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ASHRAE Journal Podcast Episode 3

ASHRAE Journal Podcast Season 1 Episode 3 Guests

Exploring HVAC&R’s New Connected Data Frontier

The HVAC&R industry’s new frontier centers on designers and engineers understanding how to collect, analyze and use data to design and operate adaptive buildings. In this episode of ASHRAE Journal Podcast, Sheila Hayter, P.E., Presidential Member/Fellow ASHRAE, and Chuck Gulledge, P.E., HBDP, Presidential Member/Fellow ASHRAE, discuss how the HVAC&R industry is evolving with digital-driven technologies and knowledge.

Guests Sheila Hayter, left, and Chuck Gulledge, right

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  • Show Notes

    In this episode, Sheila Hayter, P.E., Presidential Member/Fellow ASHRAE, and Chuck Gulledge, P.E., HBDP, Presidential Member/Fellow ASHRAE, talk about the future of the HVAC industry and the built environment as they evolve with the help of Industry 4.0 technologies and ASHRAE's Vision 2030.

    They dive into how buildings will be integrated and work as a community (2:58) and how data integration and optimization can help engineers make better decisions to monitor and adapt energy use (10:30).

    Then, they dig into how digital connections create data-driven practices for operations (7:50), including creating the ability to process and transform data to help engineers make decisions (8:25) and how buildings will be able to better respond to occupants’ needs in the moment (8:45).

    Sheila and Chuck also talk about Industry 4.0 technologies, such as digital twins (11:00), Lidar (18:03), mixed and virtual realities (18:50), generative design (25:25) and computational fluid dynamics (19:49).

    The duo also discusses how the new ASHRAE HQ is using Industry 4.0 technologies—including a digital twin (12:47)—while serving as a learning lab for the HVAC&R industry.

    Resources:

  • Guest Bios

    Sheila Hayter, P.E., Presidential Member/Fellow ASHRAE, is the Laboratory Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In this role, she leads NREL’s portfolio of activities focused on helping U.S. federal agencies identify, implement and evaluate opportunities related to energy/water resilience and security, facility and fleet optimization, and energy and project procurement.

    Sheila also leads NREL’s initiative to achieve net-zero emissions in laboratory operations, expected to be achieved through energy efficiency enhancements and increased integration of clean energy sources.

    Sheila served as the 2018-2019 ASHRAE President and has held many other ASHRAE leadership roles throughout her career. Sheila’s Society Theme during her presidential year was, “Building Our New Energy Future,” which focused on how buildings are becoming integrated with other energy systems and how professionals in the buildings industry must be ready for this evolution.

    She was awarded the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award, ASHRAE Exceptional Service Award and received the ASHRAE Fellow distinction. Sheila is a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado.

    Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E., HBDP, Presidential Member/Fellow ASHRAE, was ASHRAE’s President for the 2020-21 term. Chuck's theme for the 2020-21 ASHRAE Society Year was “The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0.” He previously served on the ASHRAE Board of Directors as president-elect, treasurer, vice president and director-at-large.

    Chuck has also served as chair of Members Council and the President-Elect Advisory Committee, chair of the Finance Committee, chair of the Standards Membership Ad Hoc Committee, chair of the Development Committee for Fundraisin, and as an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer. He has held ASHRAE Society-level leadership roles on many standing committees, technical committees and presidential ad hoc committees.

    Chuck is the recipient of numerous awards including the Exceptional Service Award, Distinguished Service Award, Chapter Service Award, Regional Award of Merit, two ASHRAE Technology Awards and the Dan Mills Technology Award.

    In addition to his contributions to ASHRAE, Chuck's career in HVAC spans over 37 years. He entered the industry as an engineer-in-training with Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, working on transit system infrastructure, vehicular tunnels and moveable swing-span bridges. Over his career, he has served the built world in the roles of a consulting engineer, municipal owner and design-build contractor.

    Chuck is currently the Director of Engineer - Construction with Environmental Air Systems, LLC, and is registered as a professional engineer in the states of North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia. His comprehensive design, construction and operational portfolio covers a variety of market sectors; including transportation, commercial, educational, institutional, lodging, sports, mission critical, life sciences, healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, industrial, archival, historical and hospitality.

