October 2014

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Automated Diagnostics & Analytics
for Buildings - a Book Review 

Ken Sinclair
Founder, Owner Publisher AutomatedBuildings.com

Barney's Book

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October's theme arrived at the door with a knock and the delivery of a very large book that Barney and Mike had asked me to write a foreword for.

It is a very large book, some 615 pages, the size of a small laptop but much heavier.

This book contains an amazing collaboration of the "who is who" of our industry and I was extremely pleased to be requested to write the Foreword.  I am also very pleased that our very busy AutomatedBuildings.com contributing editors and faithful writers were able to find time to pen several chapters.

I am most impressed with the organization of the book placing the complex subject matter of the components of Automated Diagnostics & Analytics for Buildings in a organized manner in some 46 Chapters.

The printed graphics are also great in most chapters, helping immensely to depict the evolution of Automated Diagnostics & Analytics.

I am pleased to share my foreword and Barney L Capehart and Michael R Brambley's introduction with you as they provide some insight and introduction to the book.


This book will help you explore the new world of Automated Diagnostics and Analytics for Buildings and provide insight and connection into the industry thought leaders that are taking big data into a new reality.  “Dynamic Data Fuels Deep Analytics” speaks to the importance of the next level of deep analytics of almost everything will have and how we as an industry will provide a new level of deeper analytics connecting inquiring minds to almost everything with low cost real time data. The journey will be driven by the first wave of online analytics that will point to the potential of looking further into building operation opportunities, but further analytics will be required to factually quantify these opportunities.  We all know analytics begat analytics.

Over the recent past, the best use of an analytic software application for building systems has been fault detection and diagnostics (FDD).  FDD techniques are typically equipment or device centric and characterized by pre-defined rules based on an engineering model of a piece of equipment. Despite the impressive progress with FDD, the industry is in its infancy of utilizing data analytic applications in buildings. If analytics for the HVAC system has provided outstanding outcomes, we need to take that template to other building systems.

Several of the chapter authors are regular contributors to our free online magazine so understanding their thoughts and coming to know them in the following chapters will bring this book alive and make it relevant for many years to come. Once you know the industry thought leaders assembled in this book you can start following them and their most recent evolving thoughts in our and other online resources, their blogs and industry news feeds. The transition in the last few years has been amazingly rapid. In our magazine’s 15 year history we have talked about the possible but it is only in the last few years and even more accelerated in the last few months that the possible has transitioned into the plausible and our new reality.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Mobility coupled with the cloud has created an industry of large building automation folks trying to rapidly understand the big data transition. Cloud based Big Data Projects are truly morphing into a dynamic collection of people, things, and internet interactions; a collaborator, not just a project. A “collaboratory" is more than an elaborate collection of information and communications technologies; it is a new networked organizational form that also includes social processes; collaboration techniques; formal and informal communication; and agreement on norms, principles, values, and rules” (Cogburn, 2003, p. 86). You will see in most articles that Ownership of the Collaboratory is an important piece of the total success of Automated Diagnostics and Analytics for Buildings.

A clear component of every successful energy integration Diagnostics and Analytics project is a team of champions who asserted ownership of the project collaboratory. The importance of keeping our data free inside the collaboratory needs to be highlighted; a lesson we learned in the past but somehow need to keep relearning. The data not only needs to be free, it needs to be named and organized in a predicable agreed on format.

It is not just the naming of data but a consistent data model that allows us to free our data to a world of dynamic dimensions for our own purposes. No longer must data be predefined before use if an accurate self-discoverable model is present. This new way of viewing data allows us a new world in which data can be used in several different ways as a dynamic subset of many scenarios.

I am very pleased that Barney and Mike asked me to provide my thoughts in this foreword for their new book. They have done an amazing job of capturing and assembling the new evolving frontier of Automated Diagnostics and Analytics for Buildings now occurring as part of the Internet of Everything (IOE).

Ken Sinclair Publisher/Owner www.AutomatedBuildings.com                        Sinclair@automatedbuildings.com   March 2014  Vancouver Island, Canada


The purpose of this book is to promote and document energy savings from the relatively new technology of Advanced Energy Information Systems called Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics (AFDD) and Analytics for buildings and facilities. A number of studies have shown that commercial buildings in the United States (U.S.) waste as much as 15% to 30% of the energy they use (Katipamula and Brambley 2005).  Analysis of HVAC and other building energy use data, along with whole-building utility data, sub-metered end-use data, and data from the building automation system (BAS) through the use of AFDD and building analytics can help identify opportunities to improve building operations and efficiency, and ultimately reduce energy and operating costs.

We will discuss the latest technologies available for fault detection, diagnostics, and building analytics, and operational experience with stand alone and web based systems for fault detection, diagnostics and analytics in currently operating buildings and facilities, and in varied applications, and to show how new opportunities have developed for energy and facility managers to quickly and effectively control and manage their operations more efficiently, with less energy use and cost, and experience improved energy system performance. You'll find information on what is actually available using this technology, what products and services are available at this time, and how they are being used at other buildings and facilities, and see what is involved for current and future installations of internet-based technologies. The material in this book on automated fault detection, diagnostics and analytics should greatly assist energy, facility and maintenance managers, as well as consultants and control systems development engineers. Chapters on methodology and future technological features should also assist those involved in research and development of these new technologies in AFDD and analytics for buildings.

Barney L Capehart
Michael R Brambley

I have listed below the contributing editors and regular contributors from our magazine that are part of this amazing collaboration.

Contributing Editors




We are very pleased that both authors of this book have written for us;

Barney L. Capehart, PhD, CEM Professor Emeritus University of Florida

Michael Brambley is a Staff Scientist in Energy Technology Development at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

Regular Contributors to our magazine and industry experts that are part of this book

- use our site search engine to learn more about them

Jim Butler CTO Cimetrics
Jim Lee CEO Founder Cimetrics (Read Jim's chapter included this month.)
William Cox
John Greenwell President CEPort
Kelsey Haas Energy Manager Ezenics
Rob Murchison Principal at Intelligent Buildings
Paul Oswald President Enviromental Systems Inc
Mary Ann Piette Department Director Lawrence Berkely National Lab
John Petze Partner Skyfoundry
Glenn T. Remington Consultant
Tom Shircliff Principal at Intelligent Buildings
Darrell Smith Directory of World wide Energy and Building Tech Microsoft
Steve Tom PE PhD Director of Technical information Automated Logic Corp

From the web sites that you can order the book from are these words:

• Provides information to a broad audience on the state of automated fault detection and diagnostics for buildings applications, the benefits of those applications

• Covers topics such as emerging diagnostic technology, examples of field deployments, the relationship to codes and standards, automated diagnostic tools presently available, guidance on how to use automated diagnostics, and related issues.


With the widespread availability of high-speed, high-capacity microprocessors and microcomputers with high-speed communication ability, and sophisticated energy analytics software, the technology to support deployment of automated diagnostics is now available, and the opportunity to apply automated fault detection and diagnostics to every system and piece of equipment in a facility, as well as for whole buildings, is imminent.

The purpose of this book is to share information with a broad audience on the state of automated fault detection and diagnostics for buildings applications, the benefits of those applications, emerging diagnostic technology, examples of field deployments, the relationship to codes and standards, automated diagnostic tools presently available, guidance on how to use automated diagnostics, and related issues.

Plus check out the table of contents for an understanding of book content.





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