AHR Expo
Crowds on the first day of AHR Expo 2022 in Las Vegas.

Winds & Wins of AHRExpo in Vegas

Feb. 10, 2022
After 22 attending and partnering with AHR Expo, it is more clear to me than ever that the building automation industry still needs a flag to rally around.

A Warm Welcoming Wind blew over AHR Expo in Vegas last week. The Expo offered a total of 1,573 exhibitors, with 281 international exhibitors, occupying 443,769 sq. ft. of exhibit space in the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 43,000 people preregistered to attend the show, including 130 media representatives.

To open the Expo, Mark Stevens, AHR Expo manage said:

“We are honored to welcome the HVACR community back for the first large-scale, in-person industry event... It’s been a long road and we are ready to reignite the momentum that comes from collaborating at a live event. We understand the disappointment in last year’s forced cancellation and we are thrilled to once again host the show that our industry partners value so much.”

I attended without leaving my home office as an "International COVID Creeper", watching our over 30 high-profile industry speakers create amazing presentations face to face on-site under our brand and banner.

While watching remotely the presentations with their amazing messages, it was apparent that their spirit, purpose, and collaboration to rally under our brand without my presence was clear. After 22 attending and partnering with AHR Expo, it is more clear to me than ever that the building automation industry still needs a flag to rally around. Not sure how best to do that—but I am working on it! The kids are now calling me the "OG of Collaboration.” Yes, the Original Gangster. Fun stuff. The industry needs to be involved in the evolution of AutomatedBuildings.com.

See you all at AHR Expo 2023 Atlanta when we will do this again.

The Wins

The remote hybrid approach used by Cochrane Supply allowed us to prepare the programming and have speakers appear either virtually or remotely. Many of the speakers made the transitions to an onsite presentation at the last moment. Everyone would much rather be there at an event like AHR Expo, but having options is important in our rapidly changing world. 

Very pleased that we captured and recorded the "Wind" in Vegas, providing these valuable resources: 

10 free education sessions at the Vegas show which were captured on YouTube Video. 

Without the support of Cochrane Supply & Engineering we would not have been able to make these sessions happen. The industry thanks you all.

The Winter Issue of Project Haystack’s Connections Magazine is Here! The latest issue of the organization’s community-driven magazine is now available for download. From the issue summary:

The issue’s theme, Data, Our New Asset, reports on the latest activities presented by the global Project Haystack members and practitioners. This 10th issue includes contributions from Tridium, J2 Innovations Conserve It, the DLR Group, the Epsten Group, Lynxspring, Energocentrum Plus, PADI.io, CloudBlue, and BuildingFit.

Several of the articles were written by end-users including design consultants, commissioning experts, smart building consultants, property managers, and developers—all of whom are demanding smarter, interoperable solutions and recognize the importance of standardized data tagging. This issue also focuses on companies that are responding by providing Haystack-compatible products, solutions, and services.

Also included, are updates from Project Haystack Working Groups with sections dedicated to Tools for Developers and Integrators, How to Get Involved, and curation of social media about Member Projects, Practices and Products, and a directory of all Project Haystack Members. The issue also includes profiles of recent new member companies.

In addition, the 70-plus page issue includes information on the release of a new Haystack Essentials eLearning Course sanctioned by Project-Haystack.org and offered by Fantom Factory. Designed for anyone new to Project Haystack, the course covers what Haystack Tags are and provides an understanding on how to apply them to a basic site model. Using interactive exercises, users can practice applying these tags to example scenarios and models.

Nicolas Waern - Digital Twin Specialist - was not able to travel to #ahrexpo2022 but wrote us this article, From Modbus to the Metaverse! “That is ludicrous!”, with a link to a video of his presentation. Key passage:

The systems in existing buildings, and possibly also in newly constructed buildings will most likely stay the same. But everything else might just be augmented using more modern tools, processes, business models, roles, and culture. And this will most likely drive change in the next decade. Fuelled by a context of energy efficiency, net-zero buildings, sustainability, and a focus on well-being and productivity.

All of this is what I would have talked about in Vegas. If I hadn’t had Covid just now and if the world wouldn’t be in turmoil. And is this the end of unexpected global events? Or just the beginning? The only thing we do know about the future is that it will be here whether we want it or not. But what does the future really consist of? What is it that will change if anything? And how can companies succeed in predicting the future? That is what I will talk a bit about. 

In this article, Scott Cochrane tries to debunk The Myths of the Master Systems Integrator:

For too many in the BAS industry, the role of the MSI is still a mystery and sounds like a fictional future story.

SO WHY DO WE NEED MSI’s?  Over the last decade or so, I have witnessed the evolution of the modern building control platform provider.

The platform (control system) in the early days was a Manufacturers Only Members Club, but innovative, dedicated independent contractors wedged their way into the business. This increased the competition, and the best technological solutions over time have become the winners of most current projects. 

The BEST technological control solutions are now those that enable the building owner to develop world-class capabilities in energy efficiency, building operations, and the big one TENANT experience.

Buildings by nature are usually BIG and not easy to get under control. Usually, they will have digital silos that need to be connected. Because of this, another control system needs to be on the project, typically in the form of a network with software that can connect, manage, and share data while bringing that BIG building under control.

Owners, now enabled with more tools than ever to improve their building control systems, found themselves without a way to implement these solutions. They started repurposing strong technical contractors (usually BAS contractors) and relationships into their building control platform provider and created the opportunity the MSI is working to serve today.

AutomatedBuildings’ AHRExpo Vegas show issue carried lots of great information and links to amazing free content. From my introduction:

The winds of change are blowing at AHRExpo.com—everyone is excited to see what wins they can take away. Vegas excitement is in the air as it has been two years since the Industry has gathered at their favorite event. It is well past time to talk about what is new and what is blowing in the new winds. What concepts are likely to be the wins in our rapidly evolving industry.

An evolutionary event where we're going to see a lot of new industry directions set. Special thanks to Scott Cochrane and all the folks in "Scottland" (actually  Detroit) that have put together  Our Free Education Session. I wrote an article about Your Adaption to 2022  As you know I'm always striving to grow younger. So there I am, as a tadpole with legs hadn't quite imagined going back that far. But we all have some rapid evolving to do and the need remember "Adaption is Our Superpower.”

In this article, Vetting Vegas, I previewed the show and talked a bit about role it plays in our wider industry. Key quote:

How we Adapt, Navigate, Embrace, and Connect in Vegas in 2022 will define us. This evolutionary event is poised to change the industry no matter what happens.

And I’d like to leave with this tagline from my January Editorial, Defining You in 2022:

Adaption and Navigation are our new superpowers share your thoughts on The Evolution of AutomatedBuildings.com

Voice your opinion!

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