Facilities Management

Alan Ni: Smart Building Connectivity: Is 5G the Panacea?

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Filmed in partnership with Realcomm | IBcon this talk navigates the current climate of CRE connectivity - noting the vast majority of misconception around 5G connectivity and what the future may bring.


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Alan Ni, Director, Smart Spaces & IoT, Aruba

WEBSITE | TWITTER | LINKEDIN

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Afternoon I'm Alan Ni,  I lead innovation strategy on smart spaces in I.T. at Aruba. I'm here to talk about smart connected buildings and specifically around 5G. There's been a lot of conversation about 5G at this conference and being a leading vendor in Wi-Fi Networking and the de facto way of connecting mobile devices within buildings. We obviously have a point of view here and really wanted to talk with you today to address the question. 

So in my talk I'm really going to talk about these four specific topics right. What is 5G?  at this point the marketing, it's been in beyond overdrive and you know frankly we don't know what the newspaper is going to say, so I want to talk a little bit about that. But more importantly as real estate professionals what are the use cases that we should really care about as we design buildings not only for tomorrow but for today. Then I want to talk a little bit about the technology investments that we're seeing not just in 5G but just in mobility in general. 

And then finally a lot of the new things that allow the new technologies are coming to fruition now and actually should force a lot of us to rethink the status quo, and can be disruptive. So I want to just leave you with a few parting thoughts in that area. So let's talk about 5G what is 5G. As I said you look at the mainstream press whether it's business press technology press every day there's some other form of 5G and it is funny I was at dinner yesterday and one of my colleagues said 5G is like Whatever the carrier selling this years can be 5G. 

So you know we hear about fake 5G real 5G etc. So you know if I had to summarize it I see 5G as these three things right. It's really a set of performance targets and I'll talk a little bit more about. That fundamentally at the end of the day provide faster speeds faster really shorter latency is a much better experience for all the new applications that we need to serve users, things, systems buildings. But also I think no one everyone could agree here.  

There's a lot of marketing around this. I turn to Wikipedia you're not always the authoritative source but if you look at the definition Wikipedia it’s actually written very very carefully right. 5G is generally seen as a first generation cellular technology. The industry association the industry being the Cellular Association defines it as this thing called 5G new radio. But then you look at the bottom there's this cryptic thing particularly for folks that maybe are in the technology world here. 

They talked about these requirements around the international telecom union this I.A. 2020 standard. And when I think about it I think about it from that perspective. So what is that standard? when you know every G you know whether it's first generation sector operation third generation forget about the technologies, they go in they mean say hey we want to actually hit a couple of benchmarks.  I love this diagram here. It's actually a chart despite your chart of you know all the key pieces that they were trying to achieve. 

What you see in the middle of this thing called LTE is basically fourth generation technology the stuff that we're using every day. And as you can see as they move to fifth generation technology that pie has expanded and they want it to really improve a lot of these things some of these things that you know the non technologists wouldn't know. But let me decipher for folks that are in real estate in the process of trying to build buildings. These I would argue are the orange ones are those things that we should care about if we're starting to build new Smart Connected Buildings. 

We want to obviously have greater user experiences whether that is faster speeds, shorter latency. We want to design for higher capacity within the building and we'll talk a little bit about the end points right.  Because we realize it we're starting to get to an area where as we say wireless if you can, wired you must but I'd argue the most important thing is really to make sure that we can support more use cases. And one thing I do agree with, within 5G there's a radio layer and that's a lot of where a lot of the press is.  You know where the peak speeds etc. 

But there's actually a lot of investment in what they call the core of the network to say regardless of what radio you're coming on whether it's a cellular radio whether through Wi-Fi the experience that I have as I transition and move around is consistent. 

So let's talk a little bit about the use cases. I took this picture because I love this as I see it. This is the marketing Ray and this are market 5G. You know how fast can you download every episode of The Simpsons or 500 episodes probably  4K etc. and know 5G could deliver to you in seconds or minutes right but let's think about that. That's not really a practical use case as we're starting to build buildings. These I would argue are really the use case that we need to think about, user mobility, user mobility in buildings right. 

We spend probably about 70 to 80 percent of our time within buildings. Wi-Fi as I said is the de facto way of connecting most people whether in your home in a commercial office building et cetera. We hear a lot around Das, CPRS you know those are connected just one piece which is prior phone the thing that has a SIM card but as you know many of you in the room here you're probably carrying possibly a tablet, a laptop. I would probably venture to bet that most of you probably don’t have a SIM card associated with that device. 

So that's typically been something that the tenant actually provides. There's this other thing now if you think about it is building IoT and that's the heart of what Smart Connected Buildings. It’s  no longer just the people in the building and the smart experiences but the building itself that's being connected. The vast majority of these devices are very low power, they probably won't take a SIM card.  If you talk to any vendors in these spaces, every penny matters are trying to make a sensor as cheap as possible and they're not using SIM cards or any license technology. 


In many cases they're not even using Wi-Fi. They're using other lower power sort of technologies. Fundamentally, you see a big shift right in the past connectivity was a responsibility of the tenant.  Now as you start getting into building IoT you know is it the lights maybe that's provided by the owner the operator the developer. Is it the windows? maybe that's the owner operator or developer. You’re starting to see iPads, smart furniture, that's the tenant right. So how are you going to support all these things in this new paradigm. 

Are we going to buy point solutions for every one of these products and build separate infrastructure. Or are we going to think about it from a platform perspective? Then the last piece you may not think about it from a connectivity standpoint but there's a lot of interest at this conference around experience and there's this idea of a tenant base or building base experience and in a lot of that is being driven through location and if you think about that I need an infrastructure once again to provide location. The cellular network 4G, 5G does not give me indoor G.P.S. 

So how do I do all of this. We can talk a little about the next generation Wi-Fi access point but I won't even call it the next generation Wi-Fi access point. 

