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Contractormag 13190 Education Technology

Education Emergency

July 25, 2019
We need to share all that we have learned and sourced with all and any that will listen.

The amount we need to learn and the speed at which we need to learn it is unprecedented. Our unparalleled requirement for rapid, deep learning and understanding is driven by the transition of everything to IoT and further fueled by the race to de-carbonize our world—an emergency supported by several smart cities as they (and we) Recalibrate for 2020 Vision.

"Education Emergency" is a mash-up of what we said in the last chapter, Building for a Climate Emergency, plus our need to evolve and embrace the coming changes by educating ourselves. We need to share all that we have learned and sourced with all and any that will listen or (in our case) will read what we have written.

This interview I recently did with Patrick Cwiklinski for the Office Space blog Workplace Unplugged, The ever-evolving evolution of building automation, touches on a few of these important topics. I said of my 20+ years past: 

When I retired, everything on the Internet was coming together in the early dot-com days. Our industry was in shambles, and it was very difficult to find resources. I just started creating pages with useful industry links and grew out of that. I figured there might be about 5,000 people in the whole world who might find this useful. With globalization and the Internet, it actually kept bringing more and more people that were interested in what we were doing.

Imagine we have just time-warped back 20 years and everything old is new again—but now has a new name and is on steroids with superpowers. 

The power of websites is now greatly augmented and enhanced thanks to enterprise platforms. AI is everywhere.

Internet connectivity has greatly evolved to be mobile wireless anytime everywhere and is now set for the next big evolution/revolution, 5G.

Wireless service providers surrender wireless 5G networks DAS to building owners to concentrate rapidly evolving in-building data services which will connect very fast wireless to building-owned glass fiber networks. Wireless is present everywhere and will soon replace wired solutions in buildings.

We are 
Becoming the Internet of Things, evolving new identities as walking and talking IoT.

Globalization is part of everything and is a way of life for us all.

Our industry is still in shambles, and it is very difficult to find connected resources.

The time I normally spend writing the next chapter of our never ending-storyhas been spent, along with my contributing editorsfrom creating our AHR Expo 2020 Orlando education sessions. Wow! 10 so far and still working on more (all suggested free). We feel that these sessions speak well to the education emergency. We have shared a sneak preview of them with just below. If you are a regular reader you will recognize a lot of the subject matter. All of it is being presented under the umbrella: "2020 Vision for Automated Buildings AHR Expo"Recalibrate—Trending and Redefining BAS for 2020 

Come join this session to hear our discussion of what is trending and being redefined now in Building Automation Systems. Rapid change has occurred since our education sessions last year in Atlanta. We will discuss how the Internet of things has brought new technology innovations, which is changing business practices and truly opening up the new occupant experience everyone has been waiting for.  We need to be IP-enabled on our journey to re-educating and recalibrating, recognizing that we are a new industry: OT / IT.  With a plethora of enterprise software platforms and new connection standards like 5G CBRS, our 2020 vision is rapidly evolving.  These platforms require an amazing community of practice to be successful.  The opportunity is the sharing of data to gain additional insight... in real-time.  Times have changed, and now almost every system is being connected to another network. And with a networked system, everything changes—especially the data supporting the software running the applications needed for building services (comfort, safety and security). System integration has become a part of a standard Building Automation System, and the traditional controls contractor who does not embrace this new industry frontier will fall further and further behind. The declaration of a “Climate Emergency” by over 400 global cities presents an enormous opportunity for the automation industry.

Building Systems Integration 101 – Welcome to the Jungle: The Starting Block to Becoming an Integrator

In this introductory session, attendees will get an overview of what systems integration is within a large building.  The discussion will include basic elements of successful integrations, common tools and capabilities utilized, business practices and selling tips.  This interactive session will additionally build the foundation of understanding how digitized systems provide comfort, safety and security for the building occupants and how integration is used to improve the occupant experience while increasing the capabilities of these systems. 

Pulling More Women into the Ranks of Smart Buildings Leadership

Privacy, cyber-security, health, there is so much at stake in our smart building industry, it just makes sense that you want a diverse selection of people making decisions about how our technology is evolving.  Put another way; that people work, learn, shop, eat, heal, etc. inbuilt spaces are of all types.  Shouldn’t our industry reflect that? Yet, women working in Building Automation and HVAC Controls comprise just a small percentage of the industry. Why is this? and, what can be done to attract and retain more women as part of the big paradigm shift toward data-driven, intelligent buildings?

