After a fun week in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Realcomm | IBcon conference, I'm feeling very energized! Here are three of my highlights from the conference:
- Meeting you—By my count, I met 25 of our 350 Nexus Pro members and many more podcast listeners. It was great to meet many of you for the first time face-to-face!
- The best: Thano—Of the educational sessions I attended, Thano Lambrinos' session on QuadReal's smart building strategy was hands down the best. He included costs and savings projections—a rare deep dive.
- Carbon intensity—As John Petze told me after the conference, decarbonization has never been more emphasized and that was great progress. My highlight here was Auros Group's Craig Stevenson on how we MUST marry building science (Passive House + energy modeling) and data science (analytics software) together.
To be honest, I was craving more education. Specifically, my opinion is that our industry needs more stories on overcoming real life obstacles in real life buildings. And many of you told me something similar.
Speaking of real life buildings, if we really want to digitize and decarbonize them, we need controls. You can install all the fancy software and sensors you want, but if the loads themselves aren't digital, good luck to you.
And according to the latest Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the reality is that most buildings still need to make investments in controls. Here's my math from table B-1:
- 21% percent of buildings (at most) have digital HVAC controls (16% have a BAS, 5% have smart thermostats)
- 17% of buildings have occupancy sensors controlling lighting
- 5% of buildings have a lighting control system
- 1% of buildings have plug load controls
We need to rapidly close that gap.