to begin with, there is the entry point of internet connection line/cable to a building. Then all cables and lines gather at the telecommunications room in the basement. From there, a vertical backbone for internet connections that extends to each floor is installed. A “repeater station” is also built, followed by horizontal construction of the infrastructure. Finally the internet connection and information reach the household. During this process, there are six endpoints in total. Extra space must be reserved in each endpoint, to make room for future upgrading of equipment or connection speed.
M2M APPS: For the existing buildings in Taiwan, how common is it to introduce intelligence? What’s the major application?
HSIU-LING WEN: So far in Taiwan we are still at the stage of promoting “Intelligent Architecture”. In fact, in order to realize this goal, the Ministry of Interior has proposed related building subsidy. For public buildings, full subsidy is granted to the applicant institution once application is approved. For private buildings, a 45% subsidy is given. At present, there are three major categories of applications: energy saving and sustainability, healthcare, and emergency relief. Energy saving and sustainability is about energy management, especially lighting efficiency. Most applicants are schools and academic institutions. Healthcare is usually applied by nursing homes/institutions. The purpose is to decrease the workload of care givers. Emergency relief includes housing security, air quality, gate control and CCTV surveillance. It is more suitable for exhibition halls and museums. In fact, to help communities apply for subsidies, TIBA provides consultation services. For example, for communities consisting mainly of elderly people, TIBA offers a health center solution. A community health center would form a telemedicine network with neighboring clinics and hospitals. Residents in the community can take their tests in the health center free of charge and hospitals can provide timely medical consultations. This would not only increase the service value of the community management committee, but also help the residents and the health authorities. It could be an ideal win-win solution.
M2M APPS: Could you please describe, in simple terms, the vision for “Intelligent Architecture” that would meet the needs of residents?
HSIU-LING WEN: From the present to 2015, we hope to introduce intelligence functions to all buildings, and apply green construction materials to make our living environment secure, healthy and energy-saving. By 2025, we expect all buildings to have proactive functions that would assess the needs and situation of a given environment. By 2050, the third stage, we emphasize the concept of O2—On Demand and Open Service Network. In an open service network platform, the users would be informed of all the intelligent services, users can then make their demands and acquire personalized services. It is like having your own personal secretary. It will also have a more humanized interface between the machines and the users, .e.g. using voices to inform the situation and giving the control power to the users. In this way, warm, considerate, enlightening and intelligent services could be provided.