This is more than Wi-Fi, It's really the next generation access point. So wanted to talk a little bit about Wi-Fi and just a lot of this stuff that I've been hearing here and there's a lot of that information I'm hearing that is categorically untrue. When they talk about Wi-Fi you know a lot of people are not aware there's actually been six generations of Wi-Fi. But we've been just collectively calling it Wi-Fi.  Maybe you've been at best buy and you had to buy the next one you may have seen BAC and now these cryptic sort of names one of the good things this year is that the Wi-Fi Alliance came around and said OK we need to make this like understandable from a consumer perspective. 

So they started to actually brand the latest version is actually something called Wi-Fi 6. You're going to hear this more so a total of an X is Wi-Fi 6. They actually went so far to even go backwards to say AC which was introduced about five years ago as Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 4, et cetera. Now if I superimpose this on that chart I showed you before around 5G. This is how it lines up and you can see if we're trying to deliver that 5G experience the speed whenever within a building Wi-Fi delivers if not exceeds all those key metrics that we care about. 

Now there is one area here’s where it's more defficient than 5G and it's mobility. And I've heard a lot around people saying that Wi-Fi doesn't work it doesn't hand off etc.. And here if you looked at it would maybe crowd cooperate that but if you look at this when they talk about mobility they have that mobility moving 500 kilometers an hour. Now who moves in a building 500 kilometers an hour. Now who moves in a building at 500 kilometers an hour, I don't think any one of us does. This is really the envisioning you know I'm on that high speed train in Europe, you know, maybe browsing something and having continuity of service. 

Right. So if you think about this there's actually a lot of good senitry you know within a building. We feel that there's a lot of this real technology capability and Wi-Fi 6 delivers the promise and all the stuff that they're talking about for 5G now. Right. The latest Samsung Galaxy phones have Wi-Fi 6 baked in them now. The infrastructure and you'll see this access point that we have and a lot of our other folks in the industry we've been delivering Wi-Fi 6 access points since last year.

 And for the more technical folks here I'll be really quick, you know it's sharing many of those same technologies that 5G has. If you understand some of these things like, channel widths multiple antennas OF DNA technology, we're borrowing back and forth between cellular 5G and Wi-Fi. But really the more important thing is really the use cases right. And we're delivering them today. So this latest generation access point obviously has new technology like A X if we think about it from delivering voice one of the more interesting things is delivering voice in a building and as I said, I heard a lot of disparaging over Wi-Fi doesn't work well for a voice is too hard too hard to get people on. 

We have a very interesting technology called Pass point and we're demonstrating this downstairs, where individuals with a phone with your SIM card, the access point you're going to automatically join the access point. Right. So one of the big frictions in Wi-Fi as you walk into a venue I need to understand what the network name is, I need to go into my settings join it right and then at that point I don't even know if I have security it's prior open network. With this new technology called Pass Point which has actually been around for two years but now really coming to fruition and starting to get real carriers online. 

As I said if you have some of the major carriers answers when you walk by our booth you're just going to automatically associate to it, there's no friction. More importantly you're getting onto a secure network with secure credentials. In our view point is you know now voice which traditionally you've put a dedicated system in, right, at two dollars - two fifty cents a square foot  is now just a service that we could deliver into a building the next generation access point.  

A lot more interesting too is building IoT as I said lights, sensors you know furniture, people counter sensors, are not coming through Wi-Fi in a lot of cases, they're certainly not coming through cellular, 5G, cellular, they're coming through things like Bluetooth 5, Zigby this next generation access point is actually providing that sort of connectivity. Then you know indoor location we talked about it, this is now in the second generation same infrastructure effectively putting G.P.S. above your head in a building to allow people to navigate. 

And then finally the last piece you may have heard prior about a year or two ago, Wi-Fi hacks around Wi-Fi security standard WPA2,  WPA2 is actually over a decade old so it's like geriatric. the newest access points a new standard WPA3 that really closes a lot of those gaps are now in this specific sort of next generation access. 

So really the final thoughts now that I've shared with you a little bit in terms of the holistic development the use cases et cetera as real estate professional’s how does this disrupt how what should we be thinking about. So one is around voice services in this new building keeping people connected. Right. I think I still hear and why we're doing investments with this organization, with this group, is that up until now a one to one association is set to deliver high quality voice you have to do it through DAS or small cell etc.

Not to say that you can't deliver it right but making it exclusive, that's absolutely false. We're delivering that you're likely using Wi-Fi at home potentially for phone calls. Right. We're delivering much much greater quality of service within a building. We can deliver it to the majority of buildings where a lot of these DAS systems may cover 2 or 3 percent of all reasonable space. To this idea of IoT gateways if you actually deployed an IoT gateway to support your lighting system or something, you wanted to avoid you may not have heard of the term shadow IT, if you're doing it you are shadow I.T. 

These are actually devices we have in our building now they're just sitting on the carpet sitting plugged in then if someone just tripped over I have no idea how to manage them, where they are, you know are they a security risk or not. They're really the final piece here, and it's around you as a real estate developer even us as a vendor. Traditionally a lot of this coverage right whether it's networking coverage you kind of placed upon the tenant and the tenant in his or the organization suites you may have connectivity but now the expectation to have consistent experience throughout the entire building is a lot more social services you know club lounges whatever that a lot of developers are now putting into the next generation of buildings. 

So you as one of those developers really need to start thinking about the services that you need to deliver holistically and oftentimes in the past as an afterthought.  The only thing that had to do was deliver DAS or deliver if you could afford it and that would provide cellular services. But what about all those other IoT devices right. You would do smart parking or door locks and other things right. You need to start thinking about a much broader infrastructure play for that. Right. So we're encouraging really commercial real estate to start thinking about this not just for shared spaces but potentially for tenant spaces and for us as a vendor that's disruptive to us to. Our core client has always been and we focus really on the tenant occupier less so on the commercial real estate folks. 

So that's that's really going to wrap it up here. Thank you very much. We've actually done a lot of thought leadership this week. Feel free to reach out to our website. We've published a lot on this and we're just coming out. Thank you


Greg Fasullo: Empowering Multi-Site Owners & Operators Through Technology

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By elevating the level of transparency within a portfolio of mixed assets, owners and operators can use actionable insights to improve the performance of their portfolio. WATCH to learn more.

Filmed in partnership with Realcomm | IBcon.


