Feb 28, 2019 IN News / HVAC & Building Automation

Will we really see the future at ISH 2019?

In a few weeks it is time for ISH – the world’s leading trade fair for HVAC + Water and of course I’m really excited. Partly because LumenRadio is exhibiting for the first time but also because the topic will be about responsible management of energy in buildings and all the exciting trends in new sustainable heating and air-conditioning technologies. I very much look forward to discuss topics like Open API:s, AI Optimized Climate Control, Space Management, PropTech, IEQ, etc. My only reflection is if the industry is ready to make the necessary investments to reinvent themselves and let their products be part of this dynamic future. I mean, will we really see the future at ISH 2019?

You have heard it before. To be able to make the cut to reach EU’s goal of reducing our carbon footprint by making all buildings so called nearly Zero Energy Buildings by 2020 (nZEB)  we need to aim for 100% Zero Wires installations by using low energy mesh technology in battery powered nodes. This is all part of The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive that requires that all new buildings to be nearly-zero-energy by the end of 2020. 

A detailed level of control is needed

Of course, working for a company providing ultra reliable meshed connectivity, it is in our own interest to proclaim that wires are dead, long hail the wireless revolution!!! But the thing is that we strongly believe that if we don’t go wireless we will never be able reach the detailed level of control that is needed to be able to reach the high ambitions that comes with the new directives. And also, using wires will be way too expensive to make the effort so much needed, especially in existing buildings.

Where is the sparkling discussion about the future?

Just coming home from AHR EXPO 2019, the largest HVAC trade show in North America, I realized one thing. The future is now…. NOT! Out of +300 industry seminars only 3 covered Wireless technologies. None of the seminars covered topics like AI Optimized Climate Control, Space Management, Asset Management, PropTech, Worker Productivity, Open API:s, Third party app development based on Building Data, AI driven analytics for Predictive Maintenance, Zero Wires for Retrofit. Not even IEQ was discussed as a topic at AHR. All those interesting topics that can be derived from new Data Driven Services based on Sensor Networks in existing HVAC solutions. All those interesting topics that the new Silicon Valley-entrants in PropTech are looking into, raising billions in capital. Topics that are dependent on Zero Wire installations.

The HVAC industry are so focused, for good reasons, on Controls (bi-directional communication for data collection and control) that we tend to forget that just using the sensors for data collection (without controls) actually can be used to turn data into better workplaces and in itself be used to create all those fancy Data Driven Services where new insights are evolving. That’s why we can see the dawn of a new industry – PropTech.

HVAC + PropTech =?

No wonders that there are so many PropTech companies on the startup scene right now, creating cross industry solutions for a new generation of controls and data collection, boosted by huge amount of venture capital. The opportunity in PropTech is huge but the existing industry don’t see it or don’t know which approach they should take.

That´s why we claim that cables are our biggest enemy for sustainable Green Buildings! Because as long as the industry is holding on to the old, the longer it will take to fulfill the promises of the new.

Wireless solutions showcased at ISH

But hey! This was our impressions from AHR EXPO 2019 in US. How will it be at ISH this year? I hope and expect the state of the European Union to be somewhat more progressive. And if you don’t know what steps to take or how you should approach the new wireless controls market then head over to our booth for a cup of coffee and a nice chat.

We would be more than happy to listen to and understand your need, or give you some of our insights.   

LumenRadio: Hall 10.3, B53


Read more about how wireless sensors are today the most flexible and cost-efficient solution for building control.