Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Rising Remote Workforce
- The exponential demand for Future-Ready Facilities.
"The Building Whisperer"
This is the way, away from hard-coded
controllers and the need for
decoupling of hardware and software due to the rising demands of
Thanks a lot to James Dice and Brad White, providing much-needed
inspiration for this article.
The Trillion Dollar Opportunity in transforming
is a seminal article from Brad White, and it is instrumental in laying
parts of the foundation for this article. It's also important to
realize that this is a Hard-coded industry
down to the very controllers, where innovation is challenging for the
most part, and any modern approach seems to require some level of
digital maturity in buildings.
digital maturity question is impressive on its own, and I will expand
more upon it if asked, and most likely write an article on this subject
the next time. It might come down to two questions;
"Ask not what you
can do for the building. Ask what the building can do for you".
believe that Future-Ready Facilities is the way in realizing a truly
open industry where the democratization of smart city innovation is the
norm, and global hackathons for buildings will become a mainstream tool
for portfolio-wide change. With the underlying reasoning that the
future will demand more of buildings, especially if more people will
work from home. Organizations need to continue to be smarter along with
the structures they are both servicing and managing, or else they risk
becoming obsolete in no-time.
this the future for a lot of the portfolios out there?
And maybe it's that hard, or that easy, to realize that the transition starts with hard-coded controllers?
Hard-coded controllers in a hard-coded
of the major obstacles in realizing smart buildings in a fast,
efficient way is the hard-coded controllers
that are out there to various degrees. As I see it, there are two
fundamental options to get them to behave the needed way for
trying to get away from the first option to come up with something that
looks more like the second option, utilizing modern tools. However,
this might become difficult because the network is too old (Lon, BACnet
MS/TP, RS-485 CAN, Profibus, etc.).
"control strategy" should be close to the source to avoid chatting on
the system, meaning that a more modern approach won't work due to the
old network infrastructure in said building.
installation of some over-arching expensive AI/ML-powered tool at the
top is kind of like buying super expensive Nike shoes for my
grandmother, who is 103 years old. It might look fancy, but it's
doubtful that it will do much for her lap-times. Also, weigh in the
fact that the decision to install a completely new system won't happen
because of a lack of ROI. And that's because the industry doesn't weigh
in the entire 3/30/300 rule in the property so there will be no ROI =
The building continues to be stupid and old.
reason could also be the fact that tenants cannot make demands that
owners either do not have an interest in their tenants or they do not
have a natural way to retrieve the cost based on actual ROI
Holistic thinking is the key
conclusion comes down to two things.
Use modern technology; buildings need to increase their digital
maturity, usually to the "IP level."
B- To get the money for any severe upgrade, we need to count on more than energy costs, factoring in the maintenance costs, and even more importantly, the well-being/productivity increase metric.
may be an interest in separating the OT Network with an IT network to
avoid time delays and to not talk to the IT department. This reason
goes back to the two main rules stated by James Dice in the already
legendary Nexus Blog.
with rules number 1 and 2 are impressive, thinking about the benefits
with the /30 and the /300 well-being stuff and how any investments
correlate with an increase in that area.
if it's not something where the owner owns the properties, and have
their workforce, how can they benefit from increasing well-being and
productivity monetarily? (super important since this is the case for a
lot of buildings).
boils down to the ROI, where Phillip
said something brilliant. If the ROI is six years for the energy play,
it's six months for the maintenance side; it's six weeks weighing in
the well-being productivity factors; even less if the "NOI-factor" (Net
Operating Profit) enters into the account. The whole increase
in the asset value, including less paperwork and hunting for
information for the /30 side (maintenance) not only for the technical
asset management side but also for the whole organization. Not even
considering the need for new business models to take place, which needs
a platform to stand on.
A holistic measuring tool/framework would make the original project ROI come back in two weeks or less. A no-brainer? But what should be done?
FRF-ready at the IP-level with LOPI as the main driving force.
IP-level = All infrastructure at the IP-level with open APIs and tagged data
LOPI = Loss Of Possible Income
in the 3/30/300/10 000 (I like to call it 10000) side of
things (the future revenue streams based on new business models) based
on having an FRF, Future-Ready-Facility (FRF assessment), means that
every day the buildings are not at the FRF stage, owners don't have the
possibility to make money based on data-driven decision making,
utilizing data as the new tenant.
repeat that. If the building is not modern enough, enabling
access to all of the data in a couple of mouse-clicks, then it will be
extremely difficult to stay relevant for the next decade.
ROI should be tightly coupled with the LOPI (Loss of Income) based
on the inexistence of a future-ready platform to build new business
models and new revenue streams on. Every day, not having an FRF, will
lead to a value decrease for buildings all things considering, or at
least a status quo, because other buildings, will become exponentially
better. In a couple of years real estate owners will try to sell their
assets which would be akin to an old car running on petrol, without any
technology in it, when all competitors are selling Teslas and electric
luck finding buyers. Especially when people are working from home
in a much higher capacity. Owners, as well as companies need
facilities that stand out and cater to their tenants to a much higher
degree than what we see today.
The workforce of tomorrow will expect more of what buildings can do for them. Therefore, it's up to us to understand what we need to do for the buildings today so that buildings and cities can pass the test of time, becoming robust, useful and attractive places for decades to come.
By doing that we can help create a society where we have;
I'm probably still in Corona quarantine in Sweden, so please reach out to me on Linkedin if you have any questions or comments. And please check out the first podcast Episode with James Dice, and also sign up to my future podcast series here if interested in more content like this!
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