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Greg Fasullo, CEO, ENTOUCH

WEBSITE | TWITTER | LINKEDIN

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Good afternoon everybody, my name is Greg Fusillo, I am the CEO of Entouch.  Entouch is a smart building automation platform currently focusing on the large number of multi side distributed facilities, portfolios are not large centralized buildings and what we view that we do is we enable the promise of smart energy technology in facilities that they are mostly left behind by smart building tech and the infrastructure. 

In particular our clients are either operators or tenants in these facilities. They could be the landlord as well. What we enable to do is connect the building take data and enables sustained reductions on energy maintenance and capital expenditure. I'll focus a little bit on energy to Star because energy is a great opportunity. You hear the speeches here. There are significant opportunities to address energy efficiency in buildings with relatively modest capital investments and process investments and very large returns.  So we all know there is about 6 million commercial buildings in the US, about 90 billion square footage. 

Those buildings use a lot of energy. I actually put this slide together 7 quadrillion BTU’s. I don't even know how many zeros you had to put on an excel spreadsheet to calculate what a quadrillion was I had to look it up. About 1.2 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity which again big number. How big is that?  the equivalency in coal fired power plants 360 coal fired power plants are required to power all the commercial buildings in the US today there are only 359 of those plants in existence. 

So essentially at buildings we're 100 percent efficient. We can eliminate all of the coal usage in the United States, a fairly audacious goal.  On top of that, if you look at EIA government estimates, a large portion of energy and buildings is actually just wasted. Wasted due to inefficiencies, its wasted due to lack of people and processes in those buildings. While we hear a lot about smart building technology, the building to connect the assets in a facility, the climate control the lighting to use database on occupancy to drive changes in behavior in the buildings and optimize energy efficiency, the rally is electricity consumption in buildings is actually going up. 

So why is that. If we've got all these great technologies if they have fantastic ROI’s why are we having issues where energy efficiency is not catching up with buildings. And the dirty secret is, most of these smart building technologies are designed for facilities teams they're designed for organizations that have people on the ground, that have people and process to drive change. They're not designed for the majority of buildings that do not have onsite facilities. 


Those organizations are distributed typically geographically they're centralized from a small corporate facilities team but they simply lack the people, the processes and the priority to focus on energy efficiency at the regional. 

Now we think of buildings we think of large buildings like the one we’re in.  Typical class A building here where there's a hotel or it's an office very large square footage, buildings with significant infrastructure, but the reality is that it's just a small portion of commercial buildings. Most commercial buildings are actually small less than 1% of buildings by building count are greater than 200,000 square feet that only represents 20,000 or 20%  of the available square footage and buildings. What are these smaller buildings?

Well their buildings and services that you know well.  They are retail stores they are restaurants they are health and fitness chains there are financial services the small facilities that are distributed geographically that have very unique pain points very unique operational priorities from a large building that has onsite facilities and can be operated in a different way with a smart building technology platform. Many of these organizations do not have the onsite facility, they've got a remote team. If it's a thousand location enterprise a health and fitness chain you do have people in corporate who are thinking about energy efficiency. They're thinking about investments in technology but locally they rely on essentially maintenance people. 

Occasionally you'll have regional tech or a facility person. But the people are thinking about energy and efficiency are not on at the buildings. In addition there is a trend to rely on outsourced services. You may have an onsite maintenance tech you probably rely on somebody that provides IFM to actually do the work in your facilities. So an organization in charge of keeping the lights on and keeping that facility running. But the line item that they touch on maintenance is a very different line item for a strategic item like energy. So they're fundamentally dis aligned with an incentive to reduce energy consumption. 

Then you rely on the manager so the P&L typically rolls up to the regional manager or the local manager the store manager, that individual to some degree, has visibility to energy inefficiency because in their P&L they have much bigger priorities running the organization dealing with staffing and the top line issues at that location. 


To put that in perspective a Navigant study multi site operators in 2016 essentially talking to folks and these people have building automation systems they've got a range of technologies roughly a quarter felt that they had a smart building technology strategy for their organization. So even though they've adopted a building automation system or a BMS or an energy management system the past their disconnected assets and they really didn't feel they had a connected smart building technology strategy. 

Sixty percent were aware of the pain point they're aware of energy they're aware of sustainability challenges they are looking to do better and operate more efficiently.  They're just now starting to evaluate what they want to purchase. And over half of them, when they're surveyed will tell you, they'd actually like to outsource this in the service. So what they're telling you is they also realize we have other priorities as we're outsourcing non core services energy management optimization of our energy footprint probably something we're not the best at and we're looking at providers that can do that for us as a service. 

That's where Entouch comes in. What do you have to do to solve this problem? Well at heart it's not a technology, it's not a hardware, it's not a systems level problem. It's a holistic software and services problem. The buildings may or may not have a connected system. You need to deploy some way of connecting and access and those are the equipment in those facilities. The buildings when they're connected you've got a commission. So if you connect the system is built you've got to know the various conference rooms you've got to know where occupants are. 

You have to know how that building is supposed to occupy. Think about doing that over a suite of outpatient health care clinics that are all different in size of different assets on the roof have different operating hours in different parts of the country. How do you deploy at very low cost very high quality has to be done with software. Now it connected that building and I've got this firehose of data and all is great information coming in. I can figure email alerts on every time there's a problem. The next thing I know is I my email box is filling up. I turn off the alerts. There's got to be a process that you can take that data coming in. You can analyze it and you can quickly enable support for the ongoing operation of the site.

It has to be integrated. So I've got a services provider I've got an IFM provider. They are the boots on the ground they've got the work order system seeing the mess that I use. Any new solution cannot be a point solution that requires additional work, to extract value it has to be integrated with the existing workflow. That's probably the most important point on this slide. Most legacy systems were independent point solutions. They were not integrated. They were not open and essentially people have deployed these systems and they're a little bit stuck. How do I extract value out of what I've already invested. 

They're very basic users has gotten very easy to use and then ultimately to effect change in these distributed facilities. You don't have a facility team that can optimize HVAC temperatures or do maintenance initiatives to try to improve the efficiency of the rooftop that the systems have to be autonomous to be able to adjust. They've got a watch. They've got a rack based on user behavior and ultimately affect the change to drive real change. 


