VP of Information Technology, Rob Glance, Featured in Project Haystack’s Connections Magazine

BuildingFit Vice President of Information Technology, Rob Glance, is featured in Project Haystack’s Fall 2020 issue of Connections Magazine, where he discusses the complexities connecting with Building Automation Systems and the benefits of deploying analytics.

Finding Our Way: Take the Established Success Path for Implementing Building Analytics

“While many Building Automation Systems (BAS) products are becoming IP-compliant, many existing buildings have older legacy and proprietary BAS systems. This creates big problems for those charged with managing buildings. Semantic tagging is a key part of the solution.”

I sometimes feel stuck in the past regarding building automation systems (BAS). This is because I hear
a consistent grievance from building owners, their

engineering staff and service providers who share the same set of problems. While most industries have adopted and are aligned with industry standards relating to IP networking and enterprise data management, building automation is stuck in catch-up mode. Owners understandably want to manage their sites with the latest technologies and information management systems. While many building automation systems (BAS) products are becoming IP-compliant, many existing buildings have older legacy and proprietary BAS systems. This creates big problems for those charged with managing buildings.

The result of this is that applying analytics on building performance, building owners are locked into a cycle of needing to upgrade outdated BAS while knowing that outright replacement and attaining the capital needed to justify ROI are often insurmountable. Many of these BAS are incapable of offering much more than simple trend data and weren’t designed to provide any real operational diagnostics beyond basic alarms.

When BAS Deficiencies are a Legacy

Operators of older, legacy BAS face a major impediment: They’re working with systems that don’t easily share information, generally lack the ability to communicate with other systems, and upgradability is restricted.

These factors in concert, present a common challenge: How to view and use different system source data in one unified software view? Many facility managers try to function in an environment in which they can’t see how each system is performing and how they interoperate.

In addition, many of my customers have administrative and compliance reporting requirements that demand
real information and analysis about energy, costs, and regulatory compliance. BAS hold much of that, but unfortunately, not in a manner that allows them to access it, let alone actually use it.

Modernizing Legacy BAS: You don’t have to Hit “Reset”

So, the refrains we hear include: “How do I modernize my legacy systems? And how can I elevate BAS capabilities to get me what I need, while preserving the investments already made?”

Another challenge: How to make necessary upgrades to existing assets that make the data accessible and usable – all without breaking the bank? Serving that data up into a single information and analytics platform is the next step.

Integrating the right data analytics tools to access
these insights is a longstanding source of frustration
for building managers. Compounding the angst is the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that offer opportunities for enhancing operational performance but add additional, integration issues.

The result of all this is that building managers are forced to tend to systems individually. It’s wildly inefficient and ineffective as technicians limit their operational scope to a singular system rather than gaining a holistic view of how these systems operate in unison and what adjustments can be made to achieve greater efficiency. No system operates in a vacuum. These systems are interrelated and need to be treated accordingly.

While smart systems are the ideal launching point for building managers to make necessary adjustments within

their facility operations, this isn’t sufficient to provide the insights into how, where, or when to integrate such improvements. Building managers need systems that communicate seamlessly and display essential data in a uniform and meaningful manner.

Standardization is the Key to the BAS Castle

The good news is recent advances are lowering barriers to implementing analytics. In days gone by, building systems were simply gathers of data, making it available for facility managers to analyze. The problem is that each data set tends to speak its own language. While it may be easier to access the information today, building managers are missing the ability to review it unitarily and use common metrics to make impactful decisions.

Thankfully, significant progress has been made to solve this problem. A great example is the Haystack schema that aims to standardize semantic data models and simplify interpretation of data collected across operational systems. Professional analytics tools, like my company’s BuildingFitTM, have further demystified the puzzle of how to achieve greater energy efficiency through technological features. For example, the BuildingFit preferencing tool is powerful because it uses machine learning to standardize diverse data across different platforms. This approach normalizes data points to enable “apples-to-apples” comparisons, ultimately unifying system data into easy- to-understand insights.

This approach to standardize data and analytics helps facility management make smarter decisions and make them faster. As an example, it enabled Banner Health to leverage facility data that yielded a cost savings of $3.8 million in annual energy savings across a multitude of facilities.

Leveraging Service Providers and the Secure Cloud

Enlightened facility managers are taking advantage
of two market trends to accelerate the successful implementation of smart building technologies. Many are realizing a quick and effective way to adopt analytics in their facilities is partnering with competent service providers with a focus on providing building analytics solutions. Innovative energy engineering, commissioning, and systems integrators, in turn, are providing data analytics as a core service offering. Meantime, enhanced security software tools allow cloud access to dashboards and building data that keeps information secure while providing increased access to building operations across geographies and diverse team members.

SaaS Lowers Barriers

There are significant benefits by working with an analytics vendor with a software as a service (SaaS) model. With SaaS, instead of paying for expensive, upfront licensing

costs, users pay a lower subscription fee. With software costs spread over time, users see a much faster ROI. This model offers other benefits, such as automatic and easy software upgrades and improvements, which are usually included with the subscription. Many of the barriers of implementing data analytics software are simply removed with SaaS.

Getting it Right

Looking into the future of smart systems and buildings, the myth that needs busted is that meaningful data analysis requires individualized attention to each facility system. To get it right, the appropriate software platform that proactively standardizes the data collected across systems to make analysis more readily decipherable and actionable must be chosen. Those that recognize this will reap significant benefits later.

It’s not our technology that’s trapped in the 20th Century. The good news is, we already have an established path to success. We can overcome the lack of standardization surrounding BAS technologies and the data they present that make us feel like we are still dreading the Y2K bug.

