as set in September 2014
Who we are connected to and the value they bring to our products
and services defines who we are and likely who we are to become. Open
Connection Communities will shape building automation’s future.
AutomatedBuildings.com’s mission is to create a clear vision of not only who we are now, but a vision of who we can be if we change in a changing world.
Consensus is a cancer that creates compromise, concept collision creates change while forcing collaboration.
It has never been clearer that the true convergence and anywhere collaboration that we all seek will be found in a cloud. The marriage of social media as data and its embedded human opinion will seamlessly mesh with real time data, shoulder to shoulder in large databases in a concept now being billed as Big Data or Data as a Service “DaaS”. To move to DaaS means that data—not applications—leads. That’s a significant shift in thinking. We need to adjust our focus to making sure our clients leverage data in the best ways possible to foster innovation.
Wireless certainly provides an ideal solution for the last few hundred yards or meters, no matter how your measure it. The softness of wireless makes it a great solution for the mushiness of that part of the building that is always under renovation, the tenant space. Self-powered peel and stick sensors and wireless devices that are part of a strong mesh network that interacts with our existing networks will also radically change our industry.
Our Mission - Be the Change We Seek —Gandhi As set in July 2008
Our first ten years was focused on the impact of the internet and open protocols. Our next few years will be spent breaking down the past silos of which we were all part of. We will embrace the online convergence of humanity and define new business models with self realization and publication of how we can contribute.
AutomatedBuildings.com is committed to the continuance of our existing work plus the creation and nurturing of a community of change agents, to lead those who will accept change and convince those who resist. To quote Maslow's theory and restate "What we can be, we must be”
We have a long, long way to go to move out of the deeply rooted vendor centric unconnected world of traditional marketing of our products and services. We need to define the services and recognize the transaction and the performance we can deliver. We need to "Give our customers the ability to do something new, that they couldn't do before, but would have wanted to do; if only they knew they had the ability to do it."
Imagine every single possible bit of information at your fingertips, perfectly contextualized, and perfectly personalized. This may never be realized, but the journey to find perfection will be the change we seek.
community of change agents needs to continue to educate customers and
especially those who have never been our customers, with all types of
events and in all forms of media. We need to explore new initiatives
like Open Source, which is not vendor or hardware dependent so we can
become the enablers. The Open Protocol work is mostly done but we need
to build on the flat line created by the data pushers and find an
elegant entrance to the browser and the IT world. We need virtual space
in which will occur the creativity of the change we seek. We are the
people that will give the kids a place to build applications quickly
and easily. We are the people that will create Building 2.0, the
version that still has not yet been defined.
Our Mission as originally set in July 1999
"To Become Your Resource for Internet Information on Automated Buildings."
The evolution of Automated Buildings has reached revolutionary status. The revolution has been caused by the standardization of communication protocols such as BACnet, LonTalk, Web Based control, and the wide use of the Internet and Intranets. As technologies converge and our clients' expectations are fueled by the ease of access and freedom of information on the Net, our only weapon is to be informed. We will encompass environmental control, energy metering/accounting systems, lighting control, life safety/fire, security, communications, high tech tools, web resources, and interactive information systems. Automated Buildings wants to discover the who, what, where, when and why of this fascinating field. Please subscribe to our monthly updates and share this resource by having all of your automated buildings stakeholders subscribe. The monthly updates are free and will help keep us all informed as revolution gives way to rapid evolution into the millenium.
The names given to building automation systems are varied:
plus many more. We will group and provide connection to all of these plus lighting control companies, fire / life safety, security, the sensor, actuation, and end device industry and anything else that is now becoming part of an automated building system.
Why we did it.
The editors of AutomatedBuildings.com have run a successful automation and energy conservation consulting firm for large commercial buildings over the last 25 years. Our involvement with the industry, our clients, organizations such as ASHRAE, AEE, etc has given us some insight into the large building automation industry. Much of our lives has been dedicated to keeping up with technological changes, but never has the pressure to keep up with the concepts now changing our industry been more important. Emerging communication standards, building systems evolution to common networks, the internet itself as a control system, these rapid communications of change are spinning the industry at an incredible rate. Although the net is an incredible resource, it has been described as a library with all the books on the floor. Mining the net for useful information and creating virtual relationships with the industry is slow work. Once the information is gathered as a special interest resource it can greatly increase the productivity of an industry and propel it forward, but only if the industry embraces and helps the resource grow. Spurred on by the success of our friends Bob and Brenda Hetherington of HomeToys.com and their pulling together of the home automation industry we have started AutomatedBuildings.com to provide a similar service for commercial and industrial automated buildings. Our relationship allows us access to their mentoring and internet experience. We feel that their resources will allow us significant leverage to bring your AutomatedBuildings.com resource to you in as short a time as possible.
