January 2016

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AHR Expo 2016 Preview

Our education theme for this year's AHR Expo is “Transformational Change for Building Automation.”

Ken Sinclair,

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Very pleased to be doing our 17th year of Free Education Sessions at AHR Expo 2016 in Orlando. Pleased to be joined by several industry experts to help us all better understand the change upon us.

Also extremely pleased that our industry is able through the voice and video of Control Trend's Awards "CTA" to recognize AHR Expo's amazing support. Be sure to read the Ken (Sinclair) to Ken (Smyers) CTA interview. Here is a snippet.

Smyers:  “We are delighted to present the AHR Expo with a ControlTrends Industry Service Award to recognize their 86 years of service that has organized and shaped the growth of the HVAC industry. The annual AHR Expo rejuvenates the entire HVAC industry, top-to-bottom, showcasing the newest technologies and innovation, as well as hosting vital collaboration, networking, and education programs.

Our education theme for this year's AHR Expo is “Transformational Change for Building Automation.” Our last few issues and this issue speak well to the possible of connected buildings and the transformational change we all need to make.

My fellow presenters of our education sessions provide these thoughts:

Brad White’s comments: "So if it’s not the devices themselves, what is it about IOT that is transformational? Buildings that Teach Themselves?

Jim Sinopoli’s comments: "Eventually we'll have almost self-managing buildings, where the systems can optimize them self, self-heal; and not only identify faults or failures, but compensate and re-configure the systems to minimize any impact of the system."

"The industry has made strides in improved building controls, automation and even deployment of IT but we're still not close to the potential of advanced automation in our buildings. The automation of autopilots are over 100 years old; we now have driverless cars.  More automation than anything currently deployed in buildings could take building operations to a new level for the benefit of occupants and building owners. Eventually we'll have almost self-managing buildings, where the systems can optimize them self, self-heal; and not only identify faults or failures, but can compensate and re-configure the systems to minimize any impact of the system.

"Add to that almost every one of the 7 billion people on Earth has a cell phone and we look for a future of billions of electronic devices networked by the internet that will be managed, monitored, integrated, implanted and worn."

I cannot wait to hear what more they both have to say in Orlando. Be sure to join us.

Plus we have provided some required reading by our presenting industry experts for both the education sessions and the connection community collaboratory to allow attendees of these sessions some insight to what they might hear.

Details of our free education sessions for Orlando are described here.

We are extremely pleased that our AutomatedBuildings.com web resource is providing history and connections to all the work we as the large building automation industry have done in the past.

Please take a look at my review of the CoRE Tech event in the Silicon Valley.  In which Jim Young advised “that we hoped we would be in the 9th inning of the game, but the truth is we are just in the first or second inning of this ball game but the message is clear that it is game on and what we have all been talking about for the last 30 years has clearly begun happening.”

Transformational Change In Building Automation

The following interview with Nathan Kehr is front and center in our theme of transformational change in building automation.

"The Future of IoT for Building Automation." We’ve got to gather the right kinds of data and make it accessible in order to drive action and modify behavior — Nathan Kehr, Marketing Manager, KMC Controls

Sinclair:  "What does the future of IoT for building automation look like?"
Kehr:  "We believe that the real value drivers of IoT in the building automation arena will take the form of preventative maintenance, work order management, advanced sensing options for IEQ, energy optimization, and increases in productivity stemming from greater occupant comfort and well-being. It’s easy to think of IoT in terms of interconnectivity and data access, but the possibilities beyond – once you’ve unlocked that potential – are unlimited. We’ve got to gather the right kinds of data and make it accessible in order to drive action and modify behavior. Once that foundation is set and standardized a bit more, we’re going to see an entirely new wave of analytics, applications, and operational standards. The world is going to change for the better."
Sinclair:  "KMC is partnering with tech giants Intel and Dell to make this vision a reality. What is the outcome of that collaboration?"
Kehr: "KMC began collaborating with Intel and Dell in the fall of 2014 and it’s been an excellent partnership all around. Each company brings a unique perspective and expertise in complementary arenas, all of which are critical to unlocking the power of IoT. The end product, which we will be exhibiting and demonstrating at the AHR Expo in Orlando, is KMC Commander, the first purpose-built IoT appliance, analytics package, and visualization engine designed specifically for the building automation market. It features Intel processors and engineering by Dell with additional software stack elements and intellectual property by KMC. As a platform, it is designed to be open (via APIs), secure (embedded McAfee and other security elements), and scalable from a portfolio of small buildings to large installations."
Sinclair:  "What are the biggest challenges remaining for bringing IoT connectivity to such diverse systems?"
Kehr: "Many of the initial challenges pertaining to data tagging and normalization have been addressed with initiatives like Project Haystack. What we’re seeing now is a more macro-level convergence of operations technology and information technology that is changing the way businesses manage their portfolios and physical assets. For years, we were waiting for the technology to catch up to the market demand for connectivity. Now, the technology exists to make IoT real, but business processes, budgets, and human responsibilities must change to accommodate the convergence of the information and physical worlds. Additionally, security is always a consideration, and great strides are being made in ensuring that sensitive data is kept isolated and that systems remain secure. On the security front, education is key. The same technology (McAfee, etc.) that’s being used to protect financial and payroll information is now being deployed to protect building systems. Owners and property managers need to be made aware of how far security has come in a relatively short time."
[an error occurred while processing this directive]Sinclair:  "What do you think the rate of adoption for IoT connectivity will be?"
Kehr:  "We are still in the early stages of adoption, because the concept and technology are still new to many people. That said, we expect a geometric rate of adoption once platforms like KMC Commander are deployed at scale. Information drives action, and the first step is getting a platform in place to bring the right information to the right people in real time. By this time next year, we believe the rate of adoption will be very high comparatively."

A common theme of greatly improved engagement of all seems to be part of the transformation that we all are now seeing and is echoed with an expanded scope in this excellent article:

"Evolving User Experience in the IoT Building." Our IoT visualization solutions need to be flexible enough to serve relevant data to each stakeholder in the format and on the device they choose to use — Greg Barnes, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Activelogix, LLC.

“The Internet of Things is comprised of sensors, connectivity, people and their processes. Our need for interaction with these 'Things' is creating opportunity to evolve the user experience with new types of applications and services that consume the data and provide tangible benefits such as reducing cost/time or improving a process. The volume of connected devices continues to explode and includes devices from the many different systems listed in Figure 1 as well as other non-traditional systems.”

R U ready to be transformed?


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