When you’re trying to get back in gear after the holidays, one of the rudest traditional hurdles to face is The Dreaded Calendar Flip (TDCF). You’ve just finished being swamped with end-of-year projects, reports, and miscellaneous seasonal tasks ranging from school assemblies to Secret Santa obligation. (Seriously, how many decent or useful gifts are there for under $20? I mean, besides buying someone eight gallons of gas, which is certainly useful but equally difficult to wrap.)

Baltimore Useful Than Ever

What was I … oh, right, the calendar flip. Nothing helps you get your bearings on the new year’s tasks like that first day when looking at January is no longer a quick peek into the future. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but somehow it remains a small shock that yes, in fact, that late-January project is now due in a couple of weeks, and that thing in February has moved from “months away” to “just around the corner.”

Also just around the corner now, but in a good way, is our second annual spring Building Automation Conference, set to return to Baltimore on March 21-22. Last year’s event sold out, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been resting on our laurels. This year’s two-day, two-track event adds a substantial bit of new and updated information valuable to newcomers and return attendees alike.

The Intelligent Buildings Technology track gets further into managing technology (from hackers and viruses to planning for upgrades) before moving into Web-based open systems and then to the latest on new technologies (wireless, active RFID, and other internet issues).

Meanwhile, the Intelligent Buildings – Design & Operations track integrates the fastest-moving, hottest topics from the past couple of years, intelligent buildings and sustainable design (on a separate note, see Ken Sinclair’s column this month on that very topic, page 33). Zero-energy buildings, integration for sustainability, and LEED® issues are on tap in the first session, before we move on to master planning and the all-important financial justification, including case studies. The afternoon wraps up with a look at how to maximize comfort and productivity in new or existing buildings, and how to best evaluate the cost of comfort.

As usual, we end the day with a reception that is great for doing a little networking as well as winding down after a full day of ideas and insights.

Day Two

The Design & Operations train keeps chugging down that track with more on comfort and productivity before digging into intelligent building tools. At this session, you’re getting into critical concepts like building intelligence quotient, life-cycle costing, and creating an intelligent building roadmap for your own specific circumstances. The post-lunch session review integrated applications, seeing how enterprise, maintenance, and energy management can pay off when applied across the board.

Meanwhile, we’re introducing a new Energy & Environment track for day two that is sure to be illuminating. The Zero-Energy Building session will introduce this concept that is new to some and sounds merely wildly optimistic to others. However, we’ll get into what is possible and what’s being done right now (in short, more than you might think). A session on energy response will investigate demand response and emergency response options. Then we’ll wrap up that track with a look at next-generation lighting, ranging from personal lighting control to daylighting controls. It’s all part of a functional intelligent building that makes the most of its potential.

We’ll be done by 3 p.m., whereupon you can hit the road or stick around to experience more of the city and chat with colleagues with similar concerns. It’s a quick event, short on time but long on knowledgeable speakers, interaction between panel and attendees, and practical value. Familiar names among the presenter roster include Pauh Ehrlich, P.E. of Building Intelligence Group; our own Jack Mc Gowan of Energy Control, Inc.; and keynote speaker Dr. Malcolm Davies, CEO for Gehry Technologies, Inc.

For the full scoop and online registration, swing byhttp://bnpevents.com/ES/BAC/and make plans to join us, before that calendar flips again.

Sidebar: Spring Building Automation Conference

March 21-22, 2007Engineered SystemsandEnergy & Power Management
For more info, visithttp://bnpevents.com/ES/BAC/.