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New Book: Automated Diagnostics And Analytics For Buildings

By Ken Sinclair

I am pleased to share my foreword and Barney L. Capehart and Michael R. Brambley's introduction with you as they provide some insight and introduction to the book, Automated Diagnostics and Analytics for Buildings.


This book will help you explore the new world of automated diagnostics and analytics for buildings and provide insight and connection into the industry thought leaders that are taking big data into a new reality. “Dynamic Data Fuels Deep Analytics” speaks to the importance of the next level of deep analytics that almost everything will have and how we as an industry will provide a new level of deeper analytics, connecting inquiring minds to almost everything with low cost real time data. The journey will be driven by the first wave of online analytics that will point to the potential of looking further into building operation opportunities, but further analytics will be required to factually quantify these opportunities. We all know analytics begat analytics.

Over the recent past, the best use of an analytic software application for building systems has been fault detection and diagnostics (FDD). FDD techniques are typically equipment or device centric and characterized by pre-defined rules based on an engineering model of a piece of equipment. Despite the impressive progress with FDD, the industry is in its infancy of utilizing data analytic applications in buildings. If analytics for the HVAC system has provided outstanding outcomes, we need to take that template to other building systems.

Several of the chapter authors are regular contributors to our free online magazine, AutomatedBuildings.com, so understanding their thoughts and coming to know them in the following chapters will bring this book alive and make it relevant for many years to come. Once you know the industry thought leaders assembled in this book you can start following them and their most recent evolving thoughts in our and other online resources, their blogs and industry news feeds. The transition in the last few years has been amazingly rapid. In our magazine’s 15 year history we have talked about the possible but it is only in the last few years and even more accelerated in the last few months that the possible has transitioned into the plausible and our new reality.

Bring your own device (BYOD) mobility coupled with the cloud has created an industry of large building automation folks trying to rapidly understand the big data transition. Cloud-based big data projects are truly morphing into a dynamic collection of people, things, and internet interactions; a collaborator, not just a project. A “collaboratory" is more than an elaborate collection of information and communications technologies; it is a new networked organizational form that also includes social processes; collaboration techniques; formal and informal communication; and agreement on norms, principles, values, and rules” (Cogburn, 2003, p. 86). You will see in most articles that Ownership of the Collaboratory is an important piece of the total success of Automated Diagnostics and Analytics for Buildings.

A clear component of every successful energy integration, diagnostics, and analytics project is a team of champions who asserted ownership of the project collaboratory. The importance of keeping our data free inside the collaboratory needs to be highlighted; a lesson we learned in the past but somehow need to keep relearning. The data not only needs to be free, it needs to be named and organized in a predicable agreed on format.

It is not just the naming of data but a consistent data model that allows us to free our data to a world of dynamic dimensions for our own purposes. No longer must data be predefined before use if an accurate self-discoverable model is present. This new way of viewing data allows us a new world in which data can be used in several different ways as a dynamic subset of many scenarios.

I am very pleased that Barney and Mike asked me to provide my thoughts in this foreword for their new book. They have done an amazing job of capturing and assembling the new evolving frontier of automated diagnostics and analytics for buildings now occurring as part of the Internet of Everything (IOE).

The purpose of this book is to promote and document energy savings from the relatively new technology of advanced energy information systems called automated fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD) and analytics for buildings and facilities. A number of studies have shown that commercial buildings in the United States waste as much as 15 percent to 30 percent of the energy they use (Katipamula and Brambley 2005). Analysis of HVAC and other building energy use data, along with whole-building utility data, sub-metered end-use data, and data from the building automation system (BAS) through the use of AFDD and building analytics can help identify opportunities to improve building operations and efficiency, and ultimately reduce energy and operating costs.

 We will discuss the latest technologies available for fault detection, diagnostics, and building analytics, and operational experience with standalone and web-based systems for fault detection, diagnostics, and analytics in currently operating buildings and facilities, and in varied applications, and to show how new opportunities have developed for energy and facility managers to quickly and effectively control and manage their operations more efficiently, with less energy use and cost, and experience improved energy system performance. You'll find information on what is actually available using this technology, what products and services are available at this time, and how they are being used at other buildings and facilities, and see what is involved for current and future installations of internet-based technologies. The material in this book on automated fault detection, diagnostics, and analytics should greatly assist energy, facility, and maintenance managers, as well as consultants and control systems development engineers. Chapters on methodology and future technological features should also assist those involved in research and development of these new technologies in AFDD and analytics for buildings.
Barney L. Capehart
 and Michael R. Brambley

I am extremely pleased that our online magazine, AutomatedBuildings.com is a gathering and staging ground for paper publications and historical books such as this. There have been many other books in the past; see our education page for linkage to them.

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

Part 1: Automated Diagnostics And Analytics: Now And The Dream For The Future

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posted on 10/8/2014