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As the Smart Building Conference returns to ISE on Monday 3 February, we talk to conference moderator Bob Snyder about how the event’s aims and approaches are evolving over time

The Amsterdam event will build on the success of the London Smart Building Conference last October

Some highlights from the programme

The keynote address will be given by Jim Sinopoli, managing principal of Smart Buildings LLC, which provides engineering and consulting services for the design and operation of integrated building technology systems. He is also the author of Smart Buildings Systems for Architects, Owners and Builders.

Another of the plenary sessions will be given by Mark Walters, who is chairman of the Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of leading global companies dedicated to establishing Z-Wave as the standard in wireless controls. His presentation will be called ‘The Next Generation of Z- Wave’.

Once again, for a large part of the day the conference will split into two parallel tracks, covering commercial and residential topics respectively. One of the highlights on the commercial track will be ‘Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Buildings’, presented by Sudhi Sinha from Johnson Controls. Also on the commercial

people’s ability to take advantage of the opportunity each time we have an event – we try to move it closer. From my point of view, I was pleased that the London conference was successful in accomplishing that.”

“OUR INDUSTRY should be trying to redefine the smart building for the buildings industry,” reflects Bob Snyder, moderator of the Smart Building Conference at ISE 2014. “In some circles, the smart building is finished as soon as it becomes a building. But I think it’s a very important part of increasing everybody’s businesses to make sure that people understand that it isn’t a smart building until the occupants get all the advantages of the infrastructure that’s put into it.”

He concedes that this is no simple task, given the current state of affairs. “Certainly now, if you take any building systems integrator or a consultant on smart building, half the time they don’t even recognise us – we’re not part of the mix. That’s a huge challenge for the industry.”

16 Preview Edition 2014

ISE 2014 sees the third Smart Building Conference. The first took place in Amsterdam a year ago, while the second was held in London last October. “After the first SBC at ISE 2013, we moved the event to a local nation, so the format was designed more for England than for a broader international audience.” Snyder sees a clear

progression in the aims and approaches of each iteration of the event. “The first SBC was more of a ‘cheerleading’ conference, saying ‘You should look at this’. Then in London, we got more practical; we tried to bring the attendees one layer closer to what is actually going on and how to you get their hands on it. “These events have to be evolutionary,” he continues. “What we try to do is increase

He points to the polling of attendees that took place at the UK event, using handheld voting terminals. “At the beginning of the conference we tested their knowledge of what was happening in smart buildings, and then tested them again at the end – and the evidence of that shows that people learned a lot about what the key drivers are, what’s happening in smart building and why it’s important to them.”

So how does he see the

progression continuing in Amsterdam? For Snyder, it’s very much about a two-way exchange of knowledge. He explains: “Part of the problem for us as in industry in smart building is that we are trying to take other industries who don’t know us, and bring them to an awareness of our industry – and at the same time we’re trying to learn about what they do. So the strategy for SBC at ISE 2014 is to bring in more important and significant companies on a pan-

European scale, to add to the knowledge base. They get a chance to see us in our element at ISE and at the same time to share their perspective with us on what’s happening in smart building. We’ve got people coming in from companies like Johnson Controls and Honeywell – these are very big contributors to the knowledge base. I also think it’s advantageous for our industry that these other industries start to respect us.” So, he maintains, finding common ground in the topic of smart building is beneficial to everyone, whether from inside or outside our industry. “This is

“Our industry should be trying to redefine the smart building for the buildings industry”

an event owned by InfoComm and CEDIA and part of the reason for it is outreach to other industries so that we can become better integrators. It’s a wonderful way to have outreach because we’re bringing these people in to take a good look at us – and that’s not an easy trick to pull off, to get other industries

track is ‘Integrators Seek Differentiation in Smart Building Market’, presented by Sam Grinter, a market analyst with IHS. Grinter’s research has focused on service and solution trends in building automation and the wider intelligent building market. Meanwhile on the

residential track, Jeremy Peterson, general manager of Honeywell EMEA’s Connected Homes division, will talk about ‘The Future of Connected Homes’. In his previous role at Honeywell, Peterson co-led the Connected Home programme in the company’s American offices and was responsible for launching its connected strategy. Residential energy matters will be tackled in a session given by René Balvers, CEO of Flexicontrol and serial entrepreneur in the field of smart electronics, entitled ‘Home Energy Management: Smart Users Behave Smart and Demand Smart Homes’. Also presenting at the Smart Building Conference will be Jeremy Towler, senior manager, energy & smart technologies at BSRIA - formerly the Building Services Research and Information Association; and his colleague Zoltan Karpathy, a multilingual consultant who is senior manager for BSRIA WMI’s Intelligent Buildings and Homes Team.

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