April 2007
  
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Thought and Reflections on the Status of our Industry
Several meetings held in the winter of 2006 and in conjunction with the AHR exposition provided some valuable and interesting insights into what our industry values and potentially some guidance or steps to follow to transform our industry.

Thomas J. Lohner,
P.E.,
Vice President,
TENG Solutions

Last year I developed a white paper that outlined various suggestions related to the creation of a separate non-profit association for the purposes of hosting an industry sponsored conference on Integrated and Intelligent Building Technologies. The general premise governing this proposal was that the building automation industry is still very fragmented, and the design and installation of these systems is still focused on a non-integrated paradigm necessitating that the building technology providers (system integrators, controls contractors and product suppliers) fragment their focus and attend multiple conferences and association meetings to stay connected to the main stream business opportunities. This approach results in an overall higher cost to the building technology providers, dilutes the effectiveness of these industry events, and continues the single system, non-integrated system paradigm.

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Several meetings held in the winter of 2006 and in conjunction with the AHR exposition provided some valuable and interesting insights into what our industry values and potentially some guidance or steps to follow to transform our industry. The following summarizes the major points of interest:

  1. In general the industry does not support the creation of a dedicated, non profit, conference and / or association. This is primarily driven by the fact that significant volunteer time and cost would be required to create this non-profit entity.

  2. Due to this time and cost factor, the industry believes that leveraging an existing venues would be the best course of action and speed delivery.

  3. End user and design professional training and certification programs are a missing and necessary component to accelerate the delivery of Integrated and Intelligent Buildings (IIB). Additionally, such training and certification programs would be useful in terms of serving as a catalyst to increase market awareness, consolidate conference venues, and promote co-location of association and industry meetings and related programs. Several industry companies stated that would only support a new conference if it incorporated some sort of end user and design professional training.

  4. The IIB industry should leverage the positive focus place on integrated building technologies resulting form the building design community emphasis on green and sustainable buildings.

  5. Reliable Controls Co-location and / or partnership with an existing, well established conference / exposition maybe make good logistic and business since.

  6. The industry should first focus on connecting our Buildings and doing this very good, before we try to connect everything in related industries. This tends to water down the focus on the building and also confuse our already confused owner – design professional segments.

What does this translate to in terms of real life next steps? Clasma's (BuilConn and Connectivity Week) and Engineered Systems' (Building Automation Conference) have indicated a desire to discuss the potential to work together to combine the audiences each has attracted (System Integrators / Contractors versus Design Professionals). Furthermore, in order to address the many of the short comings associated with a for-profit driven event and the various conflict of interests that arise, CLASMA has began to develop the framework for a formal “Board of Advisors” which would basically run the financial and programmatic content of this broader “super conference”. This would allow the good works of Engineered Systems, the CABA IIBC and other industry niche partners to be fully leveraged and to apply their full support of the resultant event.

Join the industry for a follow-up meeting at BuilConn (Connectivity Week) (see invitation below) to review Clasma’s board of advisors proposal and the impact of the CABA Intelligent Buildings Road Map (soon to be released)!

INDUSTRY INVITATION:  The Future of the Buildings Industry
A Vision & Brainstorming Session
May 25, 2007 in Chicago

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