WASHINGTON — Industry participants gathered in Washington, District of Columbia, for the 24th Danfoss EnVisioneering Symposium, “Integrating Building Systems for Sustainable Energy,” to discuss the connectivity, community-level regulation, utility integration and management, and new building grid dynamics that are forming a path to a future of buildings different than the existing built environment.

During the symposium, participants explored new opportunities in building integration strategy opened by developments in Internet building interface and sensor technology, experiments in community-scale building performance initiatives, and often-overlooked dynamics in building-grid management.

“Buildings will become smarter, and the utilities of the future will become dramatically different providers than the ones of today,” said Lisa Tryson, director of corporate communications, Danfoss. “Changes facing our industry, energy infrastructure, and commercial buildings will test our technologies, standards, and goals.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, who serves on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, opened the event with an overview of challenges to a national energy strategy and an outline of one focusing on not only asset use, but also workforce development and regulatory frameworks.

“A national agenda doesn’t need to be energy-source specific,” Kinzinger suggested. “We instead need to focus on a few things, like workforce development to ensure properly trained and educated workers are available for the high-tech jobs in the clean energy industry and the infrastructure of the energy industry — whether it be demand-response technology or physical transmission assets. The regulatory environment that prevents new technologies also needs to be streamlined. Energy efficiency is great because it’s often a simple and affordable way to help meet the energy demands of our nation.”

The 24th EnVisioneering Symposium made clear that buildings of the future, and the industries that deliver them, will be very different than today. Forces already in motion are driving profound change. Industry watchers know that big change means big challenges. Participant discussions seemed to indicate it also means big options and big decisions lie ahead — and perhaps not as far ahead as was once thought.

Publication date: 8/10/2015 

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