We hope you like what we are doing. If you do, "tell a colleague in the industry". If you do not like what we are doing or know of a better way for us to achieve our goals tell us via email and we will try to incorporate your suggestions in our site.
AutomatedBuildings.com is intended to be an interactive process to bind our industry.
I wish us all luck in the development of your resource AutomatedBuildings.com.
Ken and Jane Sinclair
What does the author know about facility operation?
Most Engineered System readers know me from my monthly Building Automation Columns and my online internet readers know me as the Editor/Owner of AutomatedBuildings.com but before doing either of these I spent over 35 years in the industry optimizing operating procedures in existing facilities and large buildings.
Johnson Controls in Milwaukee originally trained me as a service/sales engineer. I left my post of service manager with JCI to operate several buildings for a local developer. After that I accepted a contract position as the Assistance Energy Analyst for the Province of Alberta. This gave me exposure to the new and exciting world of computer simulated energy performance, although the program did run on paper cards on a mainframe computer in Ottawa over a very slow modem.
For over 25 of these 35 years I
operated as Sinclair Energy Services Ltd providing energy simulations,
conservation, and automation consulting for existing large buildings in
Western Canada. While working on a computer simulation for a
60-acre solar heated bubble that was to bring a mild environment to a
northern Alberta town for both for the construction and finished
town-site Don Holte of Nova Engineering taught me that the scope and
approach to environment control engineering was unlimited. Don went on
to be the International President of ASHRAE. Several of my industry
mentors share a good understanding of computerized large building
simulation principles. I started Sinclair Energy Services Ltd to
do computer simulations, energy conservation, as well as identifying
computerized controls related opportunities in large existing
The University of Alberta (U of A)
started a total Direct Digital Control system in 1975. I was lucky to
be part of this project that was installing large campus buildings with
only total DDC without any conventional controls. The
computers were as big as refrigerators, and we had a system analyst and
a team of code monkeys, plus we had to create and build most of our own
software and sensors as most had not been invented yet or were too
costly. Being part of the team that created these
extremely interesting leading edge systems spawned many life mentors
for me. I was amazed at the quantity and variety of people required to
build what had not been built before. This project
and associated mechanical/lighting energy conservation projects for
over 15 million square feet of facility helped me gain insight into
large complex operations. A central chilled water plant with over
15,000 tons of cooling and miles of distribution allowed us to hone our
hydraulic skills and let the DDC system prove us wrong or right.
In the early 1980s, I moved to Vancouver Island and Sinclair Energy Services Ltd started providing similar services for the British Columbia Buildings Corporation that then had over 22 million square feet of space in over 700 buildings. The DDC revolution had begun and it was centred on the lower BC Mainland and Vancouver Island. Most of our energy studies on existing buildings ended in the retrofit of the existing controls to the new DDC systems. Working with the industry to make the new DDC as powerful and flexible as possible further increased my team of industry mentors.
I still had time to be a founding
member and a President of both the local chapter of AEE and the
Vancouver Island Chapter of ASHRAE. I was fortunate to be on the teams
that won the ASHRAE international energy award for existing buildings
Robson Square for BCBC and Vancouver Art Gallery for City of Vancouver
and several AEE energy awards, plus local BC Hydro Power Smart
Sinclair Energy Services worked with
the local utility BC Hydro "Power Smart Program" which allowed us to
identify, document, and oversee the implementing of many million
dollars of energy conservation projects. Several clients as well as
several large hospitals allowed us more insight into special
application projects. All of our work was done in existing facilities
and buildings and the identification of these operational opportunities
gave me insight into the existing operation team.
In all our projects, much of our time
was spent retrofitting, rebuilding and training building operators to
the point that we created a High Performance Building Operator's
Course. I wish that the Web had been invented so we could share this
with you now. It included the essence of room load calculation,
building simulation, thermo and energy analysis of various types of air
handling type, control strategy development, power optimization, and
more. The best part was the creation of a personnel network of
high performance operators that could share ideas and help each other
solve problems. I hope to achieve the rekindling of this valuable
network of super operators online
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