Canadian Electrical Industry News Week


July 9, 2018

Future ProofingThis business case lays out a rationale for future-proofing buildings and provides tools that will enable building owners to think more strategically about how they are looking at their building management systems and make initial investments upfront for long-term benefit. Previously published in Part 1: four arguments to make in your business case, starting with why do it now. Here in Part 2: common misconceptions about future-proofing and what to consider before you start the process.

Common misconceptions about future-proofing

Misconceptions about what future-proofing is lead people to approach it incorrectly and make mistakes. Here are three misconceptions your business case needs to overcome.
1. Confusing future-proofing with Internet of Things (IoT) deployment. Often, discussions of evolving building system functionality lead directly to a focus on IoT strategy and implementation. Having a sound IoT strategy is essential to enabling new applications and value-streams, but it is equally important to address the more essential future-state functionality needs. The smartest future-proofing strategy satisfies both future-readiness and IoT readiness, following these four critical steps:

• determine the baseline, table stakes system functions that are required

• define the probable future-states and new functionality that will be required to address them

• identify the opportunities to drive new value through IoT applications that leverage the data from your building (e.g., occupancy status transforms into space utilization metrics, indoor positioning into customer loyalty applications)

• develop a strategy that allows for simple, cost effective expansion out of traditional energy management to a broader ability to manage the space, and to IoT readiness

2. Waiting for certainty is safe. It is human nature to sit on the sidelines and watch what happens before taking action. This way of looking at future-proofing is flawed. If a digital retrofit project is already planned, then the best opportunity to future-proof is now.

3. Piecemeal buying saves money. Another perceived “safe” approach is to buy only the equipment required to perform a specific retrofit and opt to “pay as you go,” instead of taking a broader strategic approach to meeting present and future needs. For example, if a project that specifies digital lighting and controls for a warehouse, but does not include similar systems for the office spaces, then the opportunity to leverage the energy savings to fund a complete project is foregone and the costs for future upgrades is simply “kicked down the road.”

Proper future-proofing should establish the technology infrastructure and distributed intelligence to enable IoT development on the existing system, rather than creating a parallel system, which can lead to inefficiency and redundancy.

Future-proofing the right way

Once a building owner embraces the economic benefit of investing in a future-proof lighting system, the next step is to understand the right way to do it. It’s critical to gather the right information and know the right questions to ask to frame conversations with your architectural designers, specifiers and contractors. A good place to start is to think about the future needs, opportunities and requirements for the building:

What are the big changes that are going to happen? How is the industry and more importantly the tenant business evolving?

What additional value can this investment unlock for my “customers”? The same data leveraged for energy savings applications can be turned into valuable applications that optimize both building management and occupant/customer experience. It requires thinking beyond energy savings to how can data make you more competitive?

What is the current and expected competitive landscape? What are peers and competitors in the space doing? How do you make sure the building is going to be competitive with other offerings?

Consider current and future safety and security needs. How do you ensure occupant safety in a dynamic, mobile workforce environment?

What regulatory or other compliance requirements will exist? Will there be new incentives for sustainability and green initiatives?

Shifting the focus to the lighting itself, it’s smart to calculate the total cost of ownership, especially given the longevity of most LED lighting. It is also essential to look at lighting solutions as platforms, as opposed to products. Doing this ensures that you will choose a system that is easily upgradable, can support many intelligent functions, and won’t become obsolete in a few years.

Lastly, be sure to frame the expected benefit and ROI in terms of tenant and other shareholder value, so the enhancement can be promoted. Talk to tenants about what you are trying to achieve with the design and how the investment will help them achieve their goals. With the right infrastructure in place, the facility can be differentiated and hence more attractive to tenants than other buildings.

Future-proofing is re-imagining the building space

Lighting systems are getting smarter and moving closer to supporting not only operational key performance indicators, but overall institutional goals. Adopting and nurturing a future-proof mindset about lighting requires thinking more broadly, holistically and strategically. The mindset shift must be toward configurability and upgradability. A solid approach is to evaluate retrofit investments on two levels: what the new system can do today and what might it do tomorrow.