    Chuck is a 1983 graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

  • Transcription

    ASHRAE Journal:

    ASHRAE Journal Presents.

    Chuck Gulledge:

    Everything that we knew, and every way we did things before it's changing, and we as stakeholders in this whole HVAC ecosystem are going to be doing work differently. And it's all driven by the digital basis of how we connect knowledge.

    ASHRAE Journal:

    Episode three. ASHRAE presidential members, Sheila Hayter, and Chuck Gulledge talk Industry 4.0, ASHRAE's Vision 2030 and the future of the HVAC in our industry.

    Chuck Gulledge:

    Good evening everybody. I'm Chuck Gulledge. I'm ASHRAE presidential member for the 2020-2021 society year. My theme was The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0. And it's a pleasure to be here today with Sheila Hayter.

    Sheila Hayter:

    Hello, I'm Sheila Hayter. I'm a presidential member, was president of ASHRAE joined the 2018-2019 society year. The society theme during the year that I was president was Building Our New Energy Future. And I am really looking forward to talking with Chuck today on what is coming our way in our industry.

    Chuck Gulledge:

    So Sheila, one of the things I got to do as president was assign people to do some really exciting things, and you graciously volunteered to chair the vision 2030 ad hoc or task force. And let's start there with the buildings of the future and what we need to think about and plan for as this whole digital narrative plays out for the industry.

    Sheila Hayter:

    Okay, Yes, I enjoyed being the chair of that ad hoc committee. We had a lot of really big picture visionary thinkers on the committee. So it was very fun to hear about what they are predicting will be challenges that our industry will be facing in 2030 and beyond. So the ad hoc committee, Chuck charged our ad hoc committee to identify how buildings will be designed, constructed and operated in 2030 and beyond. That's a big ask of this group of people, but they took it to heart and they came up with the vision that I think really describes the challenges that we'll be facing quite well. So the vision contains several components to it. It is looking at, of course, how buildings are designed, constructed and operated and thinking about where we are in today's world, the technologies that are available to us now and how these things are going to be developing within the next decade to come.

    And they, recognized that buildings of the future are going to be very much integrated. We are going to be working in a community of buildings, instead of just one building at a time. That there'll be a lot of interactions between systems within the buildings, but also between the buildings themselves. Buildings will be very much data-driven in how they're designed, constructed and operated, that our ability to access data, to collect data, to process and manage that data and use that information to help us make decisions is going to be tremendously bigger than what it is today.

    And then another part of how these buildings are going to be designed, operate and constructed is that the disciplines within the building sector that are very well-defined now, and each discipline has its piece of the picture. They do their part. They pass on after they're completed onto the next discipline and so forth from the design through the operation process. Those boundaries are going to be blurred. And instead all of the disciplines from the design phase through construction, AND operation, we're going to be working much closely together than we are today in this new world of highly integrated data-driven buildings.

    Chuck Gulledge:

    I think that integrated aspect is a very interesting conversation point. Everything that we knew and every way we did things before is changing. And we as stakeholders in this whole HVAC ecosystem are going to be doing work differently. And it's all driven by the digital basis of how we connect knowledge. Silos are going to be broken down, we're going to eliminate waste, we're going to work together with one narrative, one sheet of music and, as I like to say, with the BIM model, one model. And that is scary for some people, because, our delivery mechanisms are not set up that way. So there's a complete change in focus on how we design, build, and operate the built solutions of tomorrow, where we harness this collective energy and do it one time. And it's just a fascinating opportunity that's out there and it's all available via digital connection.

    So let's talk about that, Sheila he world's changing. We are living in a digital world. We are designing with smart objects now. What does that allow us to do? We're moving away from paper and the waste of paper. We are virtually designing buildings that can be constructed in the computer. They fit, they work, they're accessible, and this is the new norm for how design is being done. The digital precision is so good to then, at least an eighth of an inch or better, that we can build items offsite. We don't have to be in the field to build stuff anymore. And be on top of each other, and have the waste of inefficiency on the construction site. We can build something virtually that is precise. In theory, we can build the whole building offsite and ship it to the project site and assemble it like Legos on the site.

