09:00 am - 10:00 am

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.

Emmanuel Daniel Emmanuel Daniel Microsoft Real Estate & Security
Stephanie Greene Stephanie Greene Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
Ed Schlect Ed Schlect Avista Utilities
Debra Smith Debra Smith Seattle City Light
Mary E. Kipp Mary E. Kipp Puget Sound Energy
Ash Awad Ash Awad McKinstry
10:00 am - 10:30 am

Sponsor Breakout Rooms

10:30 am - 11:45 am

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 can 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.

10:30 am - 11:45 am

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.

11:45 am - 01:00 pm

Lunch Break

01:00 pm - 02:15 pm

Post- COVID Occupancy: Let’s Get Smart About It

Employers across the world are grappling with the question of how to bring their workforce back to the office. They want a healthy indoor environment, a reassured workforce, and a building that can adapt to occupancy patterns that may not look the same as they did pre-pandemic. The most common question they have is – “what works?” This session will bring together some real-world data of post-occupancy building strategies that are achieving these goals. This is an opportunity to see a data-driven evaluation of ventilation rates, filtration enhancements, ionization, and UV technologies for improving the health of indoor air. The session will also explore how smart strategies can help accommodate variable occupancy rates while maintaining comfort, efficiency, and flexibility in the building.

01:00 pm - 02:15 pm

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.

02:15 pm - 02:45 pm


02:45 pm - 04:00 pm

Virtual Building Tour

09:00 am - 10:15 am

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.

09:00 am - 10:15 am

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.

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Sponsor breakout rooms

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Lunch Plenary

01:00 pm - 02:15 pm

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.

Jean-Simon Venne Jean-Simon Venne BrainBox AI
01:00 pm - 02:15 pm

Making Smart Bigger and Better: Connected Communities

Smart building technology and practices are improving outcomes within the four walls of the buildings that deploy them. There is even greater value in scaling this approach to communities of buildings connected by smart technology and capable of leveraging their operations to the benefit of their owners, the utility that serves them, and the health of the climate. The idea of connected communities of smart buildings is real – with demonstrated performance in several locations across the country. This session will explore both the potential of connected communities and show real world results from these efforts. Challenges to the traditional order of the energy value chain are real and must be addressed. This session will pry the lid off of the institutional transformations and changed roles that are needed to make connected communities a reality.