Entouch does this through a software platform today, we've got about fifty thousand of our systems deployed in the US leading multi site operators.  We start with the ability to deploy and commission. We are a software platform so this third party tech shows up on site, he's got the Entouch app on his mobile device. You can install our platform. He can connect with existing assets and then we can remotely commission that design. Now we've got a high quality installation and we're collecting data. We're streaming it to the cloud. We start doing things with it. So we collect that data we analyze that data. We apply machine learning. We help you optimize the operation of the building autonomously. And now as a facility individual you move from having no intelligence of what's going on and having real time data and the reactive tasks that are associated data. 


We've integrated with your third party services provider and ultimately you can take this organization. You can start pulling the young in you can start feeling figuring out opportunities to optimize and continuously improve. So what we enable in organizations that traditionally were reactive there are maintenance and support they're keeping the lights on of these facilities but they don't fundamentally have the ability to optimize to transform that facility organization into one that can be strategic that could be thinking long term and frankly could be pulling levers to optimize and reduce energy in those facilities. 


So in addition to the operational benefits most of our customers are the facility organization and corporate they love the fact that now they've got an automated enterprise ultimately the business case is driven by energy because that is a large line item this year. Our average customer today saves about 13 percent on their energy bill. Not bad. It's about two hundred million kilowatt hours and over 4000 tons of carbon that we are saving today on an annual basis across our clients. And what they really like because that's equivalent to about 20 million dollars a year of economics. 

So that's Entouch. We enable and frankly we deliver on the promise of smart dollar technology and multi site organizations. Great. Thank you very much for your time. 



David Unger: Full Transparency through IoT

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Filmed in partnership with Realcomm | IBcon.

From the edge, through the fog and into the clouds - a deep dive into the core components of IoT in commercial real estate today. David Unger, CEO of Sentient Buildings helps navigate current pain points in IoT and cloud infrastructure as well as how technology is bringing forth new solutions.


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David Unger, CEO, Sentient Buildings

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:


Good afternoon everybody, My name is David Unger. I'm the CEO of Sentient Buildings. Sentient Buildings is a wireless IoT device infrastructure company where we integrate wireless devices to traditional BMS systems, platforms and we bring all of that data up to the cloud securely and reliably. 

So my presentation today is going to be on creating full transparency in buildings through IoT technologies in the subtitle - from the edge through the fog and into the clouds. 

How do you get full transparency of your data in/and controlling that data from the cloud back down to the edge.  So you're just looking at how we put these pieces together, what are the core components of an IoT network or design? You have the cloud the cloud's where you know the data is going to ultimately be pushed too, you have your subject here in the middle, the building, the edge is your edge device network. 

So how does that network function?  How are you getting data from the very edges of your building and not just from your central plant systems or from air handlers or from other operational technologies in the building? How do you get into the tenant spaces and collect data on temperature, humidity or how do you control individual terminal units in apartments and other things?

How do you get bi-directional with monitoring and control to the edge? then the fire concept here is all about distributing that computing power, right. So how do you distribute your computing power between the cloud and the edge?

How do you maintain it, manage your security, how do you maintain data across all systems across both the cloud and the edge? So there is talk about how those pieces get put together but let's just talk about some of the traditional kinds of problems that we try to solve for building owners and operators. The first one is wires. Wires are very constraining in buildings, in wired systems and wiring up sensor data and wiring up devices and control points. It becomes expensive to maintain those systems and you don't typically deploy to the edge in a way that makes sense for the building. Wired is a mass infrastructure, it's expensive to install maintain upgrade and extend. 

What we find is while you could potentially control every tack in a building, every electric baseboard heater in a building while you could do these things they're not economical or feasible in old construction or in retrofit projects. Paybacks for the owners to deploy to the edge are too long for them to even consider.  

What we really look at is how to achieve this full visibility and do it reliably with wireless. Wireless technologies typically in a lot of ways, is unreliable. It might be okay to monitor a temperature sensor but if you're controlling somebody pee tac unit or if you're doing something that needs to be done reliably and consistently you know you can't be subject to wireless interference or other problems that might arise with wireless device networks. 

So the way we look at this is we've divided wireless networks into two typologies. We look at the Star Network as having a central hub right that can coordinate and monitor devices that communicate directly to it. That Star Network provides basically a local area or a personal area wireless network within its face. 

So within a specific space it could be an apartment could be an office space but you have this local area wireless network and you could actually deploy on this network because it's now very short range. When I say short range I mean like 30 to 40 feet. 

If you could deploy low to no power and end nodes at the edge that can be powered by ambient light can be powered by kinetic energy so you don't even have to put batteries in those devices and it could be as simple as peeling and sticking something on a wall like a thermostat and getting readings back to your hub. The mesh comes in where these hubs act as repeaters on a mesh. 

So you have your star network at each node and each hub becomes a repeater in there you form a building wide area network where all the mesh nodes communicate with one another and they report back to a central gateway or central system in the building and that way you achieve full reliable coverage across the entire site. 


Once you have the wireless network in place, what you can do with it? What kind of devices can you deploy and you could deploy these devices very cost effectively, temperature sensors actuators  hours occupancy sensors energy meters and you could deploy them without having to run power or communication wiring to them. So it becomes a very inexpensive deployment and not only that it becomes reliable in terms of wireless range and communication. 

Now you're bringing all of the wireless data back to a central point. That's great. But now what typically happens is the data still remain separate from existing building management systems. Wireless IoT data should be simply extending existing BMS platforms. They should not be their own platform or their own system. The latest IoT device networks are typically proprietary. You have to use some specific kind of sensor, they might have their own portal platform or their own local client to access the system. So you want to basically build a platform that allows for extension of this IoT device system so that it can be used by other systems in the building.

The other thing that happens across multiple systems is your data definitions are not in sync. They're not homogenized. They're not normalized. The way that you define your data is different across multiple systems so you need a simple way to bring all that data definitions together so that they're defined correctly across all your platforms so that you can identify systems and platforms consistently to perform analytics, to run alarming and create issues across the system. 