    We can deliver value to owners because we've designed at one time, we've made sure it fits. We've built it off site. We've saved owner's money, we've done it faster. And the quality. It's all about the quality and value. We can deliver that now. But it's going to require us to think differently about our delivery models. As I said, there's no more of this design-bid-build paradigm of how we deliver buildings. We're all working in this together from the very beginning and it's achievable. It's being done. It's not a pie in the sky concept. It is being done.

    What I find fascinating about this, and you alluded to it, Sheila, was the connected communities. Think about having that building that is, let's just say it's digitally savvy on its own in isolation. Now, think about how this really ties into your theme, and how we can leverage the knowledge of that one building with a network of buildings that are laid out through the community, the campus, you can cast your net as far as you want to go. But think about what is available to us now. That was at the heart of your theme two years ago.

    Sheila Hayter:

    Yeah. So this goes into the data-driven focus also, but on the operation side of the buildings. Our access to information, even in the last several years, has increased exponentially and it's going to continue on the exponential curve in the decade to come, and likely beyond. We are now having the ability to monitor, at a very minutia level, the actual performance and operation of every system within the building. And as I said before, this leads to a tremendous amount of data. What do we do with it? Well, that's the other thing that's changing too, is our ability to process that data and to transform it into something that can help us with our decision-making processes. Chuck described to our design process and then into the operation process, our decision-making processes about when do we need to use what system at what levels for how long?

    Well, for example, you have a certain number of people in the room that need to have comfort conditions at some point. A typical HVAC system has a thermostat on the wall. It cools or conditions the air to a level that was set by that thermostat, regardless of what's going in the room, as far as the number of people in the space or whatever process or activity is going on in that space. If we can monitor, at greater detail, the actual conditioning needs for that space, and then adjust the HVAC system to provide exactly what is needed at that moment, that will increase the efficiency of the operation of that system, which has other longer term ramifications, also as far it would increase the life of that system, if it's operating at a more efficient and a more optimal level.

    It could, as we have growing interest in decarbonizing our building sector, this is another way to help to ensure that the system is being operated in a way that minimizes the amount of emissions that are occurring while still maintaining the optimal conditions for the function of that space. It can, as we were saying before, the integration of buildings and systems within a building and even across buildings, how a building is being operated in order to meet the needs of the activities, the functions in that building can be optimized with other systems that are occurring around that building. Like with the building next door or with other types of systems that are being connected to that building.

    If, as we see a more electrified transportation sector, for example, the opportunities to optimize the charging of those vehicles with the needs of the building offer opportunities for both the buildings, as well as the vehicles or the fleets that are depending on that building for its own energy needs. It's, as you said, Chuck, the net can be spread quite wide and the opportunities are quite endless. But it's also very exciting, I think too, about all this integration, this optimization, and being able to manage that data and helping us make decisions about how we are using our energy as a whole. Not just one component of the building system at a time, but as a complete system as a whole system.

    Chuck Gulledge:

    So I'm going to change your words a little bit. You just described a scenario where the buildings of the future will be adaptive to the needs of the moment. And we can get there by developing the digital twin to create that data lake, so that we have knowledge, and we can do things with that knowledge to improve the functions of our buildings, the operations of the buildings, the wellness of the occupants in the buildings. If you're focused solely on the energy meter, fine. You can reduce the energy consumption. But what the digital migration is giving us is the ability to go through that 3, 4, 5, 6, 70 BIM, to get to that digital twin, to connect operations and maintenance, and we can deliver facilities that can respond to the moment.

    And therein is the new frontier for the entire HVAC ecosystem, designers, engineers. It's understanding how to collect that data, how to analyze that data, how to gain insight from that data and make responsive decisions. And to put it in really simple terms, we are fulfilling President Boyce's vision of connecting operations and maintenance to the delivery of our built solutions. And this is a very exciting time in this field.

    Sheila Hayter:

    So Chuck, I think it would be helpful to our listeners if you describe what a digital twin is and what is the best way to use that digital twin to help us make good decisions about our building performance?

