IPv6 could be the key to greener buildings

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Green on the inside

The General Services Administration has made considerable progress in improving the efficiency of the buildings it manages for the government, in part by using networked technology to automate environmental sensing and controls.

'So far, IPv4 has been adequate' for the jobs it has been asked to do, said Kevin Kampschroer, director of GSA's Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings.

But the government is slowly moving to IPv6, which offers improved security, a greatly expanded address space to accommodate more networked devices, and autoconfiguration to simplify the job of installing devices. GSA will use IPv6 as applications and hardware become available, Kampschroer said.

Derya Cansever, program director of advanced Internet technologies at SI International, said retrofitting older buildings for advanced wireless networks is an ideal project for IPv6.

IPv6 lets administrators take advantage of 30 years of IP experience to gain new functionality. 'It will be very simple to transition to IPv6,' Cansever said.

Using a wireless network simplifies the job of retrofitting older buildings that were not designed for modern wiring and cabling. And remote sensors do not have to be manually configured with IPv6.

'The smart building will be just another application,' Cansever said.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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