Systemic bias against women in technology is well documented. Just Google “Silicon Valley Bro Culture” and ponder the impact. There will be a time in this session for making comparisons and exploring the status quo in our industry. But, more than that, let’s come together and plan a way forward.  As buildings become more high-tech, how can both the men and women of our industry take steps to champion more gender equality and advance more women into leadership and mentorship positions? You’ll enjoy our panel discussion and hearing from women of diverse ages and roles.

Attraction and Retention of Hyper Digital, IP-Enabled Millennials and Generation Z 

The BAS industry today is fast becoming another IT/Cloud/Data-driven industry. As our industry evolves towards deeper digitization, the BAS industry is fast becoming a new playground for hyper-digital humans ready to take the building to the next level.  The hard part is how do we redefine our businesses as we try to recruit, train and retain this next group of all-stars. 
Propagating our People Power is our ongoing challenge. To grow our industry younger, we need to get our message out that we are an exciting industry where young folks can make a difference. We need to offer them Job Crafting and promote “Job flexibility as a game-changer” to attract them. The same factors that attract folks can go a long way to keeping them engaged and passionate and helps the employer hold on to them longer. We need to tell the world why they want to be part of our passion. What is Job crafting? It captures the active changes employees make to their own job designs in ways that can bring about numerous positive outcomes, including engagement, job satisfaction, resilience, and thriving. The best talent is attracted to jobs that aren't just jobs but serve something higher than themselves. In a presented example case, this has been in addressing the challenges of climate change and reducing the impact of buildings. A career-focused on enhancing occupant experiences and productivity could also be just as rewarding. It's also important that your employees share in those successes. The speakers will introduce the core ideas of job crafting for management by defining it, describing why it is important and exploring what it means for employees, managers, and organizations. Generation Z grew up with the world at their fingertips. They didn't have to pull out an encyclopedia to gain knowledge—all they had to do was Google it. Eighty percent of respondents surveyed by Dell aspire to work with cutting-edge technology, and 91 percent said the technology would influence a job choice. 
Join this session that will teach you how to grow your company younger.

Building for a Climate Emergency 

The declaration of a “Climate Emergency” by over 400 global cities presents an enormous opportunity for the automation industry as local governments gear up to tackle this challenge.  There has been a slew of recent legislation from municipal governments targeting residential and commercial buildings, both new and existing, with aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets. The widespread deployment of state-of-the-art controls systems will be essential to achieving these targets.  Join us in this session to hear about examples of successful deep carbon reduction retrofits and learn more about the role our industry will play in response to the climate emergency.
Becoming IP-Enabled: People and Products

The building used to be digitally quiet when it came to BAS controls. Our systems did what they were designed to do, and if there was a problem, we could go back to the software vendor to fix it, and that worked. But a couple of years ago, our systems started touching networks that made them IP-Enabled and all of a sudden; our systems have become DIGITALLY NOISY.   

IP-Enabled products introduce new challenges but also offer unbelievable opportunities to the BAS industry. It’s like the re-birth of an old industry where every application can be reinvented and improved. IP-Enabled people are forcing us to improve the occupant experience by matching the building they occupy with the technology they are now used to using.

It is very clear that the complexity and value of our industry will not disappear as we are becoming IP-Enabled, but that we are morphing to a very valuable part of IT. While now in rapid transition, we have become a new subset of the IoT movement.  To survive, we need both our People and Products to become IP-Enabled.  Most of what we do not know is that we are transitioning to a new identity—we are now walking and talking IoT, we are becoming IP-Enabled. We are an industry with deep roots and a strong connection to physical things. The "Things" in the IoT equation we are doing it our way, which we believe needs to be the direction of all of us on this journey.  We all need to stand firm on our roots while learning what our new IP-Enabled world looks like. We are organizing our events like IoT folks; we speak IoT, yes we are all starting to talk funny… listen to yourselves.  We Digital Immigrants need to merge with younger folks, the Digital Natives, to continue our IoT journey with the new kids on the block: the Digitally Augmented.  This amazing metamorphosis has us all closely coupled with the internet and IT ways. To achieve, we need to grow younger and softer very quickly and become more IoT-ish in our reinvention. We need to attract the talent that is driving the Internet of Things.  Propagating our People Power is our ongoing challenge. To grow our industry younger, we need to get our message out that we are an exciting industry in which young folks can make a difference and offer them Job Crafting and promote “Job flexibility as a game-changer” to attract them.  We need to tell the world why they want to be part of our passion.

