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Since AHR Expo 2022 Las Vegas

As we prepare for AHR Expo 2023, Ken has asked me to share my thoughts on what has ensued. While it has only been 7 months, one thing is for certain—-we continue to move at light speeds. Our conversations have changed


A lot continues to happen within our industry since AHR Expo 2022. As we prepare for AHR Expo 2023, Ken has asked me to share my thoughts on what has ensued. While it has only been 7 months, one thing is for certain—-we continue to move at light speeds. Our conversations have changed. We are incorporating the business side with the technology side. Buildings are at an inflection point, increasingly becoming more sophisticated, and the roles they play are changing. The need for our technology, equipment, and solutions remains the strongest since the first AHR Expo in 1930.

While many things have arisen, I have chosen to focus on the following ten areas that are changing since AHR Expo 2022 (not in any order):

#1. Smarter Buildings

Smartbuildings are not new, the vision of one originated in the early 1980s. Our journey now is moving us from the smart building to the SMARTER BUILDING. What is a smarter building? It is one that recognizes people and the various stakeholders that are driven by outcomes beyond the implementation of solutions. What makes up a smarter building?It is not just about installing technology/operating advancements but rather— a means to an outcome.

#2. Supply Chain

Who would ever have seen this coming? Supply chain disruptions and the volatility that accompanied them impacted every aspect of our industry. These disruptions include delays, rising costs, and project realignments. Some have been able to deal with these disruptions better than others. While improving, these challenges will remain through the first half of next year.

#3. Data

Data and its importance continue to increase how our buildings, facilities, and equipment are operated. Data has changed the way companies in every industry—including ours, no matter if you are an equipment manufacturer, integrator, contractor, software provider building owner/operator, do business and manage performance. Data is now an irreplaceable asset.

#4. New Protocols

The number of connected equipment and devices in buildings is increasing relentlessly. It is not just the number of devices, but the type of data they produce too. With this comes the use of new communication protocols such as MQTT and LoRaWAN, which are making their way into the stack and building operating platforms.

#5. More Connected Equipment & Valued Added Services

Equipment is more connected, not only driven by technology and a selection of connectivity options, but also by customer expectations. Today’s equipment has moved from a single purpose to multi-purpose and leverages connectivity to take advantage of the data available to it. In parallel with this is the ability to provide value-added services While there are a variety of services, ones that resonate with me are ones that help extend the life cycle and lifetime value of the equipment.

#6. Convergence of Traditional Operations and Workplace

Historically, the operational functions for running and managing a building and the workplace/experience side, (occupancy, air quality, space utilization, etc.) have worked in entirely separate domains and shared little data or control. That is changing and changing quickly. Convergence of OT and WP is a new and evolving concept in the building operating technology stack. The traditional operational environment now connects and integrates with the physical workplace environment. Demand for smarter buildings is bringing the two domains together.

#7. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity threats remain a reality within the built environment. Building’s systems and equipment are targets and part of the threat landscape. It is not just the responsibility of one group; it is everyone in this industry. Technology and equipment providers need to incorporate security features and functions into their offerings; system integrators and contractors by way of best practices should secure their installations using proven security practices, and end users should demand and insist on protection from cyber threats. Every organization should prioritize/improve cybersecurity programs.

#8. IP

The use of IP and IP-enabled devices is becoming a common element and more prevalent within buildings. IP offers several benefits including making use of existing network infrastructures, require no special knowledge for installation, extend multiple connectivity options, and bring agility, interoperability, speed, and adaptability that are pushing today’s applications. As a result, IP is redefining the structure of smart technology and enabling the flattening of the traditional building controls topology and architecture.

#9. ESG

Environmental. Social. Governance (ESG). These three words combine to form a powerful concept that is fast becoming pivotal to the way today’s businesses operate and the way we now must manage buildings. In fact, it is playing an influential role across all businesses globally, including ours. These initiatives are resulting in a                     re-engagement in energy management, carbon reduction, net-zero targets, water conversation, and more. Adopting ESG initiatives has become more pressing today with several building owners and operators making it a priority to invest in this effort. This acceleration has been driven by the heightened attention within the C-suite on the broader impact ESG has on companies, investors, and executives who realize that a strong ESG proposition can safeguard a company’s long-term success, enhance its social influence and public relations, and help protect from external pressures.

#10. Talent Gap  

One of the biggest and most important challenges we continue to face is a talent gap. The diversity of properties and increasing complexity of those properties are proving to be a challenge for attracting talent, training or reskilling professionals. There is no question we have a variety of good opportunities open and available right now but lack people in our industry to fill them.

The built environment is the most transformative and compelling application of innovative technologies for businesses today. What we do is not an endpoint, but an endless pursuit to make our buildings smarter and more responsible. The adoption of building technology and smart equipment is at an inflection point influenced by several forces.  

Keep making it happen!