It's very important to get that straightened out. Where  these edge to fog gateways that bridge the divide fit in is, you create this fully secure VPN network to your cloud. So now you've secured your network of all this data. You have integration of your IoT receivers into that network and then you also create onsite data storage and edge computing power through a central fog gateway.  

Now both the wireless network and the IoT device network can communicate to the other building systems and the same goes for the building systems that were traditionally not connected to these device networks. 

Then pushing that data right up to the cloud so you have your IoT systems and you have traditional BMS platforms all coming together in a central system. 


There are many cloud platforms that are out there, you know performing analytics against the data or providing other services against the data,  it becomes a problem because you still don't get a comprehensive view of operations. Many users have to log into multiple systems in order to evaluate and analyze their data. So really what's needed is a central system to aggregate the data at scale with a suite of API eyes to these external systems in the cloud. 

There needs to be the single pane of glass where the data exists in the cloud and is moderated and controlled in the cloud. Then you have integration so all the other systems that you might need to retrieve data from provide a standard compliant data integration platform with a single pane glass view into that system and then you integrate the value chain of all of these other providers in the cloud. 

Eventually what you'll get is a method of setting the stage for full integration and collaboration across all cloud platforms so that you can easily share data across systems,  distribute data to your engineering and energy consulting firm so that they can evaluate that data and help the building owner make decisions on capital projects, for example the tenants and residents can gain access to their thermostats easily. 

The owner operator could grant access to the thermostat without them having to put their own nest device in or some other type of Wi-Fi device hvac service companies could gain access to enact this. This access control system where data is shared so that they can evaluate problems with your air handler or your boiler plant or your chiller plant.  You get full transparency all the way down to the device level and now you're providing full transparency to all the collaborators who actually need access. 

If they had access they can provide better services to the building, so what is this roadmap to transparency look like?  wireless start a mesh remote control nodes that connect seamlessly to existing building systems. So really designing your wireless IoT device network so that it’s standardized and compliant with existing systems. You want to support standard compliant edge devices while maintaining this from robust backhaul. You want to eliminate the need going forward for power communication wiring. 

We recently did a project in a 2 million square foot building where you can put a device now anywhere in that building, a sensor, thermostat, any control point, you can just place the device in the building and it will come up on the network and be visible in the cloud. So that really allows complete flexibility. The types of sensors that you use and you could use at much lower costs than was traditionally available and then really getting this open protocol cloud platform that's able to not only receive the data from the building systems but also fully integrate with all other cloud based platforms for a fully robust platform in the cloud that has multiple data sources and can really give you a single glass pane into the view of operations.


Deb Noller: Facilities Management As We Know It Is Dead

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Deb Noller, co-founder & CEO of Switch Automation discusses how owners and developers can take advantage of the new business models and revenue created by digital facilities management.


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Deb Noller, Co-Founder & CEO, Switch Automation

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

This video was filmed at a Peerspace, the leading online marketplace for meeting and event spaces. Click here to Learn More.

Very shortly, facilities management as we know it today will be dead and a whole new digital model will spring up and take its place.

All across the property and the real estate industry, people are adopting new technologies and using data to create really interesting new digital business models. I'm Deb Noller, I’m CEO of Switch Automation, and we have a smart buildings platform, and we're seeing a rapid transformation towards digital F.M. (facilities management). We're really excited about this digital F.M. because what we think is better building management will lower the impact that buildings have on our planet.

Research and experts have all indicated that there's going to be more than 3.5 billion new data devices posting information out of commercial buildings over the next two to three years. All of this new high quality data is going to create new business models and new revenue streams.

Real estate, as an asset class, is our largest asset class on the planet. We spend more money there than anywhere else. And real estate and the adoption of technology is being very slow. It's not just last across all of the industries it's dead last, and all of this is beginning to change. But why now? What's causing the industry to change now?

So the incentives are actually lining up to create these new business models, new technologies, and the adoption of data is causing new businesses and existing businesses to really understand how they're going to innovate for the future.

If you look at Uber as a company they didn't build technology and bring that into the market and try and sell it to the taxi drivers. What they did was they created really interesting, easy to use tech that scaled and it created a whole new market. So their drivers. And the customers adopted that technology and they adopted it in droves and they built a whole new business model. In this very similar vein, this is what's going to happen in real estate.

So the technologies are more available. They are more cost effective. They’re more deployable and increasingly interoperable. And this is being recognized right across the industry by the property companies themselves and also the service companies that are servicing the industry. They are looking at those technologies and bringing those in and creating interesting new business models and also brand new revenue streams.

We're working with a number of companies that we see as world leaders in the adoption of technologies. So this is a Canadian real estate company largely recognized as being best in class. They are using data to drive a better occupant experience. They passionately want to be the landlord of choice, and what they're doing is they're using data to proactively manage occupant comfort, and to understand where they have hot and cold spaces, and to address those before their customers are even aware of it.

We're also working with a large coworking space that is growing very rapidly, and they are really interested in using data and technologies to understand how space is utilized. So what they're really interested in is the design and the use of space around employee productivity and employee collaboration, that ultimately leads to workplace innovation.

So here's our three tips for how to survive this digital transformation of our industry.

First of all, you need to get your strategies right. So starting with a data strategy, you need to think about how you're going to harness your data, where you're going to host your data, who's going to own your data, how are you going to share that data with all the various stakeholders across your organization, but also outside your organization. You're going to have to think about data privacy, data governance, and data protection.

The second thing is, you need to get some really basic infrastructure right. So this is about getting your cyber security policies right, getting your architecture right, getting your data policies right, not just trialing every bright shiny I.T. device that's in the market.

And thirdly, make sure you're looking at your existing data and your existing systems, because you already have quite a lot in your organization that you can take advantage of. And if you get these things integrated first, and start to take advantage of those, you'll get really quick early are ROI (return on investment). So you'll get those early wins, you'll get the buy in of your management and the organization, and you'll get those wins that support your program going forward.

So commercial buildings are generating more data than ever before. This is going to be a brand new lucrative opportunity for many people in the industry. But what we would say to you is don't wait. Start now.

