Close this search box. Celebrates our 25th Anniversary at, Chicago, 2024

We are pleased and excited to be able to celebrate our 25th anniversary as part of our free education sessions. and its free education seminars have been a big part of our history.

We are planning and creating the latest Chicago free education sessions, which are shaping up well with the following theme evolving.

Creating New Skill Sets for Staffing for AI, Cloud, and Decarbonization

To show the complexity of this annual process for the last 25 years, I wish to share the previous year’s production by Cochrane Supply of our free sessions. biggest assembly ever of The who-is-who of the Building Automation Industry. Our free sessions in Atlanta

Turning Chaos into Creative Change

Our 12 free education sessions in Atlanta. Our industry and all other Industries are amid a reinvention. Remote anywhere work, the radical change in the use of existing infrastructures, and the evolving online economies all cry for the reinvention of “virtually” everything. Reinvention is the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears entirely new. This can create Chaos but also presents an amazing opportunity for Creative Change. You will want to be part of these changes.

We had our first free education sessions in 2000 in Dallas and have provided sessions yearly since. This would have been our 25 years with AHRExpo, but the last Chicago show had to be cancelled because of COVID, so it is our 24-year presenting but our 25-year of AB.

What and who is

For one, it’s a library where valuable building automation content is carefully curated and made available to the public for free. It represents a repository of information that gives historical context. But it’s also an active forum of new ideas, a digital space where ideas and concepts are presented, challenged, scrutinized, and adapted. Therefore, AB both preserves and creates knowledge for our industry.

Jane and I launched our online magazine 25 years ago. Since then, has taken on a life of its own and far exceeded our vision. In our original mission statement, we expressed our desire to connect change agents who were helping define smarter buildings. We wanted to build a searchable platform that facilitated discussion and business opportunities.   

“We provide the news and connection to the change agents community, creating our definition of smarter, intelligent, integrated, connected, green, and converged large buildings. Our virtual magazine and web resource provide a searchable platform for discussion and exchange while creating opportunities for B2B for all new and existing stakeholders.”  

Today, institutions like automated buildings are more important than ever. In a world where authority and facts are increasingly questioned, having a credible source of information is essential. Wide-spread distrust weakens progress and collective action, two principles in high demand today, given the challenges we face as an industry. Within this context, AB is a bearer of truth, trust and knowledge, values made possible only through our sponsors’ and contributing editors’ insights and support.  

But while our values will never change, our strategy must evolve to meet these new challenges and opportunities. That is why, on our 25th anniversary, We are announcing the formation of a new AB direction, which will allow my people, “the industry,” direct access to continue with the creation of our purpose and guidance by the industry for the industry.

You can read more about our reinvention about us page.

If you are coming to Chicago, you are invited to be part of this transitionary 25th Anniversary Celebration.

We will provide more information in our next month’s post.

Building “Trust”

This blast from the past from Andy Trust:  The Primary Currency in an Open Systems World

It takes work to earn it, care to nurture it, and only one poor decision to lose it

Reflecting on how I arrived here in this position of trust, I think of all those who trusted me to do what I said I would. With that trust, I could work with all I trusted over the many years. The technologies wane, but Trust is the staying commodity.


Although it is our 25th year at, I have over 50 years of building trust in the industry. It has become apparent that the next 50 years will be much more difficult without the industry’s help.

I need to build on the industry players I trust. and empower them with their posting abilities to carry on my crusade as Sponsors and Contributing Editors of

My Trust Tree of those who trusted me, so now I can share this message for you a gift of “Trust”

What does Ken know about facility operation? How did I build trust?

Most Engineered System readers know me from my monthly Building Automation Columns, and my online internet readers know me as the Founder/Editor/Owner of Still, before doing either of these, I spent over 35 years in the industry optimizing operating procedures in existing facilities and large buildings.

Johnson Controls in Milwaukee originally trained me as a service/sales engineer. I left my service manager position with JCI to operate several buildings for a local developer. After that, I accepted a contract position as the Assistance Energy Analyst for the Province of Alberta. This exposed me to the new and exciting world of computer-simulated energy performance. However, the program did run on paper cards on a mainframe computer in Ottawa over a very slow modem.

For over 25 35 years, I operated Sinclair Energy Services Ltd, providing energy simulations, conservation, and automation consulting for existing large buildings in Western Canada.  While working on a computer simulation for a 60-acre solar heated bubble to bring a mild environment to a northern Alberta town for both the construction and finished town site, Don Holte of Nova Engineering taught me that the scope and approach to environment control engineering were unlimited. Don went on to be the International President of ASHRAE. Several of my industry mentors share a good understanding of computerized large-building simulation principles.  I started Sinclair Energy Services Ltd to do computer simulations and energy conservation and identify computerized controls-related opportunities in large existing buildings.

