September 2009

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    Ken Sinclair

Editorial Comments by Ken Sinclair          Editor/Owner,


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September 2009“with our feet on the ground and our heads in the cloud”

Our last few issues have been pointed toward the cloud and all of its power and how this will revolutionize our industry. It is very important that while we understand our new found powers that we keep our feet on the ground and connect this cloud to real applications and real people. Once you get it and start bantering with your fellow "cloudys" you will find that when you talk to normal folks (your clients) whose heads are not clouded you talk funny.....real funny. Take the time to explain how the connections to the concepts of SaaS, ACC, Smart Grid etc are affordable and real. Do not speak in AAA's ( Annoying Arrogant Acronyms) share your decoder ring with your audience and try to speak English the best you can. We are all ambassadors from the cloud and our future depends on our ability to walk in with our feet on the ground and talk about successes and working examples of cloud connections.

In Gordon Holness', presidential address to ASHRAE members "Sustaining Our Future By Rebuilding Our Past" which deals with Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings he states in his conclusion; "We need to remind ourselves that today we are in a virtual world. We are in the era of iPhones and Yahoo, of Google Earth and Wikipedia, of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. If we want to continue to be leaders in this industry, we must deliver the goods today, Tomorrow is not good enough."

Gordon' s background in Building Information Modeling BIM and Interoperability has provided him great insight into the power of the future to solve the problems of the past. Change is everywhere and Tomorrow is not good enough.

Our articles have today's solutions and Sarah Erdman of Quality Automation Graphics in her article Energy Dashboards Inform and Educate shows us with pictures and powerful graphics how to stop talking funny while showing your stuff and even flings a few AAA's at us but provides good definition.

Lots of great articles in this issue: Bringing BIG Building Automation to The Small Building Market Trevor Palmer, Viconics; Pneumatic Energy Savings Control  George Fincher, Energy Controls Co.; Smart or Dumb Meters Mark Hunter, ION Controls;  How Do We Measure The Performance Of A Building? Jim Sinopoli, Smart Buildings LLC;  The Price of Energy Toby Considine, Smart Grid, Standards; Brivo ACS Webservice™ Deployed in Project Upgrade Bruce J. Doneff, Brivo Systems, LLC; Hey, Don't Take My Word For It… Robert Beverly, Engineered Systems; Brivo ACS Webservice™ Deployed in Project Upgrade Bruce J. Doneff, Brivo Systems, LLC; Building Cloud Connections Ken Sinclair,

September Columns:  BACnet … from the Outside In  Andy McMillan;  Collaborative Energy  Toby Considine;  The Coming Evolution of BAS DesignPaul Ehrlich & Ira Goldschmidt; Understanding Specifications  Steven R. Calabrese;  OPC Technology finds its’ place on the map  Manny Mandrusiak

September Interviews:  The Multi Protocol Router  David Oshoway;  Smart Building Product Ratings Jim Sinopoli; Energy Storage  Mark M. MacCracken

September Reviews:  Wailing of Wireless Woes  “Digital Signage is a Vortex”

The news just keeps flowing thru our web site and RSS feeds daily, and of course the only way to truly 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.

Several of our advertisers have provided links to their very informative newsletters and blogs please check them out.

Please welcome our newest sponsors:

ION Controls  offering Freedom through Openness, with free issue CreatION and ION Core graphical authoring and programming applications for the BACnet, Modbus, OPC capable ION SuperVZR Web Server and low-cost ION Micron controllers.

Energy Controls Co.  The PESC-F100 Pneumatic Energy Savings Control is an alternative to costly DDC retrofits of pneumatic systems which can cost $2000/Zone. PESC-F100 costs 1/4 of the price. To become a dealer

We welcome return advertiser - Quality Automation Graphics is a leader in the building control industry; providing energy efficiency education display dashboards, 3D symbol libraries, 3D design, and graphic outsourcing.