Shannon Smith: Does A Building Have A Mission?

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Buildings need to have a mission. Shannon Smith, CEO of PointGuard says the mission of a building is not to save energy but rather to serve occupancy comfort. Smith shares how to weaponize your building management system by harnessing the wealth of data it holds and turn it into meaningful insights.


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Shannon Smith, CEO, PointGuard

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hello everybody, I'm Shannon Smith, I'm glad to be here. I'm the CEO of Abundant Power now known as PointGuard. At PointGuard we're committed to innovative and impactful technologies for building teams to help them realize higher building performance. But I'm not here to talk about me and hopefully here to talk about something that's important to you and not often discussed. And that's a question of whether or not buildings have a mission? How many of you have mission statements? I know we do at PointGuard. Missions are important. It helps you determine where you're going, what you're all about, and what's your purpose? I believe buildings do have a mission and if building is complete their mission, they will have an amazing impact on your businesses and on the people who come to work and to live in them every day.

So this conversation we're going to have today is going to be about what is a buildings mission? What are some of the things that are keeping buildings from completing their mission, and how certain older technologies maybe are failing on the job and what new technologies, new software like PointGuard can do to help buildings complete their mission. So let's get going.

Now one of the things has always found curious in the conversation about analytics and building and building software is that so much focus is on energy analytics. But we don't build buildings to save energy do we? We actually build buildings to provide an amazing workplace experience and to last as long as they can at the lowest possible operating and capital costs. Energy costs just come along for the ride. So if your building completes it’s mission and does those things, great workplace experience at lowest capital and operating costs. What happens? Profit for the owners and great enjoyment for the occupants and the tenants. So I want to talk a little bit now about what can be done or what stands in the way of buildings completing their mission. They're really six things that come to mind to me and I want to talk about it and maybe some you know. But here listing them out can tell you a little bit about why it's so hard for building to complete their mission. And then what and why software sometimes doesn't really do the job.

What is time? It’s a tyranny of the urgent today. We have so little time we had one building manager say I have one click in one minute. The next is talent. There's a major talent gap today saying a recent study by RIBEX says that there are more people over the age of 70 in facility management than under the age of 30. The third thing and this is really builds off of time and talent, is stability. We have less time and less people. You're moving teams around more and the knowledge is embedded in the building and how it performs is being lost. There's a lot of lack of stability today. Comfort is an important aspect of a building's mission. We found at PointGuard buildings are not within three degrees a set point, one out of every five days during occupied hours. It's the one thing you can’t control in your operating of a building and it's the one thing you don't. Knowledge everyone knows in the facilities space that knowledge is reactionary, it’s static is based on the things that the vendors are telling you to do and is still visual today so little data is being used deeply in buildings to help them complete their mission.

And the last the most important thing that keeps buildings from completing their mission is action. Nothing good happens in a building unless you know exactly where to go to turn a wrench and so much of energy analytic software and software is being used a day in facility management doesn't have any idea where to tell people to go to improve their buildings. So here's your analytics, is a long way away from helping millions complete their mission. Recent Energy Star score recalibration might even tell you that even more, the average office building lost 12 points of Energy Star score in August. Energy analytics is just a small part of the data opportunity deeper building analytics is the real picture that you have today. So what can be done? How do you begin to take technology and help a building complete its mission?

We believe at PointGuard to the answers right in front of you. What you already have invested in the building, you're building management system. There's a wealth of data there that is underutilized. It may be the most important asset you have in this journey. How does that work? You start with your energy bill data, that's a very small part of it. Then you take all your BMS data. The next most important thing is having some form of software solution that can help you process said data. But it has to do the most important thing of all and lead to meaningful action. If it does that the building can complete their mission. If you take a look at all the pieces of equipment that are available and you're BMS you can begin to look at it in terms of comfort and asset health and with the right kind of software tools you can take all those pieces of equipment and move them into the highest asset life in the highest possible comfort delivery.

So at PointGuard we think that the next platform has to meet a number of goals and that’s how we designed our facility management platform. It has to maximize time, has to be intuitive, straightforward, easy to use, it has to solve the talent gap. It has got to allow one person do a lot more work than before and also attract younger talent into the facility's space. And if you're outsourcing your facility services, they're facing the same challenge. Using a PointGuard software, one person can manage over 20 million square feet. That's over 20 times the current rubic used by facility management today. It needs to remain with your building. It has to amplify local knowledge all the people that have come through all the people that know that building, that information has to be captured and algorithms and machine learning, and it has to stay with that building for the next owner and the next management team. We have to eliminate comfort mistakes. You have to be able to deliver 100 percent comfort 100 percent of occupied hours. If you do that you eliminate over half of your comfort complaints. It's an amazing outcome and it's something that building management is not doing today at all.

Instead of focusing on energy we've got to move to something bigger and more important, something in the mainstream of what real estate is all about. It's about your assets. It's about operating expenses. You want to extend your asset life. You want to replace assets when you want to replace them, not when the vendors tell you to replace them. Operating data is single most important piece of information missing from building management. They were the only asset class it doesn't replace equipment based on operating information, replacing static nameplate maintenance information that's not accurate and billions of dollars are being wasted today. Lastly it's got to be precise. It’s got to stop wasting time, tell people where to go to turn a wrench to improve your buildings and help them fulfill their mission. And those are the six points that we designed our platform around to deliver that kind of value to the people that use it. So it's time to go beyond energy Analytics. In my opinion it's time to for buildings to help complete their mission to provide maximum occupant comfort. To have the lowest possible capital and operating costs and as a result, help you have maximum amount of profit and have the occupants have the most enjoyable workplace experience possible. We can do that and PointGuard.

Shane Eten: What If Water Pipes Could Talk?

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What if your water pipes could talk? Shane Eten, CEO of Lotik discusses how water prices in NYC have tripled over the last few years and how water intelligences is saving residential developers millions of dollars each year.


