Contractormag 8744 Senses

Sensing the Change

June 21, 2017
Are we fully sensing the change IoT is bringing to our industry? Maybe the best way to answer that question is to look at how we are changing the way we are sensing.

Are we fully sensing the change IoT is bringing to our industry? Maybe the best way to answer that question is to look at how we are changing the way we are sensing. We are changing the measured variables of what we sense to evaluate satisfaction, comfort, and productivity; rather than measuring the temperature in a location we are shifting to an occupant's individual data via their smart watch, smartphone or WiFi/cell signal; we are changing the light color to match circadian rhythms; we are tinting glass, controling window shading to suit individual occupants; and the list goes on.

Using's virtual presence for global gathering helps us get a better sense of this worldwide change. We are media partners for three events: Smart Buildings 17, Nordic Smart Buildings Convention and RealComm/IBcon.

In last month's interview with Tania Gonzalez, Senior Events Coordinator for Unwired, she gives the main themes for Smart Buildings 17:

We explore a spectrum of topics from Creating a Smart Building - The Developers’ Perspective to Enabling a Smart Building and the Tenants’ Perspective and hear from the Technology suppliers and how we can best utilise our assets to make space work smarter and optimise the future of the workplace. 

The Nordic Smart Buildings Convention - Disrupting the Business Model will have its focus on empowering people. This article from Tomi Teikko, "Buildings Must Cater to Everyone," discusses how every human being in a building can act as a sensor:

I also act as an IoT sensor myself. My activities and my feedback can be used by the business to see exactly what parts of the building are working well, and where they need to pay closer attention, for example, when it comes to temperature, air quality, tools or furniture, noise and other factors.  Gathering input from employees like me will be central to any business in the coming…

The Nordic Smart Buildings Convention is, unfortunately, on at the same time as our Realcomm/IBcon event, but all signs indicate that we are globally beginning to sense the change all around us. 

At Realcomm I will be part of a discussion on Health performance indicators

In this June article, "Let the People Rule – Harnessing occupancy data from IT for optimizing HVAC operation," Brad White, P.Eng, MASc, Principal, SES Consulting Inc. and Stefan Storey, Ph. D, P.Eng, CEO, Building Scientist, Sensible Building Science, give us a peek into the world of virtual data capture.

This article feeds from last month's interview with Sensible Building Science. Stefan Storey, Ph.D. CEO, Building Scientist, Sensible Building Science discusses some of the exciting developments in virtual occupancy metering:

Virtual occupancy metering (VOM) is a method of people-counting without the need for physical sensors. It’s like Google Traffic, but for indoor environments. Our solution, called Bridge, uses existing Wi-Fi activity data to generate VOM data and enable occupant-demand control of building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, without the need to install new equipment…

Stefan is sensing something different. Humm.. does the name of his company "Sensible Building Science" suggest that as an industry we have not been sensible? Or is it a play on Sensible sensing virtually changing how we do not sense people but capture their big data?

My wife Jane and I have been sensing the change in our industry for many years. We just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary! We have spent the past 19 years working together in this industry at (our little retirement project). Our day job was being energy and automation consultants as Sinclair Energy Services for 24 years before that. Our early married years were spent in the industry learning the trade, so we are lifers, married as much to this industry as we are to one another, until death do us part. 

We are very pleased that the burning embers of our consulting company SES have been flared into a fire in the form of a great group of kids -- our extended family -- who embrace change and even at times create the change in the form of their new company of energy engineers, design engineers, data scientist, and engagement specialist as the new SES

And I realize, looking back, that every day has been about change and how we embrace it. In this article, "Digital Dinosaur Does Dallas" from back in 2000 we provide some insight into our journey. We have seen pneumatics change to electronics to computers to IoT, and we don’t think that change will go away or slow down anytime soon. So best get on with what you do best to adapt, survive and embrace change… or else suffer the consequence.  

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!