Columnists: Jim Sinopoli

Jim Sinopoli is the managing principal of Smart Buildings, which provides engineering and consulting services for the design and operation of integrated building technology systems. He has won numerous awards for his projects as well as his contribution to the industry. He is a 2012 winner of the Digital Impact Award and a recipient of the “Harry J. Pfister” award from the Building Industry Consulting Service International. He is also Board of Directors Chairman of the Smart Buildings Institute, a non-profit organization that awards smart building certifications.

Specifying Energy Management and Integration Software for Buildings

The procurement process for an energy management system (EMS) in new construction would typically use a design-bid delivery method where requirements are specified and the qualified bidder with the lowest bid is awarded the job. It is a process that may work well when the procurement is for hardware or equipment and materials where very   …Continue Reading

Inside the Killer App for Buildings & Energy Management: Fault Detection & Diagnostics

While there are several software tools and applications that have proven beneficial for building operations and energy management, the software application with the best verified results and cost effectiveness is fault detection and diagnostics. It’s the killer app of the building automation and building energy management industry. Fault detection and diagnostics are a subset of   …Continue Reading

Smart Building Predictions for 2015

Over the last few years companies have developed and demonstrated driverless car technology; Google, Audi, BMW and dozens of other companies and universities have been involved. With the use of cameras, sensors, “decision and driving strategy and logic,” traffic sign recognition, pedestrian spotting and lane departure warnings, many but not all of the technical aspects have been   …Continue Reading

Defining a Smart Building: Part II

We set forth to define a smart building by addressing the second group of smart building attributes: system integration, AV and water. Let’s start with system integration, which is one of the most important and fundamental parts of a smart building. System Integration System integration can have a significant impact on building operations and operational   …Continue Reading

Defining a Smart Building, Part I

Building owners, designers, contractors and facility managers are all trying to build or renovate buildings identified as “smart” buildings. In general we think of smart buildings as being innovative, using advanced technology and materials, contributing to reduced energy usage and the sustainability of the building, and providing more efficient and effective operation. But the high-level,   …Continue Reading

Tearing Down Data Silos Reveals Insights into Energy Performance

How much forethought is given to all the data and information needed to manage a building? The answer many times would be little forethought and a lot of afterthought. The industry as a whole has realized the use of building data and data analytics are major tools for improving building operations. Data applications such as   …Continue Reading

Modeling Building Automation and Control Systems

Many building owners and facility managers lack good documentation for their automation control systems. Documentation has value; lack of system documentation can cost an organization and will increase risk. Lack of documentation means troubleshooting and work orders take longer, are more expensive and it extends the time it takes to resolve issues for tenants or   …Continue Reading