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Shane Eten, Co-Founder & CEO, Lōtik

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

My name is Shane Eden I'm the Co-Founder of Lotik. I'm a plumber in residence so I'm in training to listen to how pipes do talk so if we can hear them, we would understand a whole lot more. We believe that there's the ability to drive water efficiency in multifamily buildings. We believe that you could save around 40 to 50 percent on water costs in a multifamily building. But there is a lot of different reasons why this is possible and why it's important and when you first look at what the real liability is here it's not only just water cost it's water damage and there's a lot of things going on. It's amazing that we know more about the data that we use on our cell phone than we do about how much water we use. So for a multifamily building owner, surprisingly, water is their number one utility cost. This is a study done in 2005 in Minnesota. So I'm going to get to that number the 305 for water per apartment a little bit later. It's also the highest maintenance costs for a multifamily building.

In New York City, water costs have tripled since 2000. So that graph you saw earlier for the 308 water costs have now tripled which is around nine hundred dollars per apartment and none of the other costs have gone up.

We saw the same thing happening with electricity prices in the late 1970s. You see this curve right there, electrical sub metering started in 1985. So a lot of this is happening. We believe that water sub-metering is going to start to happen in New York City and it already is. It's not only expensive now but it's going to get a lot more expensive. So it's not just the water that we're using, we have quite a bit of water in New York City, but we have to then treat it. So if water is used inefficiently it then goes to a wastewater treatment system the taxpayer dollars are paying for it. We talked to a lot of building owners and they basically just think it's a tax. And what's fascinating about the building is you have a 600 unit building and you have one main meter and you have no other information. So when your water costs go up there's nothing you can do about it.

Surprisingly in California most of the water is used by farmers in New York City most of the water is used by multifamily buildings. So how do we apply something like this? We would argue that it's a lot easier to install a water submeter or do something new when it's for a new building, but 100 percent of the market right now is the buildings that already exist and the older buildings are what used the most amount of water. So what's difficult about water sub metering is that these buildings are built on stacked risers. So unlike electricity where there's one place or one panel that you can actually put a sub meter, you'd have to put it in six different locations on six different pipes so you can't just install one meter to understand what's going on. If you could understand what was happening at the fixture level, so tell me what's happening with the toilet or with the shower, you understand if there was a leak you would then drastically reduce the amount of insurance claims for a building and therefore insurance costs. And you would drastically reduce the amount of water that was actually being used.

With no transparency at all. The bar is set very low.

So how do we do this? It's almost like imagine if you could create a FitBit for a pipe.

So typically a toilet is sold to last for 20 years. What if you could embed an operating system into toilets so that you could upgrade the toilet? You could actually understand what was happening and a toilet is very easy to understand if you just listen to it. So what if you could create a Fitbit for a pipe? I spend a lot of years doing this. We've been working on it for four years.

We've been financed by Samsung and we found some very interesting findings here. Most of the time it's installed closer to the toilet so it's on the supply line. We have an accelerometer in there it's battery operated.

The key here is when you go into someone's apartment you want to make sure that you don't have to go back in and you want to make sure you're not there for a very long time. That's something that we learned over time but a leaky toilets very easy to identify.

All we're doing is tracking the amount of water that's being filled in a toilet so, when is toilet filling? And it doesn't matter how the leak occurred as long as it's basically an activity tracker and if you have an entire building you have 600 units and you know you have a leaky toilet. The research says that one in five toilets is leaking, we found that usually like two and five toilets is leaking. So just identify the places where when a pipe is talking and it's talking a lot, that's when you should definitely listen.

In the future we see embedding this stuff into every single picture. So imagine installing a building you commission the plumbing system for the first time and you have all green lights a lot of the insurance cost associated with water damage happens really really early on when a plumbing system is first installed.

So what did we learn doing this? Doing wireless in this type of environment is very very tough especially when you're in a bathroom. So a bathroom has glass, it has porcelain, and it has cabinets, so you go underneath the sink. You put a wireless system in there. You then closed the cabinet door you then closed the bathroom door. We need to figure out a way and everyone does need to figure out a way how to train how to send data a really long way in these places. We also realize that you can't have a gateway or a hub and connected the Internet in every single apartment. This has to be like to call it the silent censor. Had the building owner install it very very quickly but have a gateway that can be installed anywhere in the building. So instead of a gateway to every apartment we can now send data to twenty five floors. We did this by doing machine learning.

So in order to get data to listen to pipes we have customers but you don't want to necessarily go in there when you don't have a solution that works well. But I would suggest for a lot of building owners, letting new technology companies come in and actually collect data in the building is very important. So we looked at the numbers and Airbnb’s are very cheap so we would rent an Airbnb and sit there and hang out next to the plumbing systems which allowed us to collect all the data and then build the machine learning model on the actual sensor so that we're only sending the data that we need to and we can send it a lot further and a lot of times in certain industries. It's the language that we're talking about. So when I first started to dive into this as plumber and residence, I still do not know what a cubic foot is. I think a gallon is even hard to understand.

So instead of saying cubic feet, why is this not about time the tenant can't control how how often or or how much volume is coming out of their shower or their toilet. They can control how many times they flush and how long they turn the shower on for.

So we believe that in the future it will be based on time and so that you can actually comprehend it so someone can actually change their habits if they knew if they took a five minute less shower. And most importantly is that data when you can capture this and you can actually listen to the pipes you start to see a cadence of the buildings so you can tell when people are waking up, you can turn your heat on a little bit later. So this data is not just a real physical act. Someone has to go to the fixture and turn something on. And if someone is not there and there's water flowing we should know about it so we can stop it. Thank you very much.

Marshall Cox: Intelligent Residential Heating

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Marshall Cox, CEO of Radiator Labs discusses the problems with steam heat. He explains how using heat data can solve for comfort and lower cost.  


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Marshall Cox, CEO, Radiator Labs

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My name is Marshall Cox, the Founder and CEO of Radiator Labs and I’m going to tell you about steam heat which is always a super exciting topic. So first of all steam has a lot of problems. We all know this we we've lived in an apartment or a house in New York City in particular. And the problem isn’t with steam. Steam is actually a pretty awesome technology that has been in these building since they were built often a hundred years ago, decades at least and they’re super overheated. The problem is that it's very hard to control where steam flows from that building and you can try to do that and they were really well balanced when they were built. But then the biggest change that we've we've seen is that we've invented nearly universally retrofit, windows with a double pane insulating glass and that completely changed the balance of our buildings. And now you have apartments that are cold and need a lot of heat and people who are super hot and open the windows as a result.

