David J. Branson, P.E., senior vice president of Compliance Services Group, Inc., and I are extremely pleased to lead the sessions on building automation at the AHR Expo in Atlantic City, January 14-16, 2001. We would like to thank International Exposition Co. for providing our industry with this opportunity. These sessions were well attended at past shows in Dallas and Atlanta, and we hope our subject matter will again be of interest to the industry.

Our opening session is an attempt to provide overview information for both automation users and the automation industry. The session is designed to take the audience from “zero to industry speed” in less than an hour.

In Atlanta, our Wednesday morning wrap-up session was a cry from automation users requesting an opportunity to grasp an overview of what all this change meant to them. A brief overview of our topics follows. For the latest information log on to www.ahrexpo.com.

The Sessions

Building Automation Stabilization – Fact or Fiction? The Philosophy Plus the Evolving New Relationships

This session will start with a review of the control evolution of automated buildings and will discuss the convergence-taking place in communication protocol development, the Internet integration, and the wireless developments within the industry. We will look for signs of stabilization in these areas.

We will review the changes that are occurring in the engineer’s design arena concerning building automation. Changes to planning and specification development will cover issues such as Specification Sections 13000, 17000, and the Request For Proposal or RFP approach.

We will discuss how enlightened owners, comfort contractors, and energy performance contractors, etc., are having influence over automation system deployment. Insight into where they are focusing that influence will be discussed.

We will also discuss how the new breed of automation will affect our clients’ total data enterprise as well as its effect on designers, contractors, and equipment suppliers plus, of course, building owners.

The Indispensable Internet — Building Automation Integrates, Converges, and Conforms to the Internet Model

This session is a follow-up to the overview session and, with increased technical detail, will expand on the trends that are presently occurring in the industry and how this will increase ease of design, installation, and use. Emerging protocols plus new net standards will be reviewed.

The predicted shift of control toward centralized (enterprise) building automation management via the Internet is now coming to pass. Trending, scheduling, alarming, reports, program changes, memory downloads — all can be accomplished through a browser. The Internet is now influencing hardware development toward the direction of plug and play (PnP) controls and diagnostic tools. These new self-configuring devices will be capable of easily joining, contributing, and leaving a building automation system (bas) network.

New IT interfaces will allow planners, financial, and other top level stakeholders to use live data from bas in an interactive fashion.

Ease of Use in Today’s & Tomorrow’s Building Automation Systems

This session is a follow-up to “The Indispensable Internet” and expands on the now- available products and how they will radically affect our industry. Standards evolution will be discussed.

We will discuss new developments on the horizon in direct digital controls (ddc), (self-configuring (a.k.a. PnP) controls, etc.) and wireless usage, from device to network to enterprise.

“The times, they are a-changin’,” but are we as building automation professionals grasping the gravity of the moment? Bas are still being installed from pre-Internet specifications with proprietary systems with no acknowledgment that enterprise interaction may be essential for system longevity. Designs done in isolation without the complete understanding of the client’s total IT enterprise are dangerously shortsighted, as it is now clear that TCP/IP will be the data pipe of the future.

We will attempt to create the new formula for tomorrow’s bas.

Building Automation Forum — The Future of Building Automation

This closing session starts with a rollup of the first three sessions and some predicted directions for the future by Dave and I then opens up the floor to the rest of the industry.

Come and have fun and help us predict the future of building automation.

Dave and I enjoy these sessions as they allow us to recap what is hot and what is not. The feedback from the floor after each session is great and helps us understand what is really happening. Everyone is invited to this final session to voice opinions and concerns. If you are unable to attend, please e-mail me your thoughts. ES