Project Haystack

What is Project Haystack?

Project Haystack is an “Open Source initiative to streamline working with IoT Data.” 

Working with end-users in the early stages of our Building Book energy management system, we found one of the biggest hurdles encountered by users serious about making energy savings is not a lack of data. The problem was the absence of any standardized way for mapping their building’s data to an external system that could use it. 

Without a great deal of time and dedication by users who can sit down to ‘describe’ to a computer system how their building is constructed and controlled, no significant analysis can happen.

The process of mapping this data can not only be time-consuming, but confusing. The users responsible for identifying these savings opportunities don’t always have an intricate understanding of the building’s controls. At least not down to the level of each switch, sensor & submeter.

IoT devices typically lack any standardised descriptive metadata that can automate the process of mapping out a building’s control system with any great detail. IoT metadata can and should be added to each device, but without a Global standard, this metadata is at best guesswork and close to impossible to have any interoperability between a system that has not been designed for the metadata of that specific building’s IoT network.

Project Haystack solves this problem. The semantic data models and web services provided give us a common policy that is continuously evolving through the Haystack community. Any networked device using Haystack tags can be recognised by a system designed with the Haystack standard in mind.

Project Haystack
Allander Analytics is an Associate Member of Project Haystack.

The global adoption of Project Haystack is a win for everybody

From Allander Analytics’ point of view, there are no downsides to using Project Haystack. If building owners and consultants choose to specify that Haystack conventions are used in their BMS/BAS, and system integrators and manufacturers integrate proper Haystack support into their products; expected interoperability between systems becomes the rule, not the exception.

Not only will this save countless man-hours, but also result in substantial cost, energy, and carbon savings as data can easily be gathered and interpreted, allowing earlier meaningful interventions.

To be successful, the standard that everyone agrees on must be something that everyone in the industry can have their say in, is simple to implement, and won’t add any additional cost to the configuration of a building. Project Haystack is an open-source project and the perfect solution to this problem. 

Allander Analytics decided to become a Project Haystack associate as we have seen its potential and will do what we can to increase the adoption.

If you are interested, we encourage you to learn more about project Haystack by visiting their website

If you are already using Haystack or would like more information on how using Project Haystack in your building or estate can help to reduce your consumption through Building Book, please contact us.