September 2015

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Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Transformational Change

Our Mission Possible

Ken Sinclair,

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Facilities Management

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Transformational change is the process of altering the basic elements of an organization's culture, including the norms, values, and assumptions under which the organization functions.

Getting some great comments directly, off the record and in articles / comments in our August issue about the "Transformational Change" that is happening to allow the Map of the Possible.

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?

The bottom line to date is: "The possible is presently impossible without transformative change, but the map of the possible is leading rapidly to help define the needs of that transformative change that is now required everywhere in our industry."

Transformative change is happening everywhere, but just not fast enough for our clients and, yes, even ourselves. If we do not lead the change someone else will, and our industry will suffer the consequences of that.

I am pleased that spurred on by my attempts to build a map of the possible that we have several great articles on extending the possible and how we all can lead "Transformational Change." Please feel free to join in with comments and or articles and interviews to share your opinions.

I have provided my review/summary of articles in this issue that speak to "Transformational Change."

The blizzard of comments below are extracted from several articles that captured the transformative change now occurring in our industry:

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. 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. Today’s IT has been inserted into our buildings through networked controls systems, sophisticated sensors and big data analytics.

With this month’s theme being about transformative change, what is driving transformative change in our industry? 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.

Several big players have made moves to become more involved in intelligent buildings and 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.

Where will this information come from? In many cases it will come from the numerous systems that building owners, operators, and occupants already have within their facilities. Building owners, operators, and occupants will not throw out their existing systems just to participate in the Smart Grid. Rather, existing systems and the protocols that they use will adapt and contribute towards the facility’s Smart Grid-related goals.

Measuring Happiness; It’s notoriously hard to measure comfort and productivity. People have done awesome work in this area, but the reality is that productivity means different things to different people, especially for knowledge workers like many people who work in creative fields, technology fields, etc. And yet, we all know that where we work matters.

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.

We don’t need to manually map all the controls points from the building automation system (BAS) into the automated FDD software system. Standard naming means much of this work can be accomplished quickly, in batch.

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?

You have a lot of interesting reading ahead to catch up on today's "Transformational Change."

Roadmap of the Possible: Top Down Approach for Connected Buildings

I have extracted these comment from this lead article: "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, Rob Murchison, IntelligentBuildingsŪ LLC

Today’s IT has been inserted into our buildings through networked controls systems, sophisticated sensors and big data analytics. The aforementioned societal trends are just beginning to show up in a handful of buildings. We have seen more integration of personal preferences on temperature and lighting and even voting by occupants on settings, as well as more sensors of all types, various apps for better experience and increasing emphasis on smartphone/mobility. Social media is still on the periphery but the pieces are starting to fall in place technologically and at the least a building or workplace experience can be quickly shared on various apps. 

Notwithstanding these trends, the connected buildings mentality has still not permeated a critical mass of the traditional real estate design, construction, management and contractor community and is largely driven by consultants and specialist. The short story is that this traditional community has not been deep in IT and nearly all of these trends and opportunities are driven by IT. Decades of inertia are hard to change but they are starting to talk to the talk even though the narrative is ahead of the reality for most of these vendors.

As a result the marketplace for smart building technology has flipped from a bottoms up to a top down process. Historically, an architect or consulting engineer would hear from solutions provides what the latest offerings are, incorporate it into their design and push it up to owners as recommendations. However, with issues such as energy, operating costs, sustainability and occupant experience all having more influence on strategic goals there has been intensified interest and proactivity from the “C” suite. It is much more commonplace than in previous years that the customer is driving a new set of requirements down to the A&E service providers and the customer is also being proactive with enterprise-wide software solutions including various analytics such as Fault Detection and Diagnostics. 

This top down environment has also fostered greater internal organizational alignment within real estate organizations between IT, facilities, operations and even HR and other groups. It truly is beginning to change the way they do business.  This shift to a top down marketplace is helping drive the industry roadmap; but there are other key topics to note. They may not all be new concepts but there are several emerging areas of importance that will be part of the roadmap including: Interoperability, big data, cyber security, utility integration, occupant engagement.

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


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