ATS Automation sponsored a well-attended and informative Smart Tech for Buildings Summit on Thursday (1/30) in Seattle. Smart Buildings Center (SBC) staff attended all the sessions and were impressed by the quality of the speakers. The summit started with a primer on smart buildings and helped ground us all in both terminology and in the issues that are part of the here and now of smart buildings. Lucy Gedney of ATS promised that the sessions would focus on three of the pillars associated with the International Well Being Institute’s “well standard” – air, light, and comfort. The summit delivered on that promise.
One overarching theme throughout the summit was that occupant experience is becoming more and more at the forefront in the design and operation of buildings. But, tenant comfort, energy efficiency, and equipment life extension are not mutually exclusive; in fact, smart buildings technology makes it possible to achieve all of these benefits.
Jennifer Wagner of Onsite, LLC gave an impressive presentation documenting her research on the value of data driven solutions to infection prevention and control in hospitals. In other sessions, speakers presented data showing the improvements in occupant satisfaction, test scores, and worker productivity in commercial and education settings.
A very nice session on data analytics drove home the opportunity and challenge of collecting, storing, analyzing, and – most importantly – acting on the information derived from the analysis of building performance data. A representative from Amazon described their Alexa for Business products which reduce the annoying downtime associated with meeting room start up procedures – a ubiquitous frustration for us all. A representative from Roby explained how the Roby AI workplace concierge can help improve tenant satisfaction and operational efficiency by streamlining facility management requests through their app.
Throughout the summit speakers offered assurance that even with smart technology’s inherent ability to automate processes, there will always be a need for human interaction in the operation and maintenance of buildings. We appreciated the event for its content as SBC plans to build out a Smart Buildings curriculum and credential through the Building Operator Certification program. The session content framed the progress in the field of smart buildings and how it impacts the knowledge and skills facilities professionals need to succeed in an industry that is transforming as smarter technologies and practices are being deployed in buildings.
In the end, the summit offered attendees the opportunity to connect with others in the industry to share best practices and lessons learned from implementing smart technologies and practices. The event also served as an inspiration for the now-under-development agenda for SBC’s Smart Buildings Exchange (SBX 2020) conference scheduled for September 2nd-3rd at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. The SBC in tandem with a growing list of sponsors – which now includes McKinstry, Siemens, Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, MacDonald-Miller, ATS Automation, and BOMA – is using this conference to expand on many of the themes heard at the ATS summit. Focusing on today’s issues of why, what, and how in the smart buildings space, this conference will be of interest to building owners and managers, facility professionals, engineers, architects, utilities, government, and energy efficiency professionals. Event registration is now open. We hope to see you there!