Energy savings is a clear near-term benefit, but today’s smart lighting systems can provide substantially more value.

Spaces can be transformed into a powerful, connected infrastructure that can become a business builder. Data gathered throughout the building can be used to create business applications that deliver value-added services to tenants and increased return on investment for a smart building.

Even if you are not ready to employ enhanced functionality, making a strategic investment in a future-proof system can pay dividends down the road. A good way to think about future-proofing a building space by likening it to a computer or smartphone with upgradable applications over time — the space can evolve as needs and opportunities evolve. Future-proofing can also help building owners respond to and endure unforeseen risks factors, such as an economic downturn or a natural or physical disaster.

This article was first published online by Acuity Brands. Read Part 1 here: Read the full article: Building Whitepaper Gated Content Campaign_0917/Whitepaper_FutureProofing.pdf

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ABB RoboticsABB Robotics is driving automation in the construction industry with new robotic automation solutions to address key challenges, including the need for more affordable and environmentally friendly housing and to reduce the environmental impact of construction, amidst a labor and skills shortage.

Robotic automation offers huge potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility throughout the construction industry, including automating the fabrication of modular homes and building components off-site, robotic welding and material handling on building sites and robot 3D printing of houses and customized structures. 

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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion



Smart GridHarnessing Canada’s immense clean energy resources requires transformational investments to modernize our electricity grid. The Government of Canada is investing in renewable energy and upgrading the electricity grid to make clean, affordable electricity options more accessible in communities across Canada.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today launched a $964-million program to support smart renewable energy and grid modernization projects that will lower emissions by investing in clean energy technologies, like wind, solar, storage, hydro, geothermal and tidal.

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Trilliant Partners with the City of CowansvilleThe City of Cowansville in south-central Quebec is the largest city in the Brome-Missisquoi region, with more than 15,000 residents. Despite being a smaller-sized city, it is known as an economic and industrial hub.

It also has a strong focus on innovation and efficiency — as demonstrated by decisions such as the one it made in 2017 to use beet juice to help combat icy winter roads, allowing the City to reduce the amount of salt it was using, thereby saving money and decreasing the impact on the environment. 



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Keith SonesBy Keith Sones

The writing was on the wall.  The closures would happen. But a lot of people were upset, and I was one of them. 

In the early 2000s, my family and I were living in a mainly rural (at least by city dweller standards) valley in south central British Columbia.  The West Kootenay region is known for its diverse outdoor recreation activities and as a great place to raise a family.  It has a proud industrial history, evidenced through the longstanding pulp mill, a massive lead zinc smelter a few miles away and several hydroelectric dams, all of it within spitting distance of the mighty Columbia River. 

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Product News

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The Lumenquad Small and Medium are the latest additions to a family of sleek, elegant, high-performance projectors that has already been validated with honours, including recognition in the PIA Awards in 2019, together with a Lux Awards for Exterior Luminaire of the Year in 2019. 

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The grips feature a slip guard handle design for added protection at the front-end and raised rear-finger steps for easy opening at the back-end. Wiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters consist of premium quality tool steel for strength and durability and induction hardened cutting edges and jaws for superior sharpness and longevity. 

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eLumigen Poultry Lamps - 2000K, 3000K & 5000KIdeal for rough service applications, the A19 & PAR Series are engineered for high efficiency, vibration resistance, shatter-resistance, elevated heat environments, and wet locations. These dimmable LED Lamps help reduce energy costs, labor costs, and the headaches of frequent lamp changes in tough applications.

eLumigen employs a unique 21-point validation process that goes above and beyond industry standards. Our lamps have been tested to survive levels of vibration exceeding 20G forces. Our unique temperature foldback design improves both safety and thermal management of our lamps. 

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As per President Austin Brennan, their experienced and knowledgeable team can be depended upon in any situation to deliver quick and efficient service. On top of their product solutions — ranging from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution — 

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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