Obviously people are really uncomfortable because of this so it's a problem for tenants. It's a problem for maintenance staff because these things are hard to maintain. But it's an enormous financial and ecological disaster about seven billion dollars is wasted every year in the 10 percent of the U.S. residential housing market that uses steam as a primary source of heat. in New York City alone it's one point two billion dollars and you can imagine literally taking one point two billion dollars of fuel and burning it in the streets that's essentially what we're doing every year.

I want to get some perspective on this problem so steam has been around for a long time. It's been around for a approximately the same time as the phones. This is Alexander Graham Bell invented the harmonic telegram which is here. And think about how many changes have gone through that technology in the past hundred years. We all have supercomputers in our pockets now. The amount of change is dramatic and contrast that with steam, it's not necessarily a fair comparison. We have new better heating technologies but the radiators that have been in these buildings haven't really seen anything happen in the last 100 years and this is particularly relevant here because this Alexander Graham Bell standing next to a radiator and I can guarantee you that that building is probably still here and that radiators are probably still there. These things have been stalled for literally a century sometimes more than a century and they still work which is amazing but they have a lot of issues. So I got my P.H.D. at Columbia University. I invented this technology there. My research had nothing to do with steam or radiators but I lived in a unmitigated hellhole apartment. I was super hot. The technology worked really well. We went to compete at the MIT Clean Energy Prize, won that which was amazing and was essentially the beginning of our company. We developed a full building system and iterated over the past few years and most recently NYSERDA has supported an evaluation of that technology in a bunch of buildings and I'll talk about the results later. It was very good and we were really excited about what we're doing.

Briefly, what are the things you can do to solve this problem and overheating and buildings? Most people have tried to address this from a plumbing perspective but steam is a hundred degrees Celsius gas. It's a very caustic when it condenses into water and you're talking about a two phase distribution problem that's really hard to control that kind of distribution system with a valve or other kinds of plumbing solutions doesn't really work. We've approached it from a different direction. We actually control the area around a radiator and thermodynamically manipulate the steam flow within a building by doing that. Has the benefit of being easily installed you don't have to have any contact with plumbing is especially nice not to have to mess with 100 year old pipes and it works really well. Every one of these systems says a wireless radio we communicate data in real time to the cloud that lets us learn how buildings heat up and cool down and optimize that heat generation on a building by building basis. It also lets us connect this data to people's cell phones so they can control their temperatures even setting setbacks and different time based things you can do with a normal thermostat. This is a level of control that these buildings have never had in their entire history. So it's a pretty big deal for the people who live in these buildings.

These are those results I told you about from NYSERDA. Seven buildings of the past five years. We found 25 percent average savings maximum savings was forty five percent. And I just want to point out the minimum savings over there 15 percent. That building is a LeFrak building out in Brooklyn. It is now the most efficient single pipe building in all of New York. So even in buildings that start out very efficient we can still save a lot of energy. There's a lot of waste here. To put into perspective for income for for a portfolio, if you can save 30 percent of your heating costs that translates into a net operating income increase of 10 percent because 30 percent operating costs are often in heating the building itself. So that's a big deal for for portfolios.

Now I want to transition to talk about data. The first thing, the most obvious thing is what can you do with data in real time in a room? We take temperatures and we obviously feedback that temperature into our system is pushing down to a room when it's needed that allows us to do away with the drastic overheating under heating that you get in these kinds of buildings. This is real data. You basically turn an apartment into a flat lined temperature at your set point. It's a very important and nice change. My apartment obviously has these installed.

You can get a little deeper into the data as well. So in most bigger buildings you have what's called the two pipes steam system, and every radiator has a steam trap at that point and when we installed in buildings we typically find that about 25 percent the steam traps are blown and malfunctioning which means that steam is flowing into the that line being wasted. Every broken steam trap wastes about 200 to 400 dollars a year. So you can see how this adds up very very quickly. We can use the data that we're gathering to analyze steam trap health in real time and you can imagine that maintenance programs and buildings. It's hard to measure this stuff because it's in someone's home. We can just do it in real time remotely and tell people when things break and they need be fix which increases dramatically the maintenance efficiency of portfolios.

Very quickly looking dig digging deeper into the data there are some really interesting things here. If you can look at this and the left is these are two buildings top and bottom on the left is before we installed an app on the right is after we installed each one little block in these graphs shows a apartment that's been categorized by temperature. So the red blocks are apartments that are Saunas above 80 degrees. The blue blocks are apartments that are freezing below 62 degrees and you can see that before we retrofit is a pretty even distribution of very hot apartments and very cold apartments where you'd imagine sitting in a building. After retrofit if you could see the screen here, we've dramatically increased the number of green building the green apartments. So most of the apartments now are comfortable. Of course there's still outliers on the hot side. So this is on first level to point out that our technology is awesome, it works really well but this is a very rich data set. Of the apartments that are still hot. Why are they still hot?

It turns out that we can do some some interesting cluster analysis and apply algorithms to this data to figure out what characteristics those apartments share. So maybe they're on the top floor and the roof is uninsulated maybe on the bottom floor and there's infiltration problems but they're all on on the north side and don't get sun. You can essentially figure out what's wrong with these buildings. Then no one even knew existed. And that's interesting because you can take that data. We control the boiler we know how much fuel you'll save additionally if you fix that problem. And then if you know how much that problem cost to fix you can calculate a pretty efficient pretty accurate return on investment. And that basically will unlock a significant amount of capital. People want to fix their buildings. But the capital to do so is not really available because no one knows how long they're gonna take to pay back. No one knows how much it’s going to cost to fix. No one even knows what the problems are. So what we're trying to do here is take the data that we're gathering to figure out what those problems are to go how much going to cost to save and unlock that capital to fix the big problems in our infrastructure which is primarily located in our older buildings that no one has the time or money to evaluate properly. We have a big grant from the National Science Foundation to do this. So we're pretty excited about we're doing. Thank you so much.