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Controls-Con 2023: Recap

Controls-Con 2023 gave an inside look into the future of smart building controls and software from the top manufacturers in the industry.

This year’s theme – The Dawn of a New Era – as technology changes so does the BAS industry and with the new capabilities of IP Cloud connected systems, we are entering a new era of building controls with the digitization of everything, utilization of mobile devices, cyber security, IP networking and now enter AI.  We can all see a new industry is born from the old and this year’s CONTROLS-CON we found out about this new world and so much more.  Not only did we do this program live, we recorded it and are giving it away to anyone who wants to watch, check out our YouTube channel and view our full image gallery in our Controls-Con 2023 Facebook Album.   

PRE-CON – Wednesday April 26th 2023 

We started our conference with Pre-Con sessions led by Cochrane Supply’s own Nicole Conklin and Greg Fitzpatrick.  Held in the 16th floor event space at One Campus Martius in Detroit from 8:00AM to 1:00pm, with over 20 different industry experts, the event sold out two weeks prior with over 300 in attendance.  The most frequent feedback we received was that our pre-con session wasn’t long enough, as we left the audience thirsty for more leading into the next two days of Controls-Con. Pre-Con Session 

Greg’s session unveiled the development of his, a resource site for network designers and system integrators. Greg brought forward real-life examples of how new technology is changing the BAS world.  From Design and Software, to Cyber Security and Web Services, Greg’s panels of industry experts revealed the truth behind these new technology trends, and how they effect the projects going on today. We were grateful for the participation from notable names in property development, with representatives from Bedrock Detroit and AGM sharing in-depth knowledge of how these companies are navigating the evolution of smart building design.

Advancing Technology Pre-Con Session 

Nicole’s session, Advancing Technology Track, gave our vendors a chance to show off their latest and greatest technology with a twist, they had to do a live demo of it in front of a live audience.  While most were a little nervous, we didn’t have to make a blooper video and they all did a great job! 

CONTROLS-CON – Thursday, April 27th 2023 

Day 2 of Controls-Con featured of main keynote session to a packed crowd at the Motor City Casino in Detroit, Michigan.  Scott Cochrane led our keynotes who we challenged to talk about the tech future for our industry, their company, new products, and new services.  The challenge of sharing a stage with other manufacturers helped force some very revealing new tech product plans they are working on.  We were certainly surprised at how far ahead they are thinking, and impressed by how quickly some of them are moving towards these new technological goals.  To keep them all honest, Mike Mitchell and Jacob Fenley from Cochrane Supply added some tech demos which highlighted examples of artificial intelligence and augmented reality used in BAS, which left the audience in awe and a little nervous about how fast the tech world is moving.   

Watch All Keynote Presentations

Dawn of a New Era – The Enviromation Era

Ken Sinclair –

The Business of Real Estate Technology

Jim Young – Realcomm

Evolution of BAS Devices into Smart Digital Devices

Tom Daenzer – Belimo

Building Control System Software Value Lifecycle

Bill Schwebel – Johnson Controls

HOLO-Lens Augmented Reality Demo

Mike Mitchell – Cochrane Supply

Cloud-Hosted Building Control Services from KODE Labs

Etrit Demaj – KODE Labs

The Future of the Niagara Framework

Victor Abelairas – Tridium

Smart Devices for the Smart Building

Martin Villeneuve – Distech Controls

ChatGPT Demo for Building Automation

Jacob Fenley – Cochrane Supply

CONTROLS-CON – Friday, April 28th 2023 

Day 3 of Controls-Con featured two separate breakout sessions: a Business Track for sales, engineers, and users; and a Technology Track for programmers ONLY. Leading the Tech Track, Cochrane Supply’s Mike Mitchell put together an awesome team of experienced experts.  Each shared a best practice, tips & tricks, and answered tough “Stump the Chump” questions from the audience.  The Business Track, led by Scott Cochrane, featured a rational and encouraging look into the opportunities the ESG and sustainability movement is having in our industry hosted by Lauren Scott from Acuity Brands. The second panel discussion dove deep into the cloud, giving the audience a look into how our industry is navigating towards cloud-hosting vs. on-prem solutions. Our last panel was the Legends Series panel, getting up close and personal with some of the legends of the industry who have experienced first-hand the various eras of the BAS industry, and their look at the future as we enter the dawn of a new era.

Opportunities & Challenges of ESG and Carbon Reduction Policies

Lauren Scott – Acuity Brands
John Guardiola – Bedrock Detroit
Craig Stevenson – AUROS Group
Raneem Shammas – Modern Niagara

BAS in the Cloud – The Future of the Industry

Scott Cochrane – Cochrane Supply
Brian Oswald – CBRE
Greg Fitzpatrick – Cochrane Supply
Donny Walker – Newcomb & Boyd
Stephen Holicky – Tridium
Martin Villeneuve – Distech Controls

Legends Series – A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of the Industry

Scott Cochrane – Cochrane Supply
Ed Merwin – Tridium
Chris Lane – Johnson Controls
Mike Keller – Honeywell
Eric Stromquist – ControlTrends
Gary Weber – Belimo
Martin Villeneuve – Distech Controls

A special THANK YOU from Cochrane Supply to all our supporters and speakers for making Controls-Con one of the top events to attend in our industry.