    Chuck Gulledge:

    The digital twin, let's keep it simple, it's taking the physical, going to the virtual and coming back to the physical world. That is the journey that a digital twin is. And I'll make a plug for the new ASHRAE headquarters. We are going to have a digital twin in the new ASHRAE headquarters. And everybody should be checking that out when it becomes more available on the internet. We obviously have to deal with some of the risk and security issues of making information available. But it's taking that physical aspect of here's a facility that's being built, and making it completely virtual and digital so that you can collect the data you want to get, whether it's temperatures of the chilled water, whether it's the room conditions, the humidity, the temperature, whether it's measuring the air flow, looking at the usage of the meters, electric, water, whatever parameter you want to collect. These are being designed into the model. And the point acquisition is being integrated into the model and you're creating—I have my own word for the data collection: It's called the data lake. We are creating massive pools of data, and then we figure out what to do with it. And then we responsibly adapt the building to what it is we're trying to accomplish. Whether it's scalable to staffing levels, whether it's responsive to, and I hate to bring the SARS-CoV-2 narrative into it, but modifying ventilation rates and altering filtration parameters and changing velocity profiles. Let's use the wildfires that took place in the western part of the United States  and you know, it's happening again this year, that air quality that's coming in to our outside air ducts. What are responsive things we can do? We have the data to tell us this is not going in the right direction. We can make modifications.

    Also having that digital twin, we can be predictive instead of responsive to things that are not working right. Whether it's the most simple of embedded thermistors in motor windings to predict failure, or looking at bearing temperatures to understand something's about to break down, or looking at steam traps. We can gather data and we can program that into our designs to collect that data and take that and do responsible things with it. Even with the digital twin when something has to be fixed, we can bring people in remotely to fix things. We don't have to have the service truck just show up to the job site. We can have the service providers—elevators do this now—they can dial in to the logistics of what's happening with the electronics and the programming and service stuff from remote. It's called remote assist. The ability to manage, fix and modify our buildings does not have to be done by boots on ground people.

    But if it is done by boots on ground people, the digital model has all of the IOM performance information, the dynamic test imbalance information. Notice I said dynamic, not the static for when the building was turned over. People can wear the headsets and just look for, okay, here's my belt part number for the band belt that broke. We can do all this stuff. And it's all in the digital model. The days of the three ring binders and the plan rooms with all the stick files with the drawings, so antiquated. We have information at hand, and that is the beauty of what the digital twin provides. It's connecting the operations and maintenance so that we can manage and operate our facilities and the assets within.

    Sheila Hayter:

    So thinking about our ASHRAE members who are often on the design side and the operation side, and we'd also have members that are in construction also. Thinking about our members, one of the things that our vision 2030 ad hoc committee addressed was, what is it that ASHRAE should be providing to help our members be ready for all of these changes that we're seeing? So we're having what you described, Chuck, as how a digital twin can help us through the entire life cycle of a building from design, construction, operation. And then once we're operating, it helps us to pinpoint where we have challenges that need attention within our systems so that we can ensure that the system is still operating as they should be very quickly, very efficiently, and also help make decisions about the operations of the buildings.

    But what do our members need so that they are ready for what's coming their way? What kind of knowledge should we be providing to them? What kind of resources do you think we need to be providing to them so that they can be ahead of the game and be leaders as these new opportunities are emerging on the market and available to them, and they're the first to be able to be experts in these areas, which should we be providing to them?

    Chuck Gulledge:

    I would like to say that we can show the way. And that's a way of eliminating the old siloed approach to designing something, putting it on paper and giving it to somebody to price and build. The digital technology that's out there can improve how we design stuff so efficiently. Let's pick a couple. LIDAR, for example, the imaging. I'm vintage, okay. I got a few gray hairs. I've been doing this a long time. And when you had to deal with an existing facility, you always had a crew of people out there with tape measures, measuring stuff, and you eventually evolve to laser measurement, which is pretty cool, but it still involved people and time to do it. We can now set up a scan of an entire room and get every facility service captured. Correct size, correct location. And that's portable now to the BIM model.

