March 2018

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Talking Transparency & Creating a Digital Twin

- blog bit for

Ken Sinclair
Founder, Owner, Publisher

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Our event is rapidly approaching, I am extremely pleased to be a moderator and a media sponsor at the 2018 Nordic Smart Building Convention HELSINKI, JUNE 6TH & 7TH, 2018

The cross-pollination of this event on social media with global followers has provided a virtual connection to several European innovators, I believe that this is a harbinger of what the event will achieve.

The program is starting to evolve, panels discussions we must have are all being discussed and set as I write this blog.

twinI want to introduce two words that will find their way is to most of the discussions "Transparency" and creating a Digital "Twin."

I was very pleased to write this blog bit for the event

The orignal version is below

The New Deal white paper provides a good summary and is based on three tenets, explained in full in the white paper:

Open Standards, Digital Twin, and Service Transparency

The occupants of these buildings–we humans–are evolving our use of digital technology.

Internet-delivered products and services are making our lives easier, more productive, and more enjoyable. Enterprises are also profiting from the increase in productivity through online tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Building Information Modeling (BIM), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as well as innovations such as supply chain, social media, and e-Commerce.

The focus on creating a “New Deal” is a key missing part of this picture. We believe that the relationship between building owners and building vendors is currently broken, especially in the area of how building automation systems and rapidly multiplying IoT devices are used to improve the value and utility of facilities. We believe that by enhancing this relationship, both enterprises and people who occupy buildings will reap significant benefits.

Discussing disruptive forces can be both invigorating and uncomfortable at the same time. Many in the industry that makes up CABA’s membership will be excited by the New Deal, while others will see it as unnecessary and counter to their current business priorities. A better way to view disruption is that it is inescapable, and the industry’s acceptance of this, and an open dialog about self-disruption will be much better than the inevitable external disruption from entities less able to fulfill the needs of building owners, operators, and managers.

The New Deal Initiative  Today, the industry is grappling with the impending disruption brought about by information technology, specifically the “digitalization of everything” under the moniker of the Internet of Things. - Jim Lee, CEO Cimetrics, Inc.

Read the CABA white paper at

Transparency Transformation

As part of our never-ending transformation, we need to talk about Transparency which implies openness, communication, and accountability, operating in a way that thoughts, feelings, or motives are easily perceived and it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. This open to all transparent thinking is a significant shift from our proprietary me thinking of yesteryear. I have attempted to expand on this in this column and review

Transparency, Why It’s Important!

The Digital Twin is the tool to deliver Service Transparency to building systems.

For buildings, instead of cars, city roads, and people, we have air, pipes/ducts, and physical spaces. To achieve a similar level of transparency, we need a way to model the building. In the New Deal, this is called the Digital Twin. Just like the App example, the Digital Twin will need to know static information (physical floorplan, pipe diagrams, other building attributes, etc.), and real-time data (temperature, humidity, status, lux levels, CO2, etc.). Finally, the Digital Twin will need to know the relationships, relevant processes, objectives, and parameters (the type of building, energy targets, the sequence of operations, etc.).

A Digital Twin is a persistent but self-adapting model of the building that can surface needed actions (alarms) as well as predict future failures and general performance. The Digital Twin can also be used to oversee the resolution of problems, maintenance visits, and otherwise, ensure nominal performance through processes such as continuous commissioning. Using the Digital Twin as we use spreadsheets, users can also perform what-if type scenarios to justify or measure the effect of changes, as well as looking back in time to conduct audits and cause analysis of past issues.transparency

Transparency in Buildings. Why It Matters

Reliable Controls Transparency has become a strategic lever enabling organizations to achieve broader business agendas, achieve improved business and operational outcomes and create new levels of value.

Transparency within buildings and facilities is accelerating because of the push in technology transformation. After years of being over-shadowed, building technology is taking its turn in the spotlight. Commercial building owners are feeling the pressure to embrace technology and invest in intelligent building solutions that provide a better level of transparency as well as access to real-time data for operations, productivity, comfort, and sustainability.

With facilities operations being a major cost for any organization (some say it is the 4th or 5th highest cost), owners and operators are looking at transparency to help best utilize and create the additional value of these assets and increase the well-being of all its operations.

While there are many factors contributing to transparency within the building environment, there is a combination of certain principals that play significant roles as base drivers. These are the push for open; the arrival and importance of intelligent data and analytics; the digital movement; continued movement away from proprietary; the influence of choice; OT and IT forming stronger relationships; the change in service delivery expectations and finally, value--more accurate decision making and better business outcomes.e.

All actions visible create transparency and if you want to be completely transparent create a digital twin of your transparency.


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