August 2015

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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A Road Map of the Possible for Connected Buildings

We all need to find our own reality as building owners, consultants, and integrators to implement all the virtual greatness being depicted.

 Ken Sinclair,

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When we started 17 years ago, we created an online vehicle designed to connect the reality of the large building automation industry to a virtual world — the Internet/Web. Today the ease of publishing online allows anyone and everyone to post everywhere. We all are struggling with the blizzard of information and the actual reality within the variety of virtual formats. We all seek guidance and appreciate the sharing from our trusted people and sources to find clarity and even reality within all this virtuality.

I find myself reading and surfing more and more all kinds of social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, and the flavor of the month medium to find gems of the new reality. It is now so easy to generate information with slick graphics and videos that one needs to decode each presentation for relevance, in addition to trying to discover the reality within.

When we started our online magazine, the Internet was described as the world's greatest ever library with all the books on the floor. We have not achieved much but now we have the complication of still organizing the mess on the floor which now contains several valuable scribbled notes in blog bits and various social media formats.

As resident old guy in the industry it is my mission to help our industry find our new reality in a virtual world. We are extremely pleased with our editorial staff and the continuous parade of new authors that join forces with us each month to build trust and help you find your new reality in our industry.

We all need to find our own reality as building owners, consultants, and integrators to implement all the virtual greatness being depicted.

Also I have another crusade. Please read this month's review where I request help. In coming months I want engage you, my readers, and my many authors, to help me create "A Road Map of the Possible for Connected Buildings."

I was unable to attend an extremely successful RealComm/IBcon this year but was glad that my message of growing the industry younger was included in the show magazine.

These reviews and many other references to the event are part of our July issue.

Realcomm and IBcon: an interview with Howard Berger, Realcomm

Realcomm/IBcon review 2015: a review by Therese Sullivan, BuildingContext Ltd

Realcomm/IBcon Summary: an interview with Tom Shircliff and Rob Murchison

Control Trends as always did an amazing job of capturing the essence of IBcon and in this interview Paul Oswald restates the importance of ongoing training for our industry.

In Paul's interview on our Website he describes how he has developed amazing growth as part of CBRE’s Global Energy and Sustainability team.

Finding Reality in a Virtual World
The following two articles talk about finding sustainability within the building’s occupants and exploring the human side of our responsibility in providing our built environments. These are extremely interesting discussions as they will lead to us unlocking the secrets of the true value of people productivity and help us create buildings that the inhabitants will want to work in.

"BIM Designed - Certified Green - Carbon Neutral" — But what about the occupants and is it really sustainable? — Chris Thorne, freelance intelligent buildings consultant, founder, developer, Model IB

"As BIM (Building Information Modelling) takes its place on the stage of innovative building design and cohesive collaboration, environmental certification – LEED, BREEAM, and others - assure quality, and systems convergence streamlines and enhances operational efficiency and response, we should have arrived on the doorstep of sustainable buildings. But hold on a minute – as we look inside we need to ask ‘has the wellbeing of occupants and users been fully considered and is sustainability performance actually being measured’?

"A study of over 700 American construction professionals found that architects, owners, human resources executives and contractors are willing to pay more for buildings with demonstrated positive impacts on health, and cited many financial benefits to such buildings, including lower healthcare costs, higher levels of employee satisfaction and engagement, lower absenteeism and higher productivity (McGraw Hill Construction, 2014).

"There is an emerging movement of advocacy for the development and implantation of health and wellbeing strategies in the built environment (Clements-Croome, Aguilar and Taub, 2015). So let’s consider ‘wellbeing’, which according to American psychologist Abraham Maslow is a comprehensive term that encapsulates a hierarchy of needs that includes physiological, psychological, social and personal needs (Maslow, 1943)"

"Designing Humans into Buildings" — I’d like to hear from you on your examples of human-centered building automation. — Christopher Naismith, learning manager, SES Consulting

"In recognition of the missing human element in building automation, SES hired a behavioral specialist, Darla Simpson five years ago. Darla’s insights have allowed us to look deeper into the way occupants feel about, and interact with their spaces. Consistently, we have seen better retro-commissioning results when we take the time to engage the occupants on what they really need out of the building. In doing so we are able to create relationships and foster ownership over the conditions of the work environment.

"I can imagine a future where human needs are integrated at every level of the built environment, essential collaborators in the evolution of the space. After all, could we ever hope to create an analytic engine as powerful and adaptable as the human mind?  (Maybe, but that’s a topic for another discussion.)

"In the near future, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a brain take the place of the hand as the symbol of human-computer friction, telling us that ‘yeah, we’ve got problems, but we’re thinking our way through it.’

"I’d like to hear from you on your examples of human-centered building automation as I’m sure there are many examples that I’ve never heard of."

Back in 1999 I wrote an article "Your Building Address as a .com?"

"We have selected this article to be in our first launch issue because we think it sends us all a wakeup call as to how significant the Internet is going to be in the future. Our site is aimed at the Automation of Buildings and integration with the Internet will become just another step."

contemporary Of interest this example building in San Francisco still has the Web address connected and working, showing the longevity of the Internet.

Today's connected building needs, in addition to a Web presence, to have several social media presences that interact with the building address Website. Social media can create a powerful interactive occupant engagement and connection creating a socially connected building. We have never before had powerful tools like social media in the hands of our occupants; this is a powerful new connection fabric that needs to be explored in the realm of the possible.

The above thinking is a good start on how we have to change our focus to the purpose of our buildings, “the people,” and make those buildings desirable to occupants. Never before were we able to measure accurately occupant satisfaction but with several flavours of social media and constant virtual connection we now can find reality in a virtual world.


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