The University of Alberta (U of A) started a total Direct Digital Control system in 1975. I was lucky to be part of this project that was installing large campus buildings with only a total DDC without any conventional controls.    The computers were as big as refrigerators, and we had a system analyst and a team of code monkeys; plus, we had to create and build most of our software and sensors as most had not been invented yet or were too costly.    Being part of the team that created these exciting leading-edge systems spawned many life mentors for me. I was amazed at the quantity and variety of people required to build what had not been made before.    This project and associated mechanical/lighting energy conservation projects for over 15 million square feet of the facility helped me gain insight into large complex operations. A central chilled water plant with over 15,000 tons of cooling and miles of distribution allowed us to hone our hydraulic skills and let the DDC system prove us wrong or right. 

 In the early 1980s, I moved to Vancouver Island. Sinclair Energy Services Ltd started providing similar services for the British Columbia Buildings Corporation, which then had over 22 million square feet of space in over 700 buildings. The DDC revolution had begun, centring on the lower BC Mainland and Vancouver Island. Most of our energy studies on existing buildings ended in retrofitting the existing controls to the new DDC systems. Working with the industry to make the new DDC as powerful and flexible as possible further increased my team of industry mentors.

I still had time to be a founding member and a President of the local chapter of AEE and the Vancouver Island Chapter of ASHRAE. I was fortunate to be on the teams that won the ASHRAE international energy award for existing buildings, Robson Square for BCBC and Vancouver Art Gallery for the City of Vancouver, several AEE energy awards, and local BC Hydro Power Smart awards. 

Sinclair Energy Services worked with the local utility BC Hydro’s “Power Smart Program,” which allowed us to identify, document, and oversee the implementation of many million dollars of energy conservation projects. Several clients, as well as several large hospitals, allowed us more insight into special application projects. All of our work was done in existing facilities and buildings, and identifying these operational opportunities gave me insight into the existing operation team. 

In all our projects, much of our time was spent retrofitting, rebuilding, and training building operators to the point that we created a High-Performance Building Operator’s Course. I wish the Web had been invented to share this with you now. It included the essence of room load calculation, building simulation, thermal and energy analysis of various types of air handling type, control strategy development, power optimization, and more.  The best part was the creation of a personnel network of high-performance operators who could share ideas and help each other solve problems.  I hope to achieve the rekindling of this valuable network of super operators online.

There is no doubt that the creation of this online CCS manual increased our understanding of what was necessary to create in 1999. The fact that it is still online after all these years is a testament to the resilience of the cloud

The CCS manual can still be accessed from here: my LinkedIn post

This 1994 document can still be accessed and speaks to the staying power of online

A Trusted online presentation that we were happy to be part of the team


This Design Manual contains the results of BCBC’s Technical Value Department’s efforts over the last several years to simplify the process of specifying direct digital Client Comfort Systems. The manual content and presentation represents the Corporation’s extensive experience with building automation systems. The CCS Steering Committee provided overall guidance and approval for the manual. Individual members, working alone or in sub-committee, authored the various parts of the manual. The make-up of the committee changed over the course of the project, but the following members have provided significant ongoing input and guidance to the current manual. Many operators, managers, contractors, vendors, etc have provided excellent input to the overall manual, and we thank them. More information as to why the manual was created is provided in Section 8.6.

Jack Meredith P.Eng., Director, Technical Value
Cedric Trueman P.Eng., Senior Technical Value Advisor, Mechanical
Duane Mattson P.Eng., Senior Technical Value Advisor, Mechanical
Albert French A.Sc.T., Energy Projects Manager
Alex Zimmerman A.Sc.T., Energy Projects Manager
Kevin Jeffries A.Sc.T., Energy Projects Manager
Ron Sue A.Sc.T., Energy Projects Manager
Sid Sidhu A.Sc.T., Energy Projects Manager
Graham Carter E.I.T., Energy Management Coordinator
Christopher Jones P.Eng., under contract to Technical Value
Ken Sinclair, Consultant, Sinclair Energy Services Ltd
Jane Sinclair, Graphic and HTML Generation, Sinclair Energy Services Ltd
Chris Halsall, Web Wizard, Pacific Interconnect

We are very proud our first article is still online

Your  –  More new automated buildings now have their internet address.

Thanks to our sponsors and editors for making these free education sessions possible