August 2015

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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Transformative Change

Evolves from the Map of possible

 Ken Sinclair
Founder, Owner, Publisher

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I am extremely pleased with the industry support, in articles, interviews, and blog responses and their openness of opinion and frankness to my request.

Industry please join us in helping to clearly define "A Road Map of the Possible for Connected Buildings."

Getting some great comments directly and off the record on the Map of the possible

I want to share and update you with some of them so you can share your observations of the connection change. The bottom line to date is; "the possible is presently impossible without transformative change.

The map of the possible that you are helping to create is leading rapidly to educate and definition of the Transformative change that is now occurring everywhere in our industry.

Listed below is linkage and a pull quotes from several excellent articles in our August issue that speak to the map of the possible and or the necessity of the ensuing transformative change. 

Roadmap of the Possible Challenge  Connected buildings are becoming and will continue to become a reflection on today’s information technology (IT) and today’s societal trends which include mobility, social media, big data and personalization. - Tom Shircliff,  IntelligentBuildingsŪ LLC

We are grateful that Ken has kicked off the discussion of “Roadmap of the Possible” and is inviting industry stakeholders to contribute to the dialogue. We all owe it to the building owner, management and occupant community to keep an eye on the near future to encourage the most prudent and forward looking decision making.

Transformative Change  It’s Not Just About Inventing Something New - Marc Petock, Vice President Marketing, Lynxspring & Connexx Energy

Transformative change is powerful. It can have a real impact by changing how products are made and distributed, how products are serviced and refined and more. In today’s economy, there is a constant drumbeat to come up with something new and undergo transformative change. But you don’t need to invent something entirely new to be successful. Invention is wonderful, but you can be very successful if you focus on innovating and adding new and extending value to something that already exists rather than inventing something completely new. For us, beginning at the most basic levels, with new conceptions about how devices, information, people and systems interact is in a way, transformative change.

A New Energy Management System for the Next Era in Building Automation & Control - Greg Shank, Principal, Altura Associates

A single, integrated engineering team should collaborate on all software programming and optimization tasks - controls, analytics, and workflow management - during design and construction. The resulting data platform can evolve into a building energy management system that will serve the building’s on-going commissioning needs through its useful life.

Followed by this: Measuring Happiness - the Impact of Comfy  But for thermal comfort nerds like me, one of the most fun parts has been to see how it has positively impacted so many people’s comfort, and how we’ve been able to measure that. - Lindsay Baker, VP Research and Marketing, Building Robotics, Inc

Warm feelings for sure but is transformative change occurring?

Has Project Haystack Moved the Building IoT Across the Chasm? 

“Has support for standardization efforts like BACnet and Project Haystack naming/tagging taxonomy grown to the point that it is providing a pathway for data-driven building operations technologies across the Chasm?”

Can the Building Automation Industry Deliver their own Building Internet of Things? 

Several big players have made moves to become more involved in intelligent buildings & building automation, either by way of acquisitions or strategic partnerships. They realize that from this base the Building Internet of Things (BIoT) can rapidly expand; and within 10 years theoretically triple the size of the business.

Vibrant Ecosystem Ups the Value of a Building's IoT Platform  How applications and services from partners like BASSG add to the strength of the SkySpark™ platform, supporting data analytics project teams through the whole cycle from data aggregation to action. - Therese Sullivan, BuildingContext Ltd &Alper Uzmezler, BASSG Projects

Transactive Energy is a great example of change.

VOLTTRON  An open-source software platform for distributed sensing and control supporting energy efficiency, grid integration, and the larger ecosystem of Transactive Energy. - George Hernandez, Sensors and Controls Technical Advisor, BTO

Hernandez:  Over the past few years, the topics of Grid Integration and Grid Modernization have been a focus of the DOE.  Within our Buildings Technologies Office (BTO) these two topics have been the lightning rod for us to rethink the office’s relationship to buildings:

Our technology solution to this challenge is a product called VOLTTRON, and it’s pretty great.  In a few short years, it has demonstrated real solutions to many of these problems, proven itself in the marketplace, and garnered widespread interest and support from industry players.

Facility Smart Grid Information Model (FSGIM) Ready for Review and Feedback - Allen Jones, Independent Consultant 

What is needed is a common semantic model to which the various systems and their protocols can be mapped.  To address this issue, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel created PAP 17 and tasked it with creating an abstract information model that was capable of supporting a wide range of energy management applications and grid interactions including but not limited to:

This abstract model could then be used by various protocol standards groups to adapt their protocols to provide the information needed to interact with the Smart Grid.

ASHRAE was assigned the lead role of coordinating the development of the standard and created a Standard Project Committee, SPC 201, to undertake the task. The SPC 201 committee consists of experts from residential, commercial, and industrial automation equipment manufacturers, protocol groups, utilities, Independent System Operators, governmental organizations, and academia.

Paul Ehrlich, our contributing editor provides this wisdom that started our August theme; As you are aware we have already written roadmaps for intelligent buildings. No harm in doing this again - but is this what we really need?  Or perhaps it is something else - like a transformative change in how the industry is structured?

Ken Good piece on Linked In.  A few thoughts on this:

There is a strong potential for better integration of buildings and the grid (often called B2G).  I have been working on this from a number of angles including some work with various DOE labs, and the electric industry.  There are lots of potential benefits to a solution that is similar but fundamentally different then today’s demand response solutions.

In my mind the stumbling point in getting this moving is the absence of good financial models were the benefits from having greater grid flexibility are shared with the building owner and used to help fund integrated systems and any issues related to having a flexible building.  There are benefits but I am not sure that the economic models are yet well developed.

Clearly lots that can be done with integration and “Intelligent Buildings.”  Much of this we have been doing for quite a while.  Doing more is probably a good idea - but it needs to not just “be cool” but provide some tangible (and ideally financial) benefits.

Still lots of structural issues in the industry - starting with a lack of understanding by designers, suppliers and contractors and moving on from there.

As you are aware we have already written roadmaps for intelligent buildings. No harm in doing this again - but is this what we really need?  Or perhaps it is something else - like a transformative change in how the industry is structured?


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