July 2015

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Road Map of the Possible
for Connected Buildings

We all need to do a better job of selling the connected buildings and we need to share our ideas and unify our pitch to our clients.
Founder, Owner, Publisher AutomatedBuildings.com

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I just returned from a meeting with our local utility who organized a brainstorming effort to what a road map for connected buildings might look like. The discussion went many directions; we discussed several normal issues such as how the maturity of the smart grid for the utility will shape the connected building; how new movements involving buildings as a community all sharing their pride with benchmarking and complete transparency / visibility of everyone's data would bring radical change.  Remote operation, big data, deep analytic, fault detection, the gamification for simpler connected interfaces was all discussed.

Other interesting topics were how living building and other amazing sustainable buildings would fall on connected buildings creating hybrid's constructed from viable mash-able technology; the position of renewable (solar, wind, micro grid) at a building level all driven by the maturity of smart grid; automatic demand response and time of day billing.

The examples of the rapidly evolving US energy markets was discussed and is well summed up here in Toby's column

Buildings to Participate as Distributed System Platforms

The general observation was that the pretense of local Connected Building is troweled onto an existing and new buildings. Connected Building is not connected to the design process or the building purpose. A very large problem.

Back in 1999 I wrote an article Your Building Address as a .com?

We have selected this article to be in our first launch issue because we think it sends us all a wake up call as to how significant the internet is going to be in the future. Our site is aimed at the Automation of Buildings and integration with the internet will become just another step.

Of interest this example building in San Francisco is still has the web address connected and working showing the longevity of the internet.

Today's connected building needs in addition to a web presence to  have several social media presences that interact with the Building Address web site. Social media can create a powerful interactive occupant engagement and connection creating a socially connected building. We have never before had powerful tools like social media in the hands of our occupants; this is a powerful new connection fabric that needs to be explored in the realm of the possible.

Below are some of my observations and takeaways from the meeting.

As an industry we all need to do a better job of selling the connected buildings and we need to share our ideas and unify our pitch to our clients.

In coming months I want to engage you my readers, and my many authors, to help me create "A Road Map of the Possible for Connected Buildings."

Another comment that the new construction of connected buildings is broken and worse yet disconnected from the connected buildings.  Again we all need to fix this with getting smart intelligent connected building professionals into the concept design process. 

A truly connected well being building changes the complete design and connects and engages the occupants.
Wide use of wireless and IT resources "enterprise thinking" radically changes traditional building design.  It is truly a head shake.

As an industry we could all help by pointing to good examples and offering support to new building projects at an early stage with our map of the possible.

Again as an industry we need to focus on the lucrative payback of improving satisfaction and productivity.  The topic of occupant engagement and satisfaction is discussed in this article,

BIM - what about the occupants? adds strength to the comments at the meeting of the importance of including the productive satisfaction piece

Quote from article;

As BIM (Building Information Modelling) takes its place on the stage of innovative building design and cohesive collaboration, environmental certification – LEED2, BREEAM3 and others - assure quality, and systems convergence streamlines and enhances operational efficiency and response, we should have arrived on the doorstep of sustainable buildings. But hold on a minute – as we look inside we need to ask ‘has the wellbeing of occupants and users been fully considered and is sustainability performance actually being measured’?

A study of over 700 American construction professionals found that architects, owners, human resources executives and contractors are willing to pay more for buildings with demonstrated positive impacts on health, and cited many financial benefits to such buildings, including lower healthcare costs, higher levels of employee satisfaction and engagement, lower absenteeism and higher productivity (McGraw Hill Construction, 2014)4

In this article the author asks to share your thoughts; Designing Humans into Buildings  I’d like to hear from you on your examples of human-centered building automation. - Christopher Naismith, Learning Manager, SES Consulting

In this LinkedIn Pulse article on Local History of DDC I applaud the work of meetings like this and we need to thank BC Hydro for the funding from their power smart programs plus their belief in those early years of DDC that helped forge local industries and created radical conservation change in the world of existing buildings.

contemporary Quote from article;

The above history of our industry shows how our collaboration of pioneer visionaries, and the start-ups, all working together with local governments and utilities can provide amazing returns for us all with international reach.

Not sure how but somehow government needs to understand how well they did with this and see that investing in technology ( our Assets, our people ) in BC has amazing results in achieving a prosperous green lifestyle for many. The industries created all bring money to BC from international places without cutting down trees, running pipelines, selling water, or burning carbon, while reducing carbon where products are used.

Good meeting got us all thinking and gave me a new crusade.....like I need another one....big smile.

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


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