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Building Automation: The Dawn of Disruption

By Ken Sinclair

Just back from a kaleidoscope of future peeks into the Dawn of Disruption and its' Emotions @AHREXPO 2019 Atlanta.

Last year we saw innovation and our entry into doing new things. We were growing, finally.  This year the talk of disruption was everywhere. As an industry that will survive, we need to be doing disruption not just watching and waiting to be disrupted.

The buzz of AHRExpo never completely happens just on the exhibit floor or at the education sessions but in the moments between, in the minds of never-before networked folks in the huddles in booths, halls, buses, Uber, Lyft, taxis, bars, and hotel rooms. Meaningful discussions of "doing disruption" before we are disrupted. 

Disruption is everywhere yet at our core we still use pneumatics, Ethernet, BACnet, Niagara Framework. We are at a disruption point that is equal to what DDC did to pneumatics, what internet did to DDC. IoT is disrupting us. Disruption is making things that make the old things obsolete. Except our "things" — buildings — can not be made obsolete completely, at least not yet, so we need to build elegant mindful bridges between disruption, innovation, and reality. As scary as this thought is, this is just the dawn of what we will see in the following days of disruptions. 

This review captures some of the disruptions from the @AHRExpo event. The Expo drew more than 65,000 attendees, with 1,809 exhibitors total, 496 international exhibitors from 35 countries, and 107 first time exhibitors. AutomatedBuildings.com hosted 9 education sessions, all well attended with some overflowing.

So what was at the end of the Open Road Trip to Atlanta? Lots of excitement and discussion about our changing landscape, much of which was exchanged in our free education sessions

We have added pdfs for most of the sessions and links to several resources used in the presentations. 

Most of the information was exchanged in the sessions or in the halls after sessions. We were able to capture some of the discussion on video, with links provided below. You really need to come to this event to get the full impact. Please come next year to Orlando, Feb. 3-5, 2020.

"Open"ing Mindful Building Emotions links to amazing resources in PowerPoints, YouTube, podcasts, and URLs. 

How did we get on the road to disruption? This review provides further insight. The Open Road Is Bumpy, Edgy, but Mindful

While doing disruption because we are changing everything, we have an amazing opportunity to create well-spent digital experiences. Building emotion, a term that I have coined, is a whimsical social fabric that is draped on and is part of every building. Unlocking value and opportunities from time-well-spent digital experiences

My younger mentors’ self-propelled session overfilled the room (video capture here) opening everything, mostly our minds: Next Generation HVAC Controls: Open Hardware – Open Software

Staring into the kaleidoscope of disruption at this event convinced me that action was required; we need to hear more from these young voices who are the dawn of disruption, and I needed to sign up all these younger minds and share their thoughts with you as our newest young contributing editors. 

With the capture from @AHRExpo and my young guns as contributing editors sharing their thoughts, we will start the dawn of disruption. Please meet our young contributing editors.

To help you grow younger, I recommend that you look closely at the young folks around you.  Help them to gather their thoughts and share them in a meaningful way with you and the industry at large. Our future depends on it  

How do we address our industry gender imbalance as we humanize the digitalization of our industry while mindfully building emotion? This imbalance is a great opportunity to involve new minds that well understand emotion and user experience (UX).

No young people around you?  Now that is a problem in today's rapid digital transformations.

In this podcast which I wish to share with you, a building automation technologist for over 50 years — me — attempts to explain building emotion. I hope my desire and excitement about including digital mindfulness as part of our disruption is heard. I admit it is a leap, but if you roll back your eyes and imagine what you think digital mindfulness might mean and how we could use it as a tool building emotion while doing disruption, I think you can imagine a better outcome.

Digital Mindfulness Bonus Episode: Building Emotion at the AHR Expo.

What are some of the highlights of disruption in this issue?

• “charge per kWh is $1.37453 for all consumption during the critical peak event”

• “a car driving up with a V2G battery ready to charge the whole building within hours?”

My last advice is to keep your eyes and ears open for impending disruption in BAS. They have decoupled hardware, software and applications in such a way that data truly is the gold, and the applications on top of the data are what turns the gold into jewelry.

Here’s a science/technology article not from our website: 

How to improve communication between people and smart buildings. USC researchers found people connect better with a computer-generated avatar that represents building management — and small talk helped, too.

Events still coming to open our future mindfully while building emotion:

CONTROLS-CON will take place May 2-3, 2019 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, Mich. This fast-paced, education-packed event will bring together hundreds of integrators and end users from throughout the United States and Canada to explore the latest technologies and possibilities of Building Controls and the Internet of Things (IoT) in commercial and industrial buildings.

Haystack Connect 2019 is organized and produced by the Project Haystack Organization—an open source community of people and companies who share the vision that a connected, collaborative community can move the industry forward in ways that no single supplier can! The event builds on the inspiration and mission of the community to address the challenges of making smart device data work seamlessly across applications of all types. Also, winter 2019 issue of their Connection magazine is now online. 

Finally, this is a fun interview with a deep demo of disruption:  

ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending Feb 3, 2019, features interviews with Ken Sinclair, owner and editor of Automated Buildings, who helps to navigate our journey through the perilous “Path of Least Disruption.”  

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.


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posted on 2/13/2019