“We handled the logistics and provided the content, but really it was the customer that shaped this conference,” said Luca Mazzei, vice president of strategy and marketing for Honeywell Building Solutions (HBS).
For five days, conference goers attended meetings, dined, networked, and enjoyed the comforts of the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, as they focused on understanding the economic and environmental changes shaping business practices to come.
CHANGING BUSINESSPaul Bardon, HBS America’s vice president and general manager, provided a brief company overview. He reported $36.6 billion for 2008’s overall sales with the Automation and Controls Systems (ACS) sector being responsible for $14 billion. Bardon also highlighted key differentiators that contributed to Honeywell’s success: expertise, experience, leadership, innovation, reliability, and stability. According to him, future success in the changing global market depends on thinking more long term in every aspect of business.
Greg Taylor, HBS America’s marketing director, addressed the dynamic changes that have recently occurred in the United States, pointing out that the economic recession and change in federal administration has significantly altered the business landscape. He explained that customer needs have changed and that Honeywell is changing to meet these needs.
“Customers need flexibility around services offered and they need decreased operating costs,” he said. “They have a renewed focus on their core business and what it takes to operate. Honeywell’s response to this has been to evolve to meet these needs through service and technology that reduces the cost of operations.”
The Global Service Response Center (GSRC) is one of the services that Honeywell is leveraging for its customers. Although it has been in operation since 1983, the company considers the facility “one of its best-kept secrets.” The service concentrates on the maintenance and wellness of systems ultimately reducing the cost of large repairs and equipment outages.
“Emergency calls cost a lot more than a standard service call,” said Tom Sumner, customer service manager for the GSRC.
According to Honeywell, the GSRC is the first national monitoring organization to be ISO 9000 registered. It employs 120 service professionals and performs 24 million transactions per year for more than 75,000 commercial sites.
New technology is also aiding customers in saving on core operational costs. The company announced that its new UtilityPRO thermostat now displays utility pricing signals on the unit.
“We are a bridge between the utility and the end user,” said Kevin McDonough, Honeywell’s Utility Solutions’ general manager. “With this product, home- owners can see how much they are being charged at peak times and make an informed decision as to the appropriate heating or cooling level.”
Critical peak pricing software for commercial facilities is currently being tested to automate the temperature-adjusting process while taking into consideration both comfort and cost.
KEYNOTE CONCEPTSThe changing economy has inspired new service and technology innovations, but it is also inspiring new environmental approaches. Scientist and keynote speaker Dr. Anthony Cortese, co-founder and president of Second Nature, called for a shift in mindset when it comes to considering solutions for environmental concerns. He reminded attendees of the ecological debt that current CO2 emissions will incur for future generations, and asked them to reconsider their usage approach to resources.
“We are past pristine,” warned Cortese. “There will be double the amount of buildings by 2050 and 75 percent of all existing buildings will need to be remodeled by then. Tinkering in the ecological margins is not going to work.”
With the subjects of renewables, energy efficiency, and the built environment in the air, Honeywell felt it was important for attendees to understand that according to the Clinton Climate Initiative, 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from cities and 50 percent of cities’ emissions stem from buildings.
“So where should you focus, renewables or energy efficiency,” asked Kent Anson, HBS vice president Global Energy and Environment. “Focusing locally and globally on either approach makes sense, but doing nothing is not the answer.”
To assist its customers in these renewable and energy-efficiency endeavors, Honeywell is working to define opportunities and application supports.
“Nearly 50 percent of our product portfolio company-wide is linked to energy efficiency,” said Anson. “We estimate the global economy could operate on 10 to 25 percent less energy just by using today’s existing Honeywell technologies.”
One of those technologies is the new release of the company’s Digital Video Manager (DVM R-400). This product brings to light the idea of convergence. According to Greg Turner, Honeywell director of global offerings, convergence is a combination of security systems and building usage systems such as lights, HVAC, etc. It puts everything on the same network and the security system provides information about the usage of these building systems. With this information, companies can more accurately measure and control its actual usage of resources. Coupled with building information modeling (BIM), convergence can become a usage cost-measuring tool for the lifecycle of the building.
Daryll Fogal, HBS vice president of engineering and technology, was the final keynote speaker at the HUG Symposium and his thoughts centered on two words: foundational productivity. He examined past civilizations and the advancements obtained by the creation of innovative technologies and revolutionary changes in human society’s thought patterns.
“So, where will the next foundational productivity revolution come from,” Fogal asked. “Nuclear, wind, solar, Twitter, Facebook? Probably not. I think the next foundational productivity revolution will come from the way we build things, especially buildings and large structures. When you build something and it stays built so that you don’t have to keep rebuilding it, that is when new productivity happens in society.”
He went on to give examples of the Great Wall of China and the roads in Rome, both of which have been built for thousands of years and still are functional structures. Fogal suggested that making better structures and maintaining them properly, instead of throwing them away, will help address both the economic and environmental issues manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and end users face on the horizon.
“You can put controls in buildings and that improves the rate of degradation,” he said, “but if you don’t ever do anything with them, it won’t stop entropy. Even though you can’t completely stop it, we can slow it down.”
FEATURED ATTRACTIONSAlong with the speakers, educational sessions, and breakouts, Honeywell provided the Customer Solutions Center (CSC) and the Green Room for attendees’ continued education. The CSC was a technology demonstration area showcasing solutions to help optimize virtually all aspects of facility operations. It featured safety, security, energy efficiency, open systems management, and enterprise integration displays and interactive demonstrations.
The Green Room provided a tour of Honeywell’s newest Sustainable Energy and Environmental Services. There was a video on green gas inventories; a demonstration about Tropos, a wireless broadband network; a Windows on the World™ (WOW) sustainable education and awareness program demonstration; and a cap-and-trade station to help explain carbon credits.
Whether it was the economy or the environment, the symposium focused on making the most of what is already available, right down to the 80 percent biodegradable corn material pens attendees found in their recycled, reusable welcome bags.