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Article - July 2002
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YourFacility.com

  Published July 2002

 Engineered Systems    

Ken Sinclair
  AutomatedBuildings.com

The web based presentation of dynamic building information allows not only operators to operate from anywhere with full functionality, it allows interaction of contractors, equipment suppliers, and consultants to provide valuable feedback and feed-forward information to the building operating equation. 


I would like to thank Peter Moran, Publisher and Robert Beverly, Editor of Engineered Systems Magazine for their forward thinking in providing me the opportunity to prepare a Web Based Facilities Operations Guide as a pullout supplement for the Engineered Systems August Issue.

I feel that this guide has the potential of being a catalyst in the current natural evolution to web based operation of your facilities. I hope that the guide will provide an industry focal point opening dialog and demonstrating strong examples with feedback of what can be practically achieved with web based facilities operation.

The rapid movement of the building automation industry towards web based allows us to interweave critical dynamic building information into a browser based anywhere presentation. This allows us to concentrate and amplify our existing building operation resources and operators into virtual operation centres, in which all critical information is exposed to all stakeholders. The visible from anywhere information allows authorized users to provide the correct input, management and dollar accountability skills that will provide excellent comfort/energy performance.

The web based presentation of dynamic building information allows not only operators to operate from anywhere with full functionality, it allows interaction of contractors, equipment suppliers, and consultants to provide valuable feedback and feed-forward information to the building operating equation. Upper management can also participate by having browser based bottom line screens that provide the dynamic proof of the success or failure of excellent building performance.

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The new concentration and amplification of existing building operational resources and personnel will provide a strong re-focus on the values of good operating principles. This focus will result in management and operations re-establishing communications on what is important and what is required to achieve cost effective excellent building operations.

The supplement includes dialog and insight into important building operational issues:

  • Back to Basics a redefinition of the essential issues

  • Web Based Everything Establishing Accountability Networks

  • Online Energy Accounting with immediate feedback

  • Creating your Buildings' Operation Web Site

  • Understanding and Utilizing Inherited Web Features

  • Online Training and Mentor Support to create Super-Operators

  • Hiring High Performance Super Operators 

  • Computerized Maintenance Driven by Performance. 

  • Web Based Knowledge Management Systems 

  • Documenting the Design Variance 

  • Defining Success Indicators 

  • Advantage of the web based Building Operations

  • What does the author know about facility operation?

In addition to the supplement AutomatedBuildings.com has created an Online Forum http://www.automatedbuildings.com/webbasedfacilitiesoperation.htm 

The online forum includes two interactive html pages on which you can post your comments and provide linkage to known resource. One interactive online forum deals with the general mechanics, observations, and discussions of "How To Implement Web Based Facilities Operation". The other interactive forum deals with "What is a Super Operator? and How Do We Create Them?" AutomatedBuildings.com is interested in the industry perception of how to create and train the new Super Operators.

Reliable ControlsThe forum also provides linkage to over 20 articles on web-based facilities operations and examples plus linkage to existing resources. This resource will grow as the forum is used by the industry.

At an after dinner talk at a BACnet Seminar on Oct 24,1996 I concluded my talk with the following summary.

"My prediction for the future is that we will see the separation of the vendors' involvement in the graphics and data presentation. Either Internet or Intranet type HTML multi platforms available anywhere presentation, will become the standard. This will allow the data to be easily organized into a common non-proprietary presentation application. We are presently working in this exciting area. Existing vendors will be required to concentrate their traditional hardware data into TCP IP protocol, to pass information to a dynamic Internet database. Virtual operating systems will allow control from any browser on the Internet or Intranet. As apparent seamless national and international automation occurs, companies will organize themselves by function, not geographically as they are now. DDC will be expanded into many non-traditional applications. Integration will occur on a non-proprietary level, and vendors will have trouble keeping up with hardware and installation demand for the new breed of system as the number of applications will greatly increase."

These were bold comments in 1996, but today browser-based presentation of real time control data is the norm.

As I prepared the pull out guide and this column I was amazed at how dated some of the information and examples were. These well-documented and demonstrated concepts only need to be applied to today's improved web based tools to allow us to create and harvest the benefits of web based facility operation as YourFacility.com.


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