May 2010

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Finding the Answer
It is a realization that BAS needs to change to a new business proposition, one that leverages great technology now available, creates significant opportunities in greening buildings, and turns buildings into virtual power plants that add value to owners, power utilities, society at large, and of course, the BAS industry.

 

Anto Budiardjo
President & CEO,
Clasma Events Inc.

Contributing Editor

After eight years on this quest, the ConnectivityWeek event has become a most significant conference for the future of Building Automation Systems (BAS). Driven by Smart Grid, anchored in the heart of IT, and attended by an anticipated 2,000 people, all are looking for the answer to that elusive question of what the future brings.

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How will BAS change its value proposition? In this new environment of carbon-sensitive energy, cost-conscious building owners, advancing technology, youth-oriented social change, endless series of incredible innovation, and the ever accelerating cycle of change of pretty much everything?

How can BAS, an industry basically anchored in the typically slow pace of the construction process, find new value in this seemingly chaotic new world?

This is basically the premise of the BuilConn elements of ConnectivityWeek this year in Santa Clara. It is a realization that BAS needs to change to a new business proposition, one that leverages great technology now available, creates significant opportunities in greening buildings, and turns buildings into virtual power plants that add value to owners, power utilities, society at large, and of course, the BAS industry.

The four days of BuilConn content is designed with this in mind, so let’s follow the thinking of the track leaders.

Building Automation BootCamp
Ever since the first BuilConn in 2003, the BootCamp has provided a way for newcomers to understand the BAS industry. It continues to be a very popular set of education sessions, this year again led by Sean Kennedy from Voyant Solutions. www.builconn.com/2010/#track_354

Recreating BAS for Energy Management
Led by Ken Sinclair, the editor of AutomatedBuildings.com, this day’s conference sessions will review what BAS is all about, how it fits in to the Smart Grid landscape, and the types of opportunities now unfolding. The discussion is based on an understanding that things are changing, and the industry leaders speaking will put forth ideas and experiences on how to move forward.

From Honeywell to EMCOR, Schneider Electric to innovative thought leaders, this day is a must for anyone who has a stake in the BAS industry. See www.builconn.com/2010/#track_355

Smart, Green and Efficient Buildings
It has always been a challenge to figure out just how BAS and technology adds significant value to green buildings. Identifying the value has lingered between the nominal number of points for LEED ratings and what seems to be vastly inefficient “best practices” the BAS industry has been accustomed to in the world of cheap and abundant energy. There seems to be more to the story, more value that BAS can add to the greening of buildings.

Led by Jim Sinopoli, the day’s sessions will look at the major energy loads in buildings, the interaction required between buildings and the Smart Grid, and finally, the critical issue of upcoming government mandates for energy reporting that will be in the U.S. before too long. This is truly a critical set of discussions for the future of BAS. See www.builconn.com/2010/#track_329

Selling (and Buying) Smart Building Solutions
All of these changes will come to nothing if the BAS industry does not appreciate the need to buy and sell smart buildings differently. As they say, these aren’t your father’s buildings. With the vastly different products and solutions, a completely different value proposition, and new buying motives of owners, it’s almost best to stop thinking about selling BAS and think of selling a new type of technology/financial service.

CatNet Systems Led by Tom Shircliff from Intelligent Buildings, and featuring speakers from GSA, commercial building owners, and members from the hospitality industry, Tom will work through how GSA is leading the transformation of not just how GSA buys BAS and ancillary services, but how they transact building services. If you buy or sell building systems, this is not to be missed. See www.builconn.com/2010/#track_356

The Rest of the ConnectivityWeek Agenda
The plenary sessions at ConnectivityWeek are perhaps the most undervalued education of the year. Attendees to these sessions will get an unprecedented perspective of the broader issues affecting building automation, energy, smart devices and Smart Grid. With speakers including Vint Cerf, the father of the Internet, and an impressive array of industry leaders from around the world, the discussions will provide you an understanding why the BAS industry and everything around it is changing.

36 other conference tracks at ConnectivityWeek will also provide you rich education. The only challenge is which ones do you attend? Simple answer is to being your work colleagues to go to multiple sessions to get the best perspectives. For more ConnectivityWeek highlights, read Barry Haaser’s article in this month’s AutomatedBuildings.com. See Building Industry Thought Leaders to Converge at ConnectivityWeek 

Is There a Single Answer?
No. We are talking about recreating the BAS industry. What unfolds is what you, the BAS industry participants, make of it. And with many new entrants looking to get a piece of this lucrative pie, if the BAS industry does not get its act together, well, its future will be defined by…who knows who?

For more information, go to www.ConnectivityWeek.com.

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