    We can gather information in the field efficiently, correctly, and improve our productivity and the design of our built solutions. We can use the realities, plural, the virtual, the mixed, have fun with which description you want to use. But we can take the virtual model that we're doing and we can wear the headsets. And we can show owners that I can get to your valve to turn it on and off. I can get to the motor on your pump to service it. I can go out in the field with that headset, because I've got that knowledge and the model. And stand there and identify exactly where every through penetration needs to be in the wall and mark it, where every hanger spot needs to be located and mark it, where all the underground piping needs to go. So it can be dug properly to get it in the trench. We're using the digital model now to improve our productivity.

    And that's where it really comes down to in the elimination of waste. We can design stuff better, faster, and with higher quality because we have the digital precision. Let's roll into the computational fluid dynamics. We really need to be pushing CFD with the ASHRAE members. The new ASHRAE headquarters use CFD. All those models that were run using the DOAS systems to control, dewpoint in the building and all the ceiling fans, as you see throughout the new headquarters. That was all modeled to understand proper air currents and maintaining comfort levels of dewpoint and temperature profiles so that no area in the space was lacking airflow. These tools are available to us. This is more than just—and I still have my old psych chart that I draw on with pencils—this is more than just the classic HVAC design mentality of using psychrometrics and picking coils properly and picking equipment. The digital capacity of what we can do is what we need to help our entire membership with.

    That was my attempt at what my theme was last year. To make our members aware of what was possible and what could be done. And I think as an organization, we need to push more of that digital capacity and digital tools. I'm going to pick on ASHRAE right now. We have a beautiful product that we sell. It's called that duck design database. And I can pull that up and I can look at any one fitting and I can say, I have this much air flow, and it will give me the correct velocity pressure and therefore pressure drop based on the C coefficient of that fitting. That's disconnected knowledge. That's not tied into my REVIT model at all, or my Bentley model. It's not tied to it. Connecting knowledge and information is the future of ASHRAE.

    Sheila Hayter:

    Yeah. And I want to build on that by saying that what is happening right now, especially as we're moving into this digital age, is that we are experiencing a time when we are gathering information and we are using information that's coming from a whole bunch of different directions. And it's not just people in the buildings industry that care about it. As we become more integrated and we are using this information to make better decisions about how buildings are performing, we're also using it to make better decisions about how buildings are using energy and other resources overall. Which means that there are other industries, other sectors out there that now care about buildings. It used to be that, for example, we have our energy sector, whether you're looking at electrical energy or thermal energy, the energy was delivered to the building. There's a meter at the building, and that's when that industry stopped caring.

    They were just providing a product and the building was using the product and how much of that product was being used was being measured by the meter at the building. How the building was using that energy and how much of it was being used, and when it was being used, all of that stuff was the responsibility of the building sector only. Well, now we're starting to see these two sectors merge. As I said before, we're seeing some blurring of the boundaries. And now we have the energy sector caring about how buildings are using their product. When are they using it? How much are they using it? And the impacts that that use is having on other things that are on their side of the meter. So in this example, we have the energy sector becoming more interested in how buildings are consuming their product. We are now having an energy sector that's wanting to play a role in how buildings are using their product. And are interested in controllable loads from their side of the meter.

    Are interested in when the building is using what kind of energy and how much they're using it. Which means now they have a stake in the game. And so if ASHRAE and the buildings industry is not as engaged in an understanding what this connection and these interactions are, that means somebody else is going to step into this space. And somebody else might start having expectations on how our buildings are operated. Do this, other side of the meter, do they have as strong of an understanding of how to meet the needs of the occupants of the buildings? How to ensure that those comfortable and productive and safe and healthy and well environments are maintained inside the space? They don't have the depth of expertise that we do in the buildings industry.

    So this tells us that we need to take some ownership and we need to be ready to recognize that these boundaries are being blurred, that others are having interest in our industry. And that if we don't fill that gap to say, how can we adapt to this new future? How can we provide the resources so that the professionals in our industry can make good decisions not only for the occupants of the building, but also how we play in the sandbox with the others that are interested in our built environment. If we don't stand up and fill that gap, others are going to fill that gap for us.

