June 2015

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Jack's Big Data Book

Perspective and Preview on the middle chapters of Jack’s amazing book

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Jane and I are just back Haystack connect event in Colorado Springs which we attended with Jack McGowan our good friend, Contributing Editor forBig Data bookever and author of his latest book "Big Data and Building Technology Integration"

We are very pleased to have an interview with Jack about his new book in this month's "Back from the Stack" issue.

I am very pleased to provide perspective on the middle chapters of Jack’s amazing book and to focus on the INTRODUCTION TO TECHNOLOGY Section. 

I have known Jack for over 30 years and when I first met him he was writing a book and I was honored when he used some of my material for one of the chapters.  He has spent much of his life as an educator of our industry so we are all pleased that he has taken on this task of sharing his insight on the big picture of our industry that is this book.

Jack has the ability to capture and organize all that is around him and contextualize into value for others.

Jack has been a personal mentor plus the greatest fan ever of Jane and my efforts at creating and maintaining what is AutomatedBuildings.com.

He has the rare combination of a teacher and a doer, hence his ability to prepare a book of this magnitude, volume and embodied wisdom.

It is important to understand this book is written for People, People like you.

People are our only asset, technology may come and go but at the core of the industry is the same people that have been there for years.  The problem is these core people are
growing older and much of the discussion now is that we all need to plant new people, nourish them, and help them grow.

This book does an amazing job of providing a base, the actual ground where these new younger people can grow.

Your company's and the industry's technologies may come and go but the people are our only true asset that remains and recreates and keeps the industry strong.  This greatly
increases the importance of the induction of new blood, younger folks with IoT smarts into our industry. If we are to build on our existing assets, the people, then we need to invest in education and transfer of the knowledge of our assets.  We need to look at new talent as an investment that can greatly increase our existing assets. As you read the following chapters keep focused on how our assets the people, are needed to make these technologies achieve full potential.

Buildings connected with open protocols to the powerful internet cloud and its web services are redefining the building automation industry, with the result that the reach and the visibility of the industry have never been greater nor has change been so rapid. Our clouded future includes new virtual connections to buildings from the communities they are part of with both physical and social interactions. An example is digitally displayed energy/environmental dashboards to inform all of the building’s impact in real-time energy use, plus the percentage generated from renewable sources. And connections to the smart grid make buildings a physical part of their supply energy infrastructure.

Jack&KenThe ability to operate buildings efficiently via the internet cloud from anywhere allows the building automation industry to be better managed and appear greatly simplified. Web services or software as a service (SaaS) as it is sometimes called, coupled with powerful browser presentation is changing how we appear and interact with clients.

The Data Cloud for our industry has become real. As we see applications and services moved “off-site”, you can imagine the opportunities for managing real estate, reducing energy and providing value-added applications for buildings.

We must unhinge our minds and find new pivot points from which to build our future. We must embrace the power of the cloud while increasing our comfort level in using the solutions within.

Cloud opportunities

The new applications and infrastructure does not reside in end users premises, instead, the end user accesses the application on demand via a web browser on any device. This means he can concentrate on using the application for its purpose, without investing in capital expenditure while avoiding the overhead of installation, networking and maintenance.

With the emergence of open system protocols wired and wireless, and the worldwide emphasis on energy management and sustainability, the rate of adoption of new technology by building automation vendors has increased dramatically. In particular, the use of web technology and open system architecture to integrate and converge with IT networks to create new features in a more cost effective and time efficient manner.

Online commissioning

Connectivity of everything is a growing reality, and with each new connection comes new opportunities and new perspectives. Just as low-cost powerful connectivity is changing and actually simplifying our personal lives with internet extensions (i.e. “apps”) to our handheld devices, building automation is caught up in the same connectivity growth.

contemporary In today’s complex buildings, even small problems can have big impacts on building performance. Lighting, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems need continuous performance tracking to ensure optimal energy efficiency. Yet, a formal process for data gathering and analysis is not commonplace in the nation’s building stock. Plus, there’s often a disconnect between the energy modeling done in isolated, one-time re-commissioning or energy audit projects, and what happens in day-to-day operations.

What’s needed is a systematic approach to tracking energy utilization that helps detect problems early, before they lead to tenant comfort complaints, high energy costs, or unexpected equipment failure. That’s why new robust energy monitoring technologies and Monitoring-based Commissioning (MBCx) techniques are now at the forefront in building

Energy Management

The continuing question is how to convert data into meaningful information that is contextual and actionable. The operations center is an environment where meaningful
information can be extracted and presented to produce a high level of situational awareness, align related work processes, minimize workload and errors, enhance task performance, and provide information and reporting tools required to manage the building’s operations.

I am very pleased that Jack has included Chapter 14, Haystack Connect and the Next Generation of Energy Standards, and Chapter 15 The Internet of Things. It shows how this far reaching book has information only created a few years ago and provides connections (Words to Google) to evolving online resources.

When you have read this book completely you will grasp the scope and complexity of ENERGY and ANALYTICS BIG DATA, Building Systems & Technology Integration for the 21st Century. 


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