The Future of Building Automation Starts with Data

  March 6, 2018

By Edward Sullivan

With all the new technology and new players in the building automation space — to say nothing of the multitude of Building Internet of Things options that supplement the BAS — the idea of trying to predict what’s ahead might seem a bold proposition. But at a session entitled “The Future of Building Automation” at the 2018 AHR show, speakers identified several points that could shape tomorrow’s BAS.

The session made it clear that new expectations are emerging for building automation as well as new opportunities.

First and foremost are new requirements for data. Scott Cochrane, president of Cochrane Supply & Engineering, contended that, with data, more is better. “We’re going to neeed more data, not less.” He emphasized the importance of tagging points in the automation system to make the information accessible for analysis and other applications.

Ken Sinclair, editor of AutomatedBuildings.com, pointed to one reason for more data: the coolness factor. Data from building automation systems can help power mobile apps that can improve the user experience of the built environment. Having the latest facility-related mobile apps can be one tool HR can use to attract and retain young talent.

The growth of the home automation market is also creating opportunities for BAS, said Cochrane. He pointed to Amazon Dot as one technology that could unlock capabilities for building automation.

Not surprisingly, cybersecurity is a rising expectation. One result is that some corporations are taking a sort of back to the future approach. Cochrane said that some building owners are starting to put the BAS on its own dedicated network, keeping it isolated from the corporate IT network. That approach eliminates any risk of hackers pivoting from the BAS to gain access to sensitive corporate data or plant malware on the enterprise network.

This Quick Read was submitted by Edward Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management magazine, edward.sullivan@tradepress.com. Click here to read about the Building Internet of Things.


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