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Smarter Buildings Decarbonize

Aug. 12, 2021
The new measured variable is carbon. Are you ready to measure, record, analyze, and react?

How do we make smart buildings smarter? How will AI help? How will we achieve decarbonization goals? How we can best discover, understand, make this all part of our next solutions?

We have set the scene and started the journey towards Smarter Buildings with our last chapter, Navigating Next New.

Delivering the smarter building is a challenge as the next new is now spanning over existing and completely new technologies, creating bridges, sometimes off-ramps to nowhere, plus large caverns that we can all get lost in. To help address our ability to quickly present new concepts and better understand existing ones and how they best fit, the Monday Live Group has pioneered "The Stack," a tool to help make sense of the complexity of smart buildings technologies, products, services, and stakeholders.

My August review of a Month of Mondays ended with a presentation of The Stack which was very well received. Take a look and see how you may best use this free resource. For what it's all about, be sure to read this article by Nicolas “The Building Whisperer” Waern, Smart Buildings are dead. Long live Smarter Buildings! :

The Smarter Stack is an open-source tool created by the members of Monday Live! For more on the Smarter Stack, visit Monday Live. A really interesting and great approach when it comes to getting started to plot out what smarts go into a building and how it might fit with existing dimensions. A great tool to have and I will try it on for size and see how the tool fits.

Here's a recent article from the Memoori web site, SMART BUILDINGS - How Do We Get From Here To Intelligent Workplaces? :

There is little doubt that AI is set to revolutionize the workplace, bringing unprecedented safety, efficiency, and productivity to organizations. The real question is how we get from here to that artificially intelligent future of work. Today, we are going through huge disruption in the workplace as the pandemic has prevented workers from going to their offices for much of the last 18-months, the rise of remote work is driving consolidation of office space, and the inevitable post-COVID economic downturn is driving budgetary constraints. At the same time, companies are beginning to understand that smart building technology offers the best chance of overcoming challenges and returning employees to the workplace safely.

Joseph Aamidor, a consultant and expert in building management, joined the group at Monday Live (here’s the LinkedIn post) to talk about M&A and other developments in the smart building market. It was a great, open-ended discussion. Please reach out if you want to hear more about what we discussed on other topics. Here's a peek at his full newsletter:

The 'summer of proptech' continues, with more funds (especially those focused on climate and ESG), more firms raising capital, and, more recently, more incumbents making acquisitions to shore up their product and service offerings. We're also seeing good market reports on the scale of early stage proptech investment (see the end of the newsletter for positive reports from a number of leading analysts and market observers). Optimism is very high, and for good reason. 

At Aamidor Consulting, our roster of projects continues to grow, including work with new clients and old.

The new measured variable is carbon. Are you ready to measure, record, analyze, and react? What is your carbon mitigation strategy?

ASHRAE is on it with Nine working groups close to our industry. The Building Performance Standards Working Group will help identify ways of measuring and reporting building performance and define metrics to measure energy and carbon targets and goals for carbon reduction and more.

From the ASHRAE Insights Newsletter, July 2021:

The ASHRAE Task Force for Building Decarbonization is poised to help the built environment lower its carbon use. Since being formed this spring, the task force has grown from 15 people to more than 120 volunteers on nine working groups, including a group focused on creating an ASHRAE position document on decarbonization.

One of the task force’s goals is to provide recommendations and strategies to industry professionals and stakeholders about how to achieve decarbonization goals.

“We need to develop and provide tools for people to determine how much carbon they need to save, how they can become energy efficient and how they can reduce carbon,” said one of the task force’s co-chairs, Thomas Phoenix, P.E., BEMP, Presidential/Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE.

That is where the working groups come into play.

Skyfoundry has created a new application for greenhouse gas measurement, tracking and reporting.  Environmental Social and Governance (ESG)-related policies are growing across all segments of the Commercial Real Estate industry. ESG issues are increasingly seen by shareholders as an indicator of a company’s future success.

Facil.ai, a systems integration company, takes a holistic approach to achieve a measurable impact on communities, with a focus on energy use and CO2 reduction. As their web site states:

The technology is available, the expertise has been gathered, the opportunity for innovation is limitless, and the need to take action is urgent…

Every year in the United States, the building sector accounts for over 40% of total energy usage responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. facil.ai uses artificial intelligence technology supporting self-operating buildings to drive efficiency in building system performance, allowing you to maximize on your investment decisions…

Our technology uses machine teaching, cloud-based computing to proactively instruct building systems on how to operate more efficiently. facil.ai collects and continually analyzes data points in real time, leading to informed predictions and actionable insights for operational efficiency.

This article in the latest issue of AutomatedBuildings.com from Brad White, President of SES Consulting, discusses Data-Driven Design:

Data-driven design is using all we have done to move towards Carbon Free. Our analytics will size the electrification of buildings and identify the need for Hybrid carbon peaking…

How we design and size equipment needs a modern approach as we retrofit with low carbon heating systems. All of that BAS data you’ve been archiving can help…

The era of real action on climate change may finally be upon us! Last month’s climate change summit saw ambitious new targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions being announced for many countries, including Canada and the US.  Many nations are aiming for reductions on the order of 40%-50% by 2030.  With the building sector representing around a third of total emissions, the next decade is set to see a flurry of activity and investment directed at buildings to help achieve these targets.

A major focus of national climate plans is a push to dramatically reduce the carbon intensity of our electrical grids. Case in point, decarbonizing the electricity grid is a major focus of the White House’s recently announced $2 trillion infrastructure plan. As a result of all of this, commercial buildings will be increasingly pushed towards replacing fossil fuel heating systems with electrified alternatives. Wherever possible, this will mean the adoption of heat pumps as the most cost-effective use of electricity for heating.

What’s the impact of Human to Machine (H2M) communications and Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI)  on your company — and its people? Come join UIB’s Toby Ruckert and Ramco’s Virender Aggarwal for a candid discussion from the CEO’s office about the future of enterprise software, the evolution of productivity, and its impact on employees at this webinar, Enhancing Productivity with Virtual Assistants.

The functional creep of the Master System Integrator has turned into the rapid reality of, "We now have to integrate what? by when?"  This article by Clint Bradford, Why an MSI Is the Top Component of Integrated Building Management Systems, talks about how MSI needs to evolve into super MSI or Professional System Integrators to provide new value:

Building owners often assume that everything will come together when multiple contractors are providing services. But in reality, a cohesive building with seamless communication between systems doesn’t appear organically; it requires strategic planning.

Very often, this planning doesn’t happen. The design engineer isn’t always concerned with the building working as a whole, and, without a roadmap, there may be a mismatch between design intent and owner intent. Without a clear vision, ongoing collaboration, and appropriate technologies, there may also be gaps between design and implementation. The result may be a building that falls short in terms of functionality and is a far cry from what was originally imagined.

An MSI has the expertise to prevent gaps, both practical and ideological. Ideally, this begins at the very start of a project, but an MSI can add value at virtually any stage. They understand the goals of building owners and ensure owners, designers, and contractors align. They make sure everything can talk to each other—whether through well-architected building systems or open communication between stakeholders.

I have provided yet another collection of industry links and identified Smarter Buildings and their Decarbonization as the new metric of how we curate the next new change. Carbon reduction or elimination will drive the future of the built environment.

For more on how we got here check out these links:

My role as storyteller, illustrating with others' links - "Mr Linklair" 

and

My role as founder/editor/publisher of AutomatedBuildings.com - your "Curator of Change."

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