April 2008
  
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ASHRAE, CSI & OPC at BuilConn

      
Anto Budiardjo
President & CEO,
Clasma Events Inc.

Contributing Editor

The new face is strangely a combination of the past, the changing, the new, and a heavy dose of socially-driven subjects that together are turning the world of energy and buildings upside down. as ASHRAE, CSI & OPC meet at BuilConn.

The new face of Building Automation has been emerging over the past years at BuilConn, and in 2008 the reveal of this vision is finally coming true, and what an interesting reveal it is turning out to be.

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Distech Controls

The new face is strangely a combination of the past, the changing, the new, and a heavy dose of socially-driven subjects that together are turning the world of energy and buildings upside down.

With a focus on tangible information to implement IT and building automation for green buildings, BuilConn 2008 is a not-to-be-missed event for anyone involved in buildings, from owners to integrators, consultants to architects, and system to technology vendors alike.

ASHRAE

For decades, ASHRAE has been the standard bearer of building automation; the association responsible for HVAC in the U.S. and arguably around the world; oftentimes focused on what many would consider traditional views of controls and automation; simply a necessary item for mechanical devices. There is a new guard at ASHRAE and a realization that not only are controls and automation critical, but the convergence with IT and the proliferation of smart sensors and integration with energy suppliers will play a huge role in achieving the Net Zero Building goals of ASHRAE, which would contribute significantly to addressing the climate change and energy supply solutions around the globe.

BuilConn 2008 in Santa Clara will be a milestone in hosting the first ever Keynote by a senior-ranking ASHRAE executive to deliver their message to the emerging community responsible for the convergence of buildings and IT. Gordon Holness, ASHRAE Treasurer, will deliver a Keynote on Wednesday, May 21; to set the tone that convergence, IT, and specifically, connectivity is something appearing on the radar screen of the association. We welcome ASHRAE to the BuilConn family.

CSI

CSI, the Construction Specifications Institute, is yet another established organization that has a significant influence on how buildings are constructed. Its MasterFormat specification framework has been the boilerplate upon which thousands of building specifications have been created in the world of spec-build for decades.

While there is a significant trend toward design-build, the draw of spec-build remains for many. CSI recognizes this trend with updates to the MasterFormat specification over the past few years. Today, CSI is veering towards technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), a methodology that is more based on IT than the mechanical nature of building construction. BIM is very much in line with what the BuilConn community has been aspiring to for years, to use IT to create and model a view of buildings where information must be shared between all building systems and stakeholders through modern IT-based network infrastructures.

BuilConn 2008 is yet another milestone in organizing a CSI Roundtable with representatives from CSI on the Monday May 19, 2008, prior to the formal conference in Santa Clara. The roundtable is designed to exchange views on how CSI and the BuilConn community can work together in years to come to realize various visions of sustainable and green buildings that we now accept as a critical aspect of our collective future.

OPC

Anyone who has attempted to integrate building systems with each other and with user interface systems has come to use OPC in one way or another. OPC had its history founded upon Microsoft Windows technology called OLE (Object Linking and Embedding), its name originally stood for OLE for Process Control. OPC soon grew past its Windows origins and has become a widely used information interchange format and integration platform of choice not only in the process control field but also in building automation.

OPC, now standing for Open Process Control, is moving ahead with the advancement of technology, specifically the use of web services and SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). In this process, OPC is also reaching out to applications beyond process control such as building automation and energy.

In 2008, BuilConn will be co-located with IndConn, a conference focused on industrial connectivity, organized in partnership with the OPC Foundation. Covering subjects such as information models, collaboration, green manufacturing and energy management, IndConn will open up new angles on the future of building automation in the converged world.

The BuilConn Regulars

BuilConn 2008 will continue to be a critical venue for the evolution of the traditional standards used in building automation, namely LonMark, BACnet, Modbus and others.

After six years, BuilConn remains the only venue that is unbiased about these standards, providing a platform for supporters of these technologies to promote their initiatives while allowing integrators and owners alike the opportunity to understand the status and progress of adoption of these and other key technologies for the future of building systems.

IP Technologies

distech Of course, the emerging trend is all about Internet Protocol, or IP. This started at the very first BuilConn in 2003, with the birth of oBIX, and has evolved into players like Cisco taking a proactive role in defining the vision of connected buildings around the use of IP. This is a story that continues to be written at BuilConn with launch after launch of IP products and solutions year after year.

BuilConn 2008 in Santa Clara will host the Buildings 2.0 Roundtable to discuss the status of Internet-based building automation, and more importantly, the new type of products and solutions that are being enabled by the use of this ubiquitous technology. This Roundtable will lead into conference sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, focusing on the value and implementation strategies of connected buildings, geared mainly for building owners, consultants and influencers.

New Faces!

A host of new faces will be at BuilConn in 2008, collectively creating the new face of building automation that is not seen anywhere in the world.

LBNL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, a veteran research laboratory with a large department focused on building technologies, is a major partner at this year’s BuilConn focusing specifically on their work with DR (Demand Response). LBNL is organizing an OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response) Workshop on Monday of BuilConn week, a key workshop that will explore the field of DR as part of the co-located DR-Expo.

ZigBee is not new to the BuilConn community, though this year’s ZigBee Expo promises to be a milestone event as millions of ZigBee-enabled smart meters begin to be installed in California as part of that state’s AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) deployment.

OASIS has been at BuilConn for a number of years now, but in 2008, a track focusing on Enterprise Interoperability is in development  to discuss how buildings will increasingly become an integral part of the enterprise view of today’s organizations.

NEA (NewEnergy Alliance) is a new organization focused on the advancement of creating energy efficient and aware buildings. Founded by a group led by Constellation NewEnergy, NEA will take center stage at BuilConn to promote opportunities for building automation players to leverage the huge opportunities around Demand Response.

A Bumper BuilConn

All in all, BuilConn 2008 promises to be an important event in the evolution of connected buildings driven by the energy challenges of our world today.

Co-located with numerous events as part of ConnectivityWeek, BuilConn 2008 will be focused on the key technologies and initiatives mentioned above, but more importantly on the value proposition and implementation strategies of connected buildings and how IT can be a critical solution component of green buildings.

BuilConn 2008 will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, May 20-22. Visit www.builconn.com.

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