    Chuck Gulledge:

    You said something very interesting and it got into the realm of the performance modeling. And I find that intriguing. I like to refer to that as the 6D level of the BIM journey, where we're using the data to make decisions based on performance. I remember when I started in this business doing load calculations, it was all manual. You had to go find drawings and specs and figure out the components, and input that all manually. You had to go measure the drawings or the ruler to get your floor areas and then get your volumes. And you had to build that systematically. Those days are gone. We can now do generative design to find the best integrated aggregation of interdependencies to find the best solutions, whatever our target is. If we're trying to maximize daylighting, if we're trying to improve energy efficiency, I dare say, if we're looking for that carbon neutral solution, we can utilize data now to help us determine what's the best mix of things.

    And this is another area, Sheila, where, how do we help the ASHRAE membership? We have got to unfold for our members what generative design is capable of doing, and train the next in the world of engineering to work with data and do that. It's our new frontier. Manufacturing is doing it. You look at anybody who's building a vehicle right now, they're using generative design to improve the efficiency of fuel, the aerodynamics of the vehicles, and they're just playing around with the, what ifs of what do we do this? We do this? And they just run through these iterations and thousands and thousands of iterations and combinations. We can't do that in our head when we're designing a project. What we can do now is tremendous. And that's a growth area for ASHRAE and the members of ASHRAE to do better with.

    So I always like coming back to the new headquarters. It's such a great example project. It's a learning lab, what we're doing. You realize we use drones when we were looking at the renovation of that property to thermal map that entire envelope. The roofs, the walls, we had thermal guns underneath the building, looking for where the weaknesses were. We were able to identify where the gaps were and where we had the holes and what had to be refurbished as far as the renovation to help us get to our intended energy use intensity values before PV was considered in the equation. Integrated information helped us do that. We are now using drones on our job sites to fly through the buildings, to do the LIDAR scanning, just flying through the building. And we do it each week to get an update on where information is. And it's always being updated in the models, so that we can see where stuff's being built properly, the sequencing of order of when things need to come next.

    And it's all data. And we're applying technology to enhance that experience of providing quality and value to our owners. Let's talk more about the new headquarters. I mentioned that it was a learning lab, and just because we built it and we added the PV doesn't mean that's where the journey ends. We are now looking at very cool technologies of the energy over ethernet to start powering some of the systems. We're going to be reducing the collected load on the building even more by using innovative films on south facing windows to run lights.

    We're looking at converting all the conference room space on level two and letting that start to power, and putting batteries into store. It's fascinating what's out there and what's possible. All of this is demonstration of using data, collected data to manage and operate the buildings. And I know I mentioned that ASHRAE is having a digital twin. You can walk into the lobby of the new headquarters and go to one of the big touch screen panels, and you can look dynamically at what's happening inside our building. You can look at the energy usage. You can look at what I would call the building wellness barometer to see that spaces are staying within their temperature and humidity ranges. It's all very fascinating.

    Sheila Hayter:

    So, Chuck, when you're talking about the digital twin on the new headquarters building, and you also mentioned how there's now PV or a photovoltaic solar array that's been installed for the building to provide or to offset the power that's needed for that building. What I'm wondering, and I'm suspecting that at some point our data collection and processing abilities through the digital twin will allow us to do, is to actually moderate how the systems in the building are operating to maximize the use of the clean electrons, the carbon free electrons that are being generated by the photovoltaic system that's on the site, So that we are optimizing the performance of both systems. And then when battery storage is added we'll also be able to use that storage in an optimal way so that we truly can be able to provide a low energy building that is actually using energy on a profile that maximizes the performance of the generation and the storage systems that are tied to that building. Is that something you think might be possible in the future with the digital twins and the systems that we have in this building?

    Chuck Gulledge:

    It is possible. And that is our path. One of the important elements of this new move to this existing building and renovating it, is to demonstrate to the world, to show the world how to take existing attic stock of buildings, remember this is a 1970s era original construction, is to show the world how we can convert our building inventory to high-performance assets. And that is the next frontier. It's easy, I say it's easy, we understand how with a Greenfield site to deliver a net-zero solution. We have great guidance published with the advanced energy design guides of how to go zero and go low. What do you do with all that existing building stock that's not, let's say, energy efficient or attractive, and in some cases, at all?

