Building automation systems have been around for a few years now, and have been touted as a sort of “Star Wars” technology that run buildings automatically and efficiently. Only recently, however, has the reality started to match up to the promise.

Building automation systems are designed to control a variety of subsystems, such as HVAC, lighting, blinds, and fire safety systems. Those subsystems have typically operated as separate components with different protocols and communication systems that have been bundled together as a package. The trend now, however, is to better integrate…