August 2019

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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2020 Vision our Education Sessions AHRExpo

12 free sessions for our 21st year presenting at

Ken Sinclair
Founder, Owner, Publisher

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My contributing editors and several industry experts have helped us create our 12 free education sessions to help you address your Education Emergency for our AHRExpo 2020 vision. Please plan to join us in Orlando.


Monday, Feb 3, 9:00 am - 10:00

Recalibrate—Trending and Redefining BAS for 2020 Brad, Scott and Ken

Come join this session to hear our discussion of what is trending and being redefined now in Building Automation Systems. Rapid change has occurred since our education sessions last year in Atlanta. We will discuss how the Internet of things has brought new technology innovations, which is changing business practices and truly opening up the new occupant experience everyone has been waiting for.  We need to be IP-enabled on our journey to re-educate and recalibrating, recognizing that we are a new industry: OT / IT.  With a plethora of enterprise software platforms and new connection standards like 5G CBRS, our 2020 vision is rapidly evolving.  These platforms require an amazing community of practice to be successful.  The opportunity is the sharing of data to gain additional insight... in real-time.  Times have changed, and now almost every system is being connected to another network. And with a networked system, everything changes—especially the data supporting the software running the applications needed for building services (comfort, safety and security). System integration has become a part of a standard Building Automation System, and the traditional controls contractor who does not embrace this new industry frontier will fall further and further behind. The declaration of a “Climate Emergency” by over 400 global cities presents an enormous opportunity for the automation industry. Come and find out more.

Monday, Feb 3, 10:30 am

Building Systems Integration 101 – Welcome to the Jungle: The Starting Block to Becoming an Integrator Scott and Kimberly Brown

In this introductory session, attendees will get an overview of what systems integration is within a large building.  The discussion will include basic elements of successful integrations, common tools and capabilities utilized, business practices and selling tips.  This interactive session will additionally build the foundation of understanding how digitized systems provide comfort, safety and security for the building occupants and how integration is used to improve the occupant experience while increasing the capabilities of these systems.

Monday, Feb 3 12:00 PM - 1:00

Pulling More Women into the Ranks of Smart Buildings Leadership Therese and panellist, Gina Elliott, Monica McMahan
Privacy, cyber-security, health, there is so much at stake in our smart building industry, it just makes sense that you want a diverse selection of people making decisions about how our technology is evolving.  Put another way; that people work, learn, shop, eat, heal, etc. inbuilt spaces are of all types.  Shouldn’t our industry reflect that? Yet, women working in Building Automation and HVAC Controls comprise just a small percentage of the industry. Why is this? and, what can be done to attract and retain more women as part of the big paradigm shift toward data-driven, intelligent buildings?

Systemic bias against women in technology is well documented. Just Google “Silicon Valley Bro Culture” and ponder the impact. There will be a time in this session for making comparisons and exploring the status quo in our industry. But, more than that, let’s come together and plan a way forward.  As buildings become more high-tech, how can both the men and women of our industry take steps to champion more gender equality and advance more women into leadership and mentorship positions? You’ll enjoy our panel discussion and hearing from women of diverse ages and roles.

Monday, Feb 3 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Attraction and Retention of Hyper Digital, IP-Enabled Millennials and Generation Z  Brad, Scott and Ken

The BAS industry today is fast becoming another IT/Cloud/Data-driven industry. As our industry evolves towards deeper digitization, the BAS industry is fast becoming a new playground for hyper-digital humans ready to take the buildings to the next level.  The hard part is how do we redefine our businesses as we try to recruit, train and retain this next group of all-stars.
Propagating our People Power is our ongoing challenge. To grow our industry younger, we need to get our message out that we are an exciting industry where young folks can make a difference. We need to offer them Job Crafting and promote “Job flexibility as a game-changer” to attract them. The same factors that attract folks can go a long way to keeping them engaged and passionate and helps the employer hold on to them longer. We need to tell the world why they want to be part of our passion. What is Job crafting? It captures the active changes employees make to their own job designs in ways that can bring about numerous positive outcomes, including engagement, job satisfaction, resilience, and thriving. The best talent is attracted to jobs that aren't just jobs but serve something higher than themselves. In a presented example case, this has been in addressing the challenges of climate change and reducing the impact of buildings. A career-focused on enhancing occupant experiences and productivity could also be just as rewarding. It's also important that your employees share in those successes. The speakers will introduce the core ideas of job crafting for management by defining it, describing why it is important and exploring what it means for employees, managers, and organizations.  Generation Z grew up with the world at their fingertips. They didn't have to pull out an encyclopedia to gain knowledge—all they had to do was Google it.  Eighty percent of respondents surveyed by Dell aspire to work with cutting-edge technology, and 91 percent said the technology would influence a job choice.
Join this session that will teach you how to grow your company younger.

