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The IoT Future of Building Automation
December 19, 2016 - Building Automation
By Ken Sinclair
Future automation will be a full embrace of IoT. Systems will be smarter, self-learning, edgy, innovative, and sophisticated. They will automatically configure and integrate new equipment so they can optimize themselves, self-manage and self-heal while reinventing purposeful, productive, desirable buildings and accommodations.
It has been an amazing year of change. I am overwhelmed by the number of balls I have thrown in the air. AutomatedBuildings does not create change but is a catalyst and harbinger of change. It has been a time when the industry has wanted to shoot us as the messenger but is now coming to the realization and confirmation that IoT is for sure the future of building automation.
IoT changes everything, embedding in our future the ability to hostel the people that fuel function, purpose, productivity, and innovation. New metrics will evolve, new IoT-measured variables from the data from our buildings such as well-being, satisfaction, stress, innovation, and contribution to corporate purpose; of course, comfort and energy efficiency are major factors but no longer the only parameters.
The lighting LED revolution brings us the new tools to allow a closer personal relationship with light — its color, its art, and amazing effects on the new metrics. This revolution coupled with our much talked about self-learning edge revolution sees every lighting fixture and air conditioning outlet becoming a self-learning device with automated interaction from the resident occupant's mobile device when detected.
As the Millennials move out of mom's basement, university's dorms, coffee shops, and free wi-fi zones, it is their time. When they are requested to appear in the corporate cubical, they are questioning the purpose, location, and function of our existing buildings. If I am coming to this central big city location, should it not look more like a hotel hostel? If in fact the corporation is willing to house me at a hotel, why would I not just work from there? Why does the business office not look more like a hotel or a condo providing multi-functions including my well-being and environmental impact on the world? Why do I need to come daily to this environment with virtual tools all around us? The kids ask excellent questions and are leading a revolution within our revolution.
I am extremely pleased with our collection of industry thought leaders and relevant content plus our ability to provide a free face-to-face venue in Las Vegas in late January to discuss our future in our five education sessions at AHR Expo.
The overall theme of all sessions is: Productivity, the Power of People. We have prepared this primer, Introduction of the Industry Thought Leaders, with a link to online resources after each speakers' name, providing insight and an idea of their depth and direction.
From this interview from last month, Merging the Two Domains. By merging the two domains, we have a robust network of permanently powered devices which we can leverage as a communication network — by Trevor Palmer, VP Controls, Applications & User Experience, Acuity Brands, Distech Controls. Comes insight into our future. Trevor is one of our Industry thought leaders speaking in Vegas.
"Palmer: If you think back to just a few years ago, as a business, we were selling energy management or comfort control. This is just one aspect of the operational cost of running a facility. With these new unified systems, we can do more than drive energy cost down; we have the opportunity to enhance the occupant experience within the space, making them more productive."
Much of our December issue focuses on Analytics but this article by one of our Vegas speakers counters and points to the roots of industry problems.
Analytics – What Problem Are We Trying To Solve? by Paul Oswald, Managing Director, CBRE|ESI provides this insight:
"We need to expand our thinking and ask ourselves what problem are we trying to solve and what matters.
"We also need to address the issue of deferred maintenance. Clients need to commit resources, primarily financial, to fixing identified issues and dealing with deferred maintenance. It should not be acceptable to enter into discussions about new technologies, IoT, analytics, etc., unless there is a firm commitment to funding corrective action, eliminating deferred maintenance backlogs, and an organization commitment to change management.
"Considering the amount of under-utilized technology in buildings today, it makes no sense to 'pile on' more technology unless clients are committed to addressing the fundamentals of proper building and asset management."
Low-cost devices are revolutionizing how we control, analyze, and display data but unless we have an organization commitment to change management all is lost. But it is raining Raspberries.
Pi is a Powerful Platform
“The release of a new product using the Raspberry Pi maker board. But the Pi is a powerful platform. It has a ton of computing power built in and also has lots of general-purpose I/O (GPIO) on the board. The GPIO connections let developers connect and control all kinds of additional devices using their Pi. Things like little motors, sensors, and LEDs can be wired to the Pi, and developers can quickly write software programs to automate these devices. It’s a great tool for quickly prototyping a small application.”
Energy Efficiency Education Dashboards® (EEED)
A web application that educates building occupants by showcasing real-time energy data and green building features — Jessica Johnson, Content Marketing Manager, QA Graphics.
“As the JACE has served its purpose well and will continue to be a top competitor, there is a new system in town that is taking the world by storm called Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi has been around since 2012, but the newest version released in February 2016 is packing a big punch as the latest technology that has the potential to have a transformative effect on the HVAC controls industry. Don’t let the Raspberry Pi 3’s small stature (about a credit card to be exact) misguide you.”
Lots of changes occurring in the industry daily, we all need to educate ourselves and discuss the best way to implement and embrace IoT. If you are able, please join one or more of our sessions in Las Vegas or share your opinions in an article or any of the online social media discussions.
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.