Tell our sponsors you saw their ad 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. 

August 2009Building Cloud Connections

When we started we joked that our purpose was to "join the dots" of our Building Automation industry...the dot coms, the dot org etc . Eleven years later all these connected dots to our web site have led to the new focus of building cloud connections. 

The cloud contains Software as a Service (SaaS, typically pronounced 'sass') . Our new mission is to expose how the dot com & org are using the cloud to provide their products and services. The identification and use of these valuable industry cloud connectors is essential to propel our industry forward at warp speed so it can radically change to survive.

After dropping my aging pocket pc phone into a tidal pool...(the jury is still out on whether it was intentional or not) the replacement iphone provides me a hand held cloud connector designed for that purpose. While the pocket pc struggled to run its own apps on a small, crash often, operating platform the iphone simply connects to powerful web services running on secure servers and with bullet proof operating systems. The fact that the iphone once connected to the cloud can self heal, update its firmware plus completely replace its operating system including features not originally provided raises the bar for our industry's products to follow this example. This device is a harbinger of our near future and does complex things simply with a little help from the clouds. That has to be our new mission doing complex things simply. OK I am done now, time to get on with what is in this month's issue and how it is helping build cloud connections.

A must read is my interview with Rick Huijbregts of Cisco Building Automation and the Cloud  With the new Cisco® Network Building Mediator we are taking it to the next level to enable the Internet of Things. Now, billions of sensors, controllers, actuators etc. can be added to the Network as the platform for the transformation of life experiences.

Another cloud connection is explained well in Automated Continuous Commissioning  David Wolins, Scientific Conservation, Inc. (SCI) SCIwatch is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that automatically and persistently predicts, detects, diagnoses and prioritizes system faults and anomalies that are constantly present in office, retail and institutional buildings.

Next connection Track LEED v3 Credits in Project Management Software Houston Neal, Software Advice ADOC provides a fast secure easy to use web based project management application that allows facility owners and construction managers to exchange project documents and information electronically with their contractors, architects, engineers, and consultants

In Jim Sinopoli's, article Drilling for Dollars  he states; Each of the IT networking titans now has products, primarily software, to monitor, manage and provide information on energy usage. The hardware and software covers homes, buildings, smart meters, electric cars, IT networks, and building automation systems. Almost all have been released this year and some are in limited release, beta versions or development. Here’s an overview of some of the offerings:

This month our interviews come alive, be sure to read, listen, and watch the series developed and produced by BusinessWeek sponsored by Cisco and streamed on WebEx launch from this interview IntelligentBuildings® and BusinessWeek with Tom Shircliff & Rob Murchison There is so much information and even hype out there that BusinessWeek wanted to get some higher level clarity on smart/intelligent/green/high performance buildings. Some of your readers may find it basic in nature but we think this kind of message needs to get out more - just like you and others are continuously doing by volunteering to speak or moderate at the conferences, write for publications, do interviews etc. I think you have called it “outreach and education”.

Other August Interviews are; A Clean Interface to all Information Roy Kok Kepware, Integrated Energy Storage System John McGee Ice Energy, The Green Building Power Forum '10  Jeff Shepard Darnell Group, Address Operating Inefficiencies David Wolins.

August Reviews: Cisco Network Building Mediator Internet of Interactions Future with Flexible Paper OLED Integrating Lighting and Building Control 

August Columns: Airflow Monitoring Steven R. Calabrese, High Performance Buildings - Water Side Paul Ehrlich & Ira Goldschmidt, Opening the OPC Mailbag, Manny Mandrusiak, Distributed Energy Resources and Storage Toby Considine

This article from Wired Magazine is a harbinger of the resulting social change beyond the cloud. We underestimate the power of our tools to reshape our minds. Did we really believe we could collaboratively build and inhabit virtual worlds all day, every day, and not have it affect our perspective? 

It is a great time to be in the news business for our industry. 

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