    That is a message that will resonate around the world coming from ASHRAE. We're going to show you how to do it. And I think that evolution of incorporating that digital twin to be a part of that, let's make this building a living building, an adaptive building, a responsive building, and optimize where we can. This is going to play into a decarbonization narrative, when you think about it. Because, we're going to show people how to use less fossil fuel contributing impacts to the world.

    Sheila Hayter:

    So, building on Chuck's comment that ASHRAE is setting an example of how do you take an existing building and you turn it into something special. That reminded me of two points that I'd like to remind people about. First of all, keep in mind that most of the buildings that we will be dealing with 10, 20, 30, 40 odd years from now already exist today. So the building stock that we have at our disposal are existing buildings. It's really important that we think about what we can do to make our existing building stock better. The other thing we need to remember is that decisions that we're making about buildings now, whether it's a new construction or existing construction, they're going to stick around with us for a long time, like for decades. So if we are making good decisions now doing the best we can, with the knowledge that we have today, the technologies that are available to us today, knowing what's coming our way and making our building ready to be able to adapt to those future changes.

    If we can do that now, we are positioning ourselves as a building sector to be in a much better place, to be an asset, to larger goals of decarbonization of energy efficiency, of emissions, of thinking about other issues like security and resiliency. If we take all of that in mind now with the decisions we're making, then we're better positioned to be stronger in the future. And that's something I like to remind people. It's like, think about it. The decisions you're making today in the buildings, is that something you're going to be proud of 10 years from now, 20 years from now? And if you're not, then maybe you should rethink those decisions and do something that can take advantage of the resources and the knowledge and the technologies that we have available to make it a really good building.

    Chuck Gulledge:

    So I wanted to add one thing. We talked about the change in perspective of how we design build and operate facilities. And I've been remiss in talking about the commissioning contribution to this. When we have a digital twin, we are no longer looking at a static point in time of commissioning a building to turn it over and then maybe doing a retro-commissioning 10 years down the road to make sure it's doing what it was supposed to do day one. The digital twin is changing the playing field of we have 24/7 every day of the year commissioning information at our fingertips so that we can operate that building. And the commissioning industry is picking up on this and they are responding with preparing people to deal with the analytics of having that data lake of information, to be able to manage and optimize and tune and tweak the operations of our facilities.

    I think that's an important thread to throw in there. It's a complete change in mindset of how we have always approached stuff very individually, very static and very disconnected. We're linking knowledge, and it impacts every stakeholder in this business. I picked the digital lighthouse aspect of the society theme last year, because the world needs facilities that act as a lighthouse to show the way to do things. And I truly believe the new ASHRAE headquarters is going to be that lighthouse to tell that story. It's very important. But what has happened on this journey, if I can sum it up very simply, we are learning to work in a lean mentality throughout the entire delivery process to eliminate waste, to provide better value to the owners, the people that are building these solutions, and for the people that are working in building products or whatever they're doing inside those buildings, we have the capacity to deliver better, higher quality. And it's all available to us by connecting information and getting away from the silos and all the touch points, working with everybody at the onset and providing true integrated collaboration.

    Sheila Hayter:

    I believe ASHRAE is very well positioned to provide the resources and the knowledge that's needed to help not only our members, but all professionals in the buildings industry to transition to this digital age, to this new energy future. The people who are ASHRAE members represent such a huge range of experiences. And ASHRAE provides the opportunity for those people to come together, to share their knowledge and to package it in a way that will help our industry take these steps forward and also help others that are interested in the buildings industry understand what is needed on their part as well. So that together we can overcome the challenges that we're facing today. Tomorrow, 10 years from now, and beyond.

    ASHRAE Journal:

    ASHRAE Journal Podcast team is editor Sarah Foster, managing editor, Mary Kate McGowan and associate editor Chadd Jones. Original music by Chadd Jones, copyright ASHRAE. Views expressed in this podcast are those of individuals only, and not of ASHRAE's sponsors or advertisers, please refer to ashrae.org/podcast for the full disclaimer.


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