Monday, Feb 3  3:00 - 4:00

Building for a Climate Emergency  Brad and Ken

The declaration of a “Climate Emergency” by over 400 global cities presents an enormous opportunity for the automation industry as local governments gear up to tackle this challenge.  There has been a slew of recent legislation from municipal governments targeting residential and commercial buildings, both new and existing, with aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets. The widespread deployment of state-of-the-art controls systems will be essential to achieving these targets.  Join us in this session to hear about examples of successful deep carbon reduction retrofits and learn more about the role our industry will play in response to the climate emergency.

Tuesday, Feb 4  9:00 AM 10:00 AM

Becoming IP-Enabled: People and Products Brad, Scott and Ken

The building used to be digitally quiet when it came to BAS controls. Our systems did what they were designed to do, and if there was a problem, we could go back to the software vendor to fix it, and that worked. But a couple of years ago, our systems started touching networks that made them IP-Enabled and all of a sudden; our systems have become DIGITALLY NOISY.  

IP-Enabled products introduce new challenges but also offer unbelievable opportunities to the BAS industry. It’s like the re-birth of an old industry where every application can be reinvented and improved. IP-Enabled people are forcing us to improve the occupant experience by matching the building they occupy with the technology they are now used to using.

It is very clear that the complexity and value of our industry will not disappear as we are becoming IP-Enabled, but that we are morphing to a very valuable part of IT. While now in rapid transition, we have become a new subset of the IoT movement.  To survive, we need both our People and Products to become IP-Enabled.  Most of what we do not know is that we are transitioning to a new identity—we are now walking and talking IoT, we are becoming IP-Enabled. We are an industry with deep roots and a strong connection to physical things. The "Things" in the IoT equation we are doing it our way, which we believe needs to be the direction of all of us on this journey.  We all need to stand firm on our roots while learning what our new IP-Enabled world looks like. We are organizing our events like IoT folks; we speak IoT, yes we are all starting to talk funny… listen to yourselves.  We Digital Immigrants need to merge with younger folks, the Digital Natives, to continue our IoT journey with the new kids on the block: the Digitally Augmented.  This amazing metamorphosis has us all closely coupled with the internet and IT ways. To achieve, we need to grow younger and softer very quickly and become more IoT-ish in our reinvention. We need to attract the talent that is driving the Internet of Things.  Propagating our People Power is our ongoing challenge. To grow our industry younger, we need to get our message out that we are an exciting industry in which young folks can make a difference and offer them Job Crafting and promote “Job flexibility as a game-changer” to attract them.  We need to tell the world why they want to be part of our passion.

Tuesday, Feb 4 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Haystack 4 - The Continued Evolution of Semantic Tagging – What it Is and Why it Matters
John and Marc

The understanding of the need for semantic modelling of device and equipment data has matured significantly in the last decade, and the requirements and techniques for applying semantic modelling to equipment data are advancing rapidly. As we have learned, semantic modelling is critical for humans to work with and understand the ever-increasing amount of data coming from their systems, but the process of manually applying that semantic model is not scalable. We need our tools to simplify and automate how the semantic model is applied.

Haystack 4 builds on the eight years of experience in applying Haystack across thousands of buildings worldwide, the input from practitioners in the community throughout that time, as well the collaborators that have participated in the activities of Haystack Working and BACnet Groups. 

Haystack 4 addresses the next level of sophistication in semantic modelling – developing a taxonomy and an ontology to enhance the ability to represent machine-readable relationships of things and their data. By taxonomy, we refer to a way of defining the relationships of things. For example, we say that water is a subtype of liquid because it is a specific type of liquid. The converse is that liquid is a super-type of water. Haystack 4 utilizes the concept of subtypes to organize all terms into a tree-based taxonomy. This provides us with defined and agreed upon relationships of things. We will touch on the concept of “types” more in a moment.

By ontology, we refer to the way a semantic model captures relationships between things, such as which AHU feeds air to a VAV. We need a structured taxonomy to achieve the benefits of a rich ontology of devices and equipment systems. A powerful use case for analyzing data from the IoT is tracking the flow of energy across systems. Haystack 4 extends the standard to support the implementation of both taxonomy and the resulting ontologies.

