CxAlloy has grown up as a BCxA Market Partner. Starting in 2012 at our annual conference, CxAlloy has participated in our annual conference as an exhibitor every year, and has sponsored the BCxA Conference (formerly NCBC) as well. CxAlloy was originally developed as an in-house commissioning tool by WorkingBuildings, LLC, an Atlanta engineering firm and corporate member of the BCxA. The very first version of CxAlloy was a Microsoft Access database created in 2003 by Jacob Terry, CxAlloy’s Director. After experiencing the benefits (and some inquiries from other firms interested in using the tool themselves), WorkingBuildings thought it would be a valuable tool for the wider industry and in 2012 invested in the expertise required to build and support it as a commercial product.

“We named ourselves CxAlloy because, just as a metal alloy combines elements to make a stronger material, our software’s aim is to take multiple parties involved in the commissioning process and give them the tools to collaborate and deliver a better result than any one party could have achieved independently, says Terry. “We believe commissioning is fundamentally a collaborative process that requires active and open participation from most (if not all) stakeholders in a project.”

Semantic Tagging

We asked CxAlloy about their use and perspective on semantic tagging. The firm believes standardized data structures are an important component in the maturation of the construction software industry. CxAlloy has supported the COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) standards since 2013, and are committed to standards-based data exchange in general.

Terry explains, “Standards have inherent tradeoffs, so they’ll never completely replace proprietary data structures and APIs, but wide adoption of a standard will really open up opportunities for more complex workflows and uses that we aren’t even thinking about. The challenge is generally around “who goes first?” because, if you are the only one to implement a standard, that time and effort really doesn’t pay off. I think it would be great if we could set up a process where we (software vendors) mutually commit and jump in together on implementation.”

Future of Commissioning: It’s the People

“Besides the future of semantic tagging and standards, one thing I would say is that today I would be very focused on the expertise and skills of my people. That is always going to be the most important differentiating factor for any commissioning firm. Using software like CxAlloy is important, but it will soon be table stakes (if it isn’t already).

“That said, one of the skills you want your people to have is the ability to effectively leverage your software of choice. You may say I’m biased, but I wouldn’t recommend, in today’s industry, trying to build your own software. Now that there are dedicated providers like us you’re almost guaranteed to get an inferior result while spending a lot of money.

“We could also talk about how every piece of equipment, sensor, etc. collects information all the time. There will be even more systems that will extract and monitor activities in a building to try and proactively manage energy consumption and equipment maintenance. These systems will have the ability to issue directives that improve efficiency and save energy, and also produce and track work orders and general maintenance events.

“There will be a lot of junk data these systems produce, too, especially early on. That’s another reason you’ll want people with deep expertise on your team.”

CxAlloy Software Conferences: BCxA (Nashville) and User Group (Atlanta)

CxAlloy will be exhibiting and introducing CxAlloy TQ and CxAlloy FM at the BCxA Conference in Nashville on October 15. The CxAlloy User Group is also holding an annual conference November 12-14 in Atlanta. This is a gathering of commissioning and engineering professionals who utilize CxAlloy TQ in their daily project activities. Presentations will include case studies and examples of best practices using actual project engagements. Case studies will be represented by a large airport, a university, a data center, a museum, a hospital, a large retail environment with multiple locations, and more. The event will include presentation of the CxAlloy product roadmap, the release of their API, and their facility management program, which can be managed directly by building site staff.

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