Welcome to SBX 2021
Smarter Buildings and a Changing Utility – A Vision of the New World of Energy
The conference kicks off with a moderated discussion featuring senior thought leaders in the technology and utility sectors. Panelists include Mary Kipp, CEO of Puget Sound Energy, Debra Smith, CEO Seattle City Light, and Ed Schlect, CSO of Avista Utilities, Stephanie Greene of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and Emmanuel Daniel of Microsoft. Moderated by Ash Awad, President and Chief Markets Officer of McKinstry, this panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy industry and how that affects the built environment. A new cleaner and more flexible electrical grid is coming. These changes will be facilitated in part by smart building technologies and practices built on the fast-growing power of cloud computing and information technology services. This is sure to be an exciting and informative discussion which will frame issues getting discussed throughout the subsequent two days of the conference.
Sponsor Breakout Rooms
Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings
Grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEB) are changing the historic relationship between the electric utility and the buildings they serve. Today, utilities face unprecedented challenges -and opportunities – to modernize their infrastructure, eliminate carbon emissions, and remain reliable and resilient, and affordable in their energy services. Creating a smarter and more dynamic two-way communication environment with their customers offers a smart approach to building the 21st century electric utility. GEBs deploy smart technology that allow building operators to shed, shift, and modulate their building loads in response to electric grid reliability, price signals, and operational needs. This will be ever more important as electric vehicle charging becomes more common. Building owners can optimize their operations and their energy costs especially in the emerging trend toward dynamic pricing structures for electricity. This session will bring together expertise from both the utility and the building owner/manager perspective to talk about the value streams inherent in GEBs.
Workforce Skill Development for a Smart Building Future
Creating and maintaining a building environment that is healthy, comfortable, and productive for occupants has always been challenging. That challenge is growing exponentially today as building systems become more sophisticated and employee expectations for their indoor environment become a critical component of talent acquisition and retention. These challenges are creating need for new skills and abilities for all who bear the responsibility for making buildings work better. Leading building owner/manager organizations and the Biden administration’s Better Buildings program effort are focusing on the issue of workforce development. This session will bring practitioners from the front lines of workforce development to talk about how training programs are addressing this need from entry level to on-the-job training and how these programs open the door to a more diversified workforce in this important area.
Post-Covid Occupancy: A Data Driven Approach to Indoor Air Quality
As organizations re-occupy their buildings post-Covid, they do so with a renewed focus on their indoor environments and how indoor air quality affects building occupants. Building owners and operators want to achieve healthy building objectives with a sustainable, measurable, and actionable strategy for indoor air quality. An expert panel will discuss best practices for IAQ data collection and utilization to monitor, improve, verify, and certify indoor air quality performance. This is a must hear conversation for commercial and institutional real estate organizations who want a smart approach to post-Covid occupancy of buildings.
Buildings and Carbon
Buildings account for approximately 40% of carbon emissions. To meet long term carbon reduction necessities – increasingly as a matter of public policy and most importantly to ensure climate health – buildings will need to dramatically lower carbon emissions. Building electrification is one path for doing just that. Buildings also play a role in how quickly and effectively the transportation system decarbonizes. These strategies are as complicated as they are necessary. This session will be a lively discussion of buildings and carbon. Building owners/managers and the folks that operate them must navigate policy requirements at the state and federal level while implementing changes to their traditional approaches to energy sources and methods. Learn how smart building strategies can help buildings achieve their carbon reduction goals.
Virtual Building Tour
This is not your standard building walk-through tour! Come explore the emerging reality of the digital twin building technology presented by Willow, one of the world’s leading companies in digital twin technology. As landlords, occupiers and governments are reconfiguring their investment priorities for physical assets in a post-Covid environment, digital twins are enabling them to maximize investments and extend the life of buildings. Willow is deploying this technology at a building in NYC and this session will give you an inside look into this asset’s digital twin.
Building the Business Case for Smart Building Investments
Creating the ability for smart building operations requires an investment in hardware, software, and workforce skill development. Like any other commitment of capital, these investments must make business sense. Traditional methods for simply valuing energy cost reductions do not fully capture the value stream from smart buildings. This session will bring together on-the-ground expertise from building owner/managers, product and service providers, and cybersecurity specialists to discuss how value from employee productivity, recruitment and retention, cybersecurity, and operational cost reductions drive an improved return on investment analysis of smart building strategies. The “chain of custody” for making critical investment decisions is complicated. Learn more about who must be convinced in this complex decision tree for smart investments.
Smart Tech Systems Network Infrastructure - Best Practices
Smart building technology leverages building data to save costs and enhance the tenant experience. Gathering the data and sharing between control platforms to create use cases makes these things possible. The challenge up to now has been how to efficiently gather, normalize and analyze that data. This is a challenge for both new and existing buildings. While the new tools of AI and cloud computing are rapidly changing how that’s done, making it easier, cheaper and far more advanced than was possible a short time ago, the elephant in the room is how can this data be shared safely to the cloud? Uploading huge amounts of data and then using it to operate IoT devices for building controls creates cybersecurity risks that require attention. This session will cover best practices in smart network design and cybersecurity.
Sponsor Breakout Rooms
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning in Buildings: The Future is Already Here
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are embedding themselves in almost all aspects of our lives -building operations included. Building systems, especially HVAC, are a complicated set of interrelated components reacting to an almost endless stream of dynamic variables, be it weather, occupancy, or space utilization. Historically, it has been a challenge, to say the least, for building operations to optimize system performance in such a dynamic condition. The use of AI/ML is now proving itself as capable of analyzing and acting on this information to drive better building performance. This session will bring together pioneers in this field as well as real building experience in the deployment of AI/ML in the commercial building space.
Deriving Value from a Smarter Grid-interactive Building
The traditional relationship between the energy utility and the building owner/operator is changing. “Smart” technology ranging from more elaborate and capable sensor networks, the analytical tools to do something with these data streams, more robust fault detection systems, all the way to artificial intelligence controls technology open a new era in operational efficiency opportunity. In parallel, two-way dynamic communication capabilities with the serving utility leverage these same set of innovations that benefit a rapidly changing set of conditions for managing a utility system. The utility case for this grid-interactive building condition is increasingly clear. But what is the value proposition for those who own and operate buildings to re-structure their utility relationship? This session will explore the business case for smart grid-interactive buildings from the owner/operator perspective. Expert voices will expand this value discussion far beyond the typical energy cost framework and highlight areas ranging from electric vehicle charging to building resiliency to building use flexibility in a post-pandemic world.