PlantPROCORE Tuesday, Feb 4  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Next Generation HVAC Controls: Open Discussion For Open Future Brad Calvin Zach Nicolas

We will reignite the energy from last years overflowing session speaking to Next Generation HVAC Controls: with a new Open Discussion for Open Future lead by our young panellists who are committed working with open systems.  There is a growing demand in the BAS industry for openness and compatibility with new open standards.  What has changed since last year? More open and near open database options plus more powerful open hardware and many more platforms to build on. We will update the discussion from last year Session. Come with your questions and open solutions we will OPEN the discussion to the floor near the end of the presentation.

This video from last year will give you great insight into the session.

Why did they come last year?

Truly open hardware and software is common in many industries but has only made relatively small inroads in the world of building automation where proprietary solutions still reign supreme. Open standards like BACnet enabled a revolution in open communications, but the vast majority of building automation software and hardware is still closed. “The mass marketing of powerful micro PCs such as the Raspberry Pi brings low-cost computing power to technical professionals and hobbyists alike. Suitable for most field installations, they also provide an excellent training and experimental platform for individuals interested in controls and automation. Coupled with an open protocol in BACnet and an open programming language in Sedona, it only takes the imagination of the systems integrator to define the next generation controller.” is very pleased to introduce this amazing panel of less than forty-year-olds for this new first-ever education session for Atlanta a very interesting perspective on our future by those that are now creating it

Tuesday, Feb 4 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

"2020 Vision" AHRExpo Orlando, Our Eighth Annual Connection Community Collaboratory Ken and last year's folks

The connection community is growing while rapidly changing how we connected with a plethora of enterprise software platforms and new connection standards like 5G CBRS. We are reminded of the dot-com days of radical change.  Can so many platforms exist without dot-crashing? Hard to say as these platforms require an amazing community of practice to be successful, which has more value than the actual platforms. Maybe a better way to view each platform is as a community of practice COP, not a software identity. In this manner, I feel success can be achieved using the COP that created that platform. It is not the secret sauce of the platforms but the people that bring the solutions and structure and never before done features. When they are removed, the platform value is questioned.  Recalibrate for 2020 provides an amazing capture with opinion and observation. At our 8th Collaboratory, experts will speak of their 2020 vision. Lots of scopes to be blurred out in only five minutes by the industry expert who will also provide their visions for Integrating the OCCUPANT EXPERIENCE into Smart Buildings.

Tuesday, Feb 4 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Extinction of the Temperature Controls Contractor and the Evolution of MSI Scott Cochrane + TBA MSIs

No longer is comfort just HVAC. System integration has become a part of a standard Building Automation System, and the traditional controls contractor who does not embrace this new industry frontier will fall further and further behind. There now needs to be a focus on how every digital device in a building communicates and functions, how it connects to a network, how the network software connects the data to the right person, how the right person receives authorization and then mapping data to a data lake for further analysis by a data scientist.  The speakers will discuss how standard HVAC controls professionals have changed to become predominantly IT-centric with all of the evolving intelligence as the market shifts towards greater integration. Learn how to maximize your success when making this transition, and the benefits it brings to your customers, such as energy savings, increased occupant comfort, and the elimination of redundant systems.

The article, The Extinction of the Temperature Controls Contractor When IP-enabled devices were brought into that industry, it almost seemed like overnight the telephones became a part of the IT community and the companies that stayed in the industry became IT-managed service companies.

Concurrent sessions                    

Monday, Feb 3 12:00 PM - 1:00

Building Automation 101- Control at your fingertips Scott Boehm Director Vykon Building, Energy, Security

Controlling your home thermostat or doorbell with your smartphone is one thing. How about using that same device to manage the entire building to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for the people inside?
This session is for entry-level students and interested professionals. It will primarily focus on BAS and define some of the more common terms such as protocols, connectivity, interoperability, wired vs wireless, IoT, big data, analytics, user experience. Value propositions and a simple building automation system architecture will be presented for discussion Scott is experienced in building systems, controls and automation as well as intelligent building projects. He has planned and specified open automation infrastructures for some of the most progressive building owners and property managers in both the public and private sectors.

Tuesday Feb 4 1:00 - 2:00 pm, following Cybersecurity Summit

Crafting Your Skillset for a New Career in Building Automation -Phil Zito Founder and CEO Building Automation Monthly

Currently, the building automation industry is short 300,000 professionals. In order to close this gap, the building automation industry is increasingly looking outside itself in order to fill roles. Sessions speaker runs a building automation training business and talks with managers and employees daily. In this session audience members will learn a step-by-step methodology on how to inventory their existing skillset in order to make a transition into the world of Building Automation.


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