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Transparency and Digital Twin is the New Deal

March 8, 2018
The New Deal white paper from CABA is based on three tenets:  Open Standards, Digital Twin, Service Transparency

The New Deal white paper from CABA (which you can download here http://bit.ly/newdealwp) is based on three tenets:

  • Open Standards
  • Digital Twin
  • Service Transparency

A brief excerpt from the white paper:

The occupants of these buildings–we humans–are evolving our use of digital technology. Internet-delivered products and services are making our lives easier, more productive, and more enjoyable. Enterprises are also profiting from the increase in productivity through online tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Building Information Modeling (BIM), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as well as innovations such as supply chain, social media, and e-Commerce.


The focus on creating a “New Deal” is a key missing part of this picture. We believe that the relationship between building owners and building vendors is currently broken, especially in the area of how building automation systems and rapidly multiplying IoT devices are used to improve the value and utility of facilities. We believe that by enhancing this relationship, both enterprises and people who occupy buildings will reap significant benefits.

Discussing disruptive forces can be both invigorating and uncomfortable at the same time. Many in the industry that makes up CABA’s membership will be excited by the New Deal, while others will see it as unnecessary and counter to their current business priorities. A better way to view disruption is that it is inescapable, and the industry’s acceptance of this, and an open dialog about self-disruption will be much better than the inevitable external disruption from entities less able to fulfill the needs of building owners, operators, and managers.

AutomatedBuildings.com is hosting several new articles speaking to the New Deal. Here are some prominent voices in the conversation:

Transparency, Why It’s Important from Anto Budiardjo, Fractional Entrepreneur

Just like taxis, there are plenty of contextual information and data points in BAS that are hidden from those who could act on them. In many medium-sized commercial buildings, this could number in the thousands! By surfacing them to the Digital Twin, it, in turn, can provide users timely and actionable information to manage the facility efficiently.

Next time you take an Uber/Lyft, contemplate how effective your building can become with a similar level of transparency.

Transparency in Buildings. Why It Matters by Marc Petock, Chief Communications Officer, Vice President, Marketing Lynxspring & Connexx Energy

Transparency helps deliver a prioritized overview of potential improvement measures. Transparency is an important element in extending value. This added value manifests itself in lower operating costs through greater efficiencies as well as in many cases, legal and regulatory requirements… Transparency should be viewed as a major opportunity. The benefits will build an enormous momentum in commercial buildings and a prerequisite for the realization of optimal building performance. While buildings are on the path to transparency, they have aways to go. Is transparency the new thread that connects it all together?

What Your Building Isn’t Telling You by Jim Butler, CTO, Cimetrics

What I hope that you will take away from this article is the following: If we improve the transparency of building systems, building owners and facility managers will be able to obtain information that will help them to make better decisions about how to operate and maintain those systems. Before making the decision to reduce project first cost by eliminating sensors from a new building automation system, building owners should discuss the benefits of those sensors for fault detection and problem diagnosis with their consulting engineer

The New Deal at S4 by Steve Jones, Founder and Managing Partner, The S4 Group Inc

As part of our effort in supporting bringing the latest the BAS marketplace has to offer to legacy systems, the S4 Group has recently become engaged in the New Deal for Buildings initiative.  In the weeks leading up to the AHR Expo, we spent some time understanding The New Deal and contributed an article to The New Deal Blog https://newdeal.blog/. Then, we spent some time reading the CABA New Deal CABA white paper. At the AHR Expo, we attended The New Deal launch event. With each activity, we learned a bit more, and we got more excited about where The New Deal for Buildings is headed within the industry.

What else can S4 provide to help build the “Digital Twin?” Haystack Tagging comes as a natural extension of our existing device template technology that defines all of the emulated BACnet properties for legacy devices and points. We then need to enhance the S4 integration environment to define the relationships between sensors, controllers, mechanical systems, and the building itself to be provided as additional input to the “Digital Twin.”  The S4 user interface needs to be enhanced to facilitate the addition of this meta-data and the publishing process needs to include this information as input to the “Digital Twin.”

Steve's comment reminds me that AutomatedBuildings.com has been created from a digital twin for almost 20 years. The working, daily growing twin lives on a laptop and the “look at me” monthly, visible twin exists online as our magazine, which has become a staging area of new thoughts for the industry.

About the Author

Ken Sinclair | Editor/Owner/Founder

Ken Sinclair has been called an oracle of the digital age. He sees himself more as a storyteller and hopes the stories he tells will be a catalyst for the IoT future we are all (eventually) going to live. The more than 50 chapters in that ongoing story of digital transformation below are peppered with HTML links to articles containing an amazing and diverse amount of information.

Ken believes that systems will be smarter, self-learning, edgy, innovative, and sophisticated, and to create, manage and re-invent those systems the industry needs to grow our most important resource, our  younger people, by reaching out to them with messages about how vibrant, vital and rewarding working in this industry can be.

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