If you follow the model of embracing a standardized approach to data analytics, leverage service providers, and rely on the secure cloud, building managers can effectively modernize legacy systems and make more decisive and cost-effective decisions in their facilities.

Utah Clean Energy

BuildingFit Sponsors Virtual Fundraiser for Utah Clean Energy

BuildingFit is proud to sponsor “An Evening of Hope,” a virtual fundraiser for local nonprofit, Utah Clean Energy! This is Utah Clean Energy’s biggest and most important event of the year to ignite a new energy future and turn the tide on climate change.  Keynote speaker of the event is Damon Gameau, the star and filmmaker of “2040 – an optimists guide to saving the world.” Join us at the event and get a link to watch the inspiring documentary, “2040”! Check out the film trailer below. Hope to see you on October 28, 2020, 7:00 – 8:00 pm!

 

BuildingFit Constructor

BuildingFit Sponsors and Presents at 2020 SkyPosium

BuildingFit is sponsoring SkyFoundry‘s SkyPosium 2020. This virtual event, which consists of a blend of live and recorded presentations, will be held on October 20-22, 2020, 11:00am-3:00pm ET. The SkySpark community is a great resource, continually sharing and collaborating SkySpark applications and functions as well as business topics, best practices and hard-core developer topics with significant portions of the content presented by community members.

BuildingFit is a recognized leader in the SkySpark community. Our own Jay Herron, Sean Stackhouse and Greg Schlegel are invited to speak at this event. See below for the presentation topics and schedule:

  • Wednesday, October 21, 2:00-3:00pm: Jay Herron, “Data Completeness Monitoring in SkySpark.”
  • Thursday, October 22, 12:30-1:30pm: Sean Stackhouse, “Constructor–the Site Building Tool.”
  • Thursday, October 22, 1:30-2:00pm: Greg Schlegel, “How to Manage a Successful SkySpark Implementation from Start to Finish.”

Visit SkyPosium 2020 event site for more information: https://www.skyfoundryevents.com/skyposium-usa-2020/

Salt Lake City, Utah

BuildingFit Wins 2020 Utah Business Green Business Award

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BuildingFit helps reduce the environmental footprint of our clients and community by minimizing the amount of non-renewable energy they use.

BuildingFit has been selected a winner for the 2020 Utah Business Green Business Award Innovation category. Every year, Utah Business honors companies, communities, and individuals who are taking a stand in sustainability and making a difference for our state’s environmental future.

Because building systems are complex, it is common for buildings to waste tens of thousands—to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on energy waste,  when building systems like HVAC don’t operate as intended. BuildingFit helps reduce the environmental footprint of our clients and society by reducing the amount of non-renewable energy they use.

BuildingFit analytics have been widely used in more than 50 million ft2 in customer facilities worldwide. Projects are most commonly healthcare, higher education, government, casinos, commercial spaces, luxury condominiums, and medical manufacturing plants. Many of our energy saving projects are here in Utah. BuildingFit provides energy management services to numerous enterprise organizations, with a retention rate better than 90%.

Read more here what BuildingFit and other Green Business honorees have to say for sustainability and greener Utah.

__________________

About BuildingFit

BuildingFit™ is a Fault Detection & Diagnostics (FDD), analytics and visualization platform that identifies opportunities, to make buildings more energy efficient, reliable, comfortable, and safe. Engineered for large quantities of data from disparate sources such as building automation systems (BAS) and smart IoT devices, BuildingFit™ insights are delivered through analytics, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), automated reports, and interactive dashboards that help users prioritize daily operations, minimize energy waste and reduce costs. Learn more at www.buildingfit.com.

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BuildingFit Banner Health Smart Building Innovation Awards

Banner Health Named Finalist for 2020 Verdantix International Smart Building Innovation Awards

We are excited to announce that Banner Health is a finalist for the Verdantix 2020 International Smart Building Innovation Awards.

Banner Health implemented an enterprise wide Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx) program utilizing the BuildingFit (www.buildingfit.com) Fault Detection and Diagnostics platform. To date, the program has saved:

– $11.3 million/year

– 80 million kWh/year of electricity

– 530,000 Dth/year of natural gas

– 6,000 tons of CO2 emissions – equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from 7,600 homes or 14,000 cars

For more information about this award and finalists, please go to https://www.verdantix.com/newsroom/press-releases/verdantix-announces-the-finalists-for-the-2020-international-smartbuilding-innovation-awards

 

fault-detection-and-diagnostics

BuildingFit Featured in CABA Journal. Finding Our Way: Take the Established Success Path for Implementing Building Analytics

By Rob Glance, BuildingFit

While most industries have adopted and are aligned with industry standards relating to IP networking and enterprise data management, building automation is stuck in catch-up mode. Owners understandably want to manage their sites with the latest technologies and information management systems. While many building automation systems (BAS) products are becoming IP-compliant, many existing buildings have older legacy and proprietary BAS systems. This creates big problems for those charged with managing buildings.

The result of this is that applying analytics on building performance, building owners are locked into a cycle of needing to upgrade outdated BAS while knowing that outright replacement and attaining the capital needed to justify ROI are often insurmountable. Many of these BAS are incapable of offering much more than simple trend data and weren’t designed to provide any real operational diagnostics beyond basic alarms.

Read the full article in CABA Journal here.

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BuildingFit

Building Fit
+1-385-246-3759
contact@BuildingFit.com

1997 South 1100 East
Salt lake City, Utah, 84106

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