Haystack 4 - The Continued Evolution of Semantic Tagging – What it Is and Why it Matters

The understanding of the need for semantic modelling of device and equipment data has matured significantly in the last decade, and the requirements and techniques for applying semantic modelling to equipment data are advancing rapidly. As we have learned, semantic modelling is critical for humans to work with and understand the ever-increasing amount of data coming from their systems, but the process of manually applying that semantic model is not scalable. We need our tools to simplify and automate how the semantic model is applied.

Haystack 4 builds on the eight years of experience in applying Haystack across thousands of buildings worldwide, the input from practitioners in the community throughout that time, as well the collaborators that have participated in the activities of Haystack Working and BACnet Groups. 

Haystack 4 addresses the next level of sophistication in semantic modelling – developing a taxonomy and an ontology to enhance the ability to represent machine-readable relationships of things and their data. By taxonomy, we refer to a way of defining the relationships of things. For example, we say that water is a subtype of liquid because it is a specific type of liquid. The converse is that liquid is a super-type of water. Haystack 4 utilizes the concept of subtypes to organize all terms into a tree-based taxonomy. This provides us with defined and agreed upon relationships of things. We will touch on the concept of “types” more in a moment.

By ontology, we refer to the way a semantic model captures relationships between things, such as which AHU feeds air to a VAV. We need a structured taxonomy to achieve the benefits of a rich ontology of devices and equipment systems. A powerful use case for analyzing data from the IoT is tracking the flow of energy across systems. Haystack 4 extends the standard to support the implementation of both taxonomy and the resulting ontologies.

Next Generation HVAC Controls: Open Discussion For Open Future

We will reignite the energy from last years overflowing session speaking to Next Generation HVAC Controls: with a new Open Discussion For Open Future lead by our young panellists who are committed working with open systems.  There is a growing demand in the BAS industry for openness and compatibility with new open standards.  What has changed since last year? More open and near open database options plus more powerful open hardware and many more platforms to build on. We will update the discussion from last year Session. Come with your questions and open solutions we will OPEN the discussion to the floor near the end of the presentation.

(This video from last year's session, The Next Generation of Building Controls, might give you some idea of what the 2020 session will look like.)

Our Eighth Annual Connection Community Collaboratory

The connection community is growing while rapidly changing how we connected with a plethora of enterprise software platforms and new connection standards like 5G CBRS. We are reminded of the dot-com days of radical change.  Can so many platforms exist without dot-crashing? Hard to say as these platforms require an amazing community of practice to be successful, which has more value than the actual platforms. Maybe a better way to view each platform is as a community of practice COP, not a software identity. In this manner, I feel success can be achieved using the COP that created that platform. It is not the secret sauce of the platforms but the people that bring the solutions and structure and never before done features. When they are removed, the platform value is questioned.  Recalibrate for 2020 provides an amazing capture with opinion and observation. At our 8th collaboratory, experts will speak of their 2020 vision. Lots of scopes to be blurred out in only five minutes by the industry expert who will also provide their visions for Integrating the OCCUPANT EXPERIENCE into Smart Buildings. 
The Extinction of the Temperature Controls Contractor and the Evolution of MSI

No longer is comfort just HVAC. System integration has become a part of a standard Building Automation System, and the traditional controls contractor who does not embrace this new industry frontier will fall further and further behind. There now needs to be a focus on how every digital device in a building communicates and functions, how it connects to a network, how the network software connects the data to the right person, how the right person receives authorization and then mapping data to a data lake for further analysis by a data scientist.  The speakers will discuss how standard HVAC controls professionals have changed to become predominantly IT-centric with all of the evolving intelligence as the market shifts towards greater integration. Learn how to maximize your success when making this transition, and the benefits it brings to your customers, such as energy savings, increased occupant comfort, and the elimination of redundant systems. 

(This article by Scott Cochrane, President and CEO of Cochrane Supply & Engineering gives an overview of the topic for those of you looking start your education right away!)

Give these ten suggested sessions a quick read and see if you need emergency education on any of these topics. If you do, then plan to join us in Orlando for 2020, and in the meanwhile keep following us online.

This just in! Following the highly successful inaugural Cybersecurity Summit at the AHR in Atlanta, the New Deal for Buildings is reconvening leaders at AHR Expo 2020 in Orlando to further the discussion on cybersecurity in the BAS industry. Topics to be discussed include the highly anticipated release of BACnet/SC, the readiness of BAS products and solutions, and the preparedness of the industry to adapt IT practices required to satisfy the needs of today’s cyber security-conscious building owners and operators. Companies sponsoring the summit are also anticipated to announce initiatives and products around cybersecurity.

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