April 2017

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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Comments by Ken Sinclair
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April - In Search of the "Make Me Happy Button" - Claiming our Piece of the Productivity Puzzle

buttonOur industry's wagons are circling the productivity puzzle and its lucrative paybacks as we all explore how our new "IoT" presences will provide more than Energy and Operating savings for our clients and allow us to morph to Occupant Happiness.

Now is the time for us as an industry to stake claims for our pieces of the puzzle that is satisfaction, wellness, productivity in our buildings.

My thinking as I started to write this editorial, rapidly evolved to no one person or group can completely solve the productivity puzzle. It is a mosaic of comfort satisfaction and wellness control, that includes temperature, humidity, IAQ, draft, lighting level, lighting color, fenestration control, wellness, social media communication, digital mindfulness, psychology with successful client interaction.

In the old days, (before, early 1990's) we often joked about the "Make Me Happy Button" an important mythical DDC input from the field to let us know that our clients were not happy.  This, of course, was long before smartphones and social media. In those days we had no method of communicating the happiness of our occupant/client. But, as best said and sung by Dylan, "the times they are a changing."

Maybe with The Potential of Voice – The New Age Interface we will just speak, no button to push, just say the "Make Me Happy Command" more here, Giving the Internet of Things a Voice.  Something needs to change if the IoT is going to take hold this time around and Hunn believes it may come from voice recognition.  Harbor Research adds

I just found this app

Happiness can be elusive, but it's one thing we all want from life. If you're looking to be happier, you could change your job, adjust your sleep patterns, eat a well-balanced diet or start getting more exercise. Of course, you could always download an app too.

We do not want folks to change their jobs so we need to help them find Happiness in our controlled environments so we can claim our piece of the lucrative productivity puzzle.

This includes Digital mindfulness a name given to describe the harmonious deployment and interaction with digital and digitized environments. - For more information read my interview with Dr. Lawrence Ampofo, Director, Digital Mindfulness

From our years of experience as an industry and my five decades in the comfort business, BTW just learned a new term I love "Thermal Health Business," we know that there is a strong basic need for our services, but we need to mash-up these basic comfort/health services with the soft side of the people and appeal to their "Make Me Happy button."

Our last few issues have spoken to Where comfort, satisfaction, and wellness intersect  I am in awe of the power bestowed upon us and our potential as an industry to have a significant impact on the wellness and overall satisfaction of the occupants of our automated, connected, smart, living, buildings.

Human beings as part of the Internet of Things - Satisfaction and Productivity of corporate assets, "their people," is an ongoing dynamic survey of human cognition's that is creating new performance metrics from the data from our buildings. We are all struggling to develop mushy measurement methods of their cognition's of well-being, satisfaction, stress, innovation and contribution to corporate purpose.  Of course, comfort both temperature and lighting levels need to be provided as basic services with expected energy efficiency.

And what of the lucrative paybacks? Paul Oswald Managing Director CBRE|ESI Global Workplace Solutions Global Energy & Sustainability states, Let’s consider this from a building owner’s or manager’s perspective: in a typical building, energy represents a $1 - $9 per square foot cost item. Lease/maintenance and operations represent a $10 - $99 per square foot cost, and people (occupants) represent a $100 - $999 per square foot cost.

As an industry, we need to document our claims and demonstrate the power of our pieces, so those unraveling the productivity puzzle will know that we already have incredible resources with large pieces and assemblies of pieces to help solve the satisfaction, wellness, productivity puzzle in our buildings.

I think it is good to think of our products and services simply as pieces of a bigger puzzle and design and constantly innovate how they could fit into several productivity pictures.

Guess what?  The target of what is Productivity and even satisfaction/happiness is rapidly changing.  This from Comfy a productivity pioneer in our industry who is Creating Their Piece of the Productivity Puzzle.  These Comfy blog bits highlight their pioneering work. Concepts like unraveling the power of the internet, the evolutions of standards like BACnet from the beginning are now being evolved into comfort satisfaction and people-driven solutions by the likes of Comfy and others.

Therese asks the question; Will DevOps Culture Come to Smart Buildings?  Deploying 3rd-party analytics to the satisfaction of owner and occupant end-users takes customization of the interface for the unique building or campus under management, and sometimes it means developing a custom app. So, some of the most forward-thinking players in each category are recognizing that they need to evolve and funnel their controls expertise into a software engineering role. Training in the DevOps methodology and toolchain could help them bring structure to this new role.

Brad and Christopher of SES consulting provide thier response as to how we need to change in this article, Cope with the IOT Revolution by Staying Agile

Amazing efforts forging open source standards like Haystack having the potential to provide us a common language or at least naming that will allow a shared machine readable tags for everything. This Intel article chirps in with Building Industry Standards through Project Haystack Collaboration

And of course we now have big data and Analytics.  The Road to Transparency  in a World With Billions of IIoT Devices - James Lee, CEO & President, Cimetrics Inc.

The new frontier of personal satisfaction and wellness is lighting control providing a new slice on Productivity For Occupants & Building Managers from this article.  Employees can personalize the lighting and temperature at their workspaces using a smartphone app,  while building managers gain real-time data on operations and activities.  Allowing individual occupants or tenants to control lighting mood can attract new tenants wanting to maximize productivity or retails sales, to create a memorable and entertaining retail experience, perhaps with colorful fašade lighting.   Employee productivity benefits may be large, but also difficult to measure.

Our newest Sponsor/advertiser provides this perspective, Using IoT to Achieve Better Outcomes  It could be said that good outcomes = planning + technology + execution + integration.

This review, Our Long Road to Happiness, describes our industry paving the road with thousands of articles, interviews, news releases and new products from our last 19 years. Not my story but the story of industry giants helping me create an online collaboratory of their powerful thoughts.

I find it interesting that our shift in the DDC industry from the name Energy Management Control System (EMCS) to Client Comfort System (CSS) in early 1990 with this document, was a harbinger which acknowledging the important of the client satisfaction connection.

It is amazing that this game-changing document is still online.  This was what Jane and I were doing, "our day job", five years before the start of

Your Homework for IoT Day April 9 Share your thoughts with the world on how IoT will help engage wellbeing, satisfaction, productivity in Buildings?

This is our biggest issue ever and my longest editorial, sorry but we have so much to share, with 19 new articles, plus 8 interviews. Our Website Visits, LinkedIn, & Twitter followings are also at an all time high. Down load our phone app or see the links to social media on our home page.

This is not an April fools joke but an incredible collection of great articles, columns, reviews, new products, interviews and of course the steady stream of news depicting our rapid evolution and journey to happiness and improved productivity.

Welcome our newest sponsors:

Optergy - Building, and energy management products to help create healthier & productive environments. Visit us now at

Panel Fab, Inc Panel Fab is a turn-key control panel provider offering strategic outsourcing solutions for all your control projects.  The pre-fabricated EZ Panels enable you to order a custom subpanel assembly using one part number.  Custom fabrication is also our specialty serving the building automation industry as the single source solution for panel fabrication and panel components.

Tell all our sponsors you saw their ads on the web-site and thank them for supporting your free access to evolving Automated Building Industry information. Click on their ads and view their valuable products and services. Please review all Our Sponsors.

The news just keeps flowing thru our web-site, and RSS feeds daily, and of course the only way to find what you are looking for in the vast quantity of information on our site is with our site search engine

As always lots of new products, plus be sure to check our event calendar to see the number of events we have in our future.

Editorial from Mar 2017

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