Smarter Building Technology and STEP – 4.24.13

Smarter Building Technology and STEP

When: April 24th 2013

Time: 8:30am to 4:30pm

Where: University of Illinois Conference Center

To register for this event, please follow this link to our official registration page.

This event is brought to you by CITES Classroom and Conference Media Engineering (CCME) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.“Smarter Building Technology and STEP” is a day-long program that serves to provide information to participants regarding the newest developments in designing, installing, and utilizing technologies in physical spaces. This event inaugurates CCME’s development of future, shorter and more in-depth events dedicated to exploring areas of interest to many different stakeholders, such as more on technology in physical spaces, standards, and collaboration.

The concept of “smart buildings” has been around for decades.  It has been a purely theoretical concept for most of that time.  In the last few years, technology has improved, IP networks have become ubiquitous, and off-the-shelf systems have become available.

This symposium is intended to bring together the Illinois design and construction community to begin to explore these concepts – and – to understand how to start implementing best practices in future projects.

The agenda will explore the following:

  • Great example projects from around the U.S.
  • Best Practices
  • Moving from “design intent” to more detailed specifications
  • Cross-pollinating specifications to assure required outcomes from multiple contractors

As a leader in the Illinois design and construction community, your presence is crucial to the ultimate success of delivering next-generation projects.

What is a Smart Building?

Smart buildings are known by many names—“smart”, “intelligent”, and “integrated”, primarily. Regardless of what we call them, smart buildings are defined as “living” structures that predict and respond to the habits of their users in ways that benefit both the economy and the environment. Utilizing an assortment of sensors, cable pathways, solar panels, shading, video surveillance, and access controls, these newest additions to the built environment also offer a holistic view of the building through dashboards that render complex data into accessible information at a glance. Formed at the exciting intersection of green technology, IT network convergence, and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), smart buildings combine advances in hardware and software to create comfortable, sustainable, data-rich work spaces.

Smart building technologies (SBT) are not so much firm products as they are part of an ongoing “process”, in the words of Michael Carter, Director of Integrated Building Solutions at AMX. Smart buildings are physical testaments to continuing collaboration between diverse, and usually separate, disciplines within the construction industry.

What is STEP?

STEP is an acronym for the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP), a rating system and guide managed by the STEP Foundation, a nonprofit organization comprised of technology trade associations representatives, their members and STEP supporters. At its core, STEP is intended to bring sustainability to the process of planning, designing, integrating and operating technology systems, as well as reduce long-term environmental impact from technology deployment.

STEP was envisioned to encompass all low-voltage building and communication technologies into a phase-by-phase, sustainable deployment process. STEP not only accounts for the ongoing energy consumption of information technology systems but also for the reduction of raw materials in the deployment of information technology solutions and indoor environmental quality of technology-rich environments. STEP also encourages the use of information technologies to make buildings smarter and reduce paper consumption, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel.

As an organization dedicated to developing and installing AV solutions in all types of physical spaces according to the AV standards, CITES CCME is pleased to collaborate with industry leaders in AV and communications to present this event.

So please, come take part in exploring the process and outcomes of smart collaboration as Michael Carter, David Wilts, Scott Walker, and David A. McNell speak from experience regarding these buildings of the future.


Michael Carter, Director, Integrated Building Solutions at AMX

David Wilts, LEED AP BD+C, CTS

David Wilts
David Wilts

David Wilts is an Associate Principal at Arup, leading the Smart Building consulting practice in the Americas, as well as the overall consulting practice in Arup’s Chicago office. He brings over 20 years of design and consulting experience in integrated smart building technology, HD broadcast facilities, audiovisual and multimedia systems, as well as information communications technology.

David is Chair of InfoComm’s Smart Building Task Force, and also sits on ASHRAE’s Smart Building Technical Committee.

Michael Carter, Director, Integrated Building Solutions at AMX

Michael Carter
Michael Carter

As Director of Integrated Building Solutions at AMX, Mike Carter leads a team of sales and engineering specialists focused on developing customized, enterprise solutions for media management, distribution and environment automation. Mike and his team assist Fortune 500, Government and Education clients, as well as Consultants and Integrators globally, to develop practices and deploy solutions which seamlessly integrate the control and monitoring of previously disparate building systems to streamline operations, reduce expenses, improve energy efficiency, and a variety of other benefits. Mike is an active member/contributor for RealComm’s Intelligent Building Conference (IBCon), Continental Automated Buildings Association’s (CABA) Intelligent and Integrated Buildings Council (IIBC), and InfoComm’s newly formed Smart Buildings Task Force.

Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP 

Scott Walker
Scott Walker

Scott Walker is president and a founding principal of Waveguide Consulting. Scott has been an independent technology consultant since 1989, and his mark on the AV industry and the AV consulting profession is extensive. Scott has been an InfoComm volunteer since 1999 serving initially as ICAT chair from 1999 through 2001. From there, Scott became an officer on the InfoComm board serving as InfoComm president in 2004. After completing his tenure on the board, Scott continued to his volunteer service as chair of InfoComm’s ANSI Standards steering committee from 2007 to 2009. More recently, Scott’s leadership efforts have centered on the AV industry’s response to the green building movement. In 2009, Scott chaired InfoComm’s Green AV task force, which evolved into InfoComm’s STEP task force. Walker is the original developer of the STEP Rating System.

David A. McNell, PE, CTS-D, LEED AP

David McNell
David McNell

David is a senior technology consultant with more than 10 years of experience as a consultant and engineer of technology systems for a broad range of projects, including healthcare, government, education, commercial and corporate market sectors. As a leader in the technology industry for building information modeling (BIM) and project documentation he chaired InfoComm’s BIM taskforce for its first two years culminating in the creation of industry best practices for content development and project documentation. He also serves on BISCI’s BIM standards working group tasked with developing BIM standards for the information technology industry.


  1. Welcome / Who is in the Room / Goals
  • Overview of stakeholders who are present, and the goals of the event

2.  The Smarter Building – What it is – and Why Bother

  • The Pyramid
  • Project Example Bursts (5 minute presentations)
    • Vancouver Convention Center?
    • Dallas Museum of Nature and Science?
    • Enterprise Example?
    • University Example

3. The Bottom Line and Sustainability Goals

  • The President’s Climate Challenge
  • The Living Building Challenge
  • The 2030 Challenge
  • Dynamic Automation based upon Human Presence
  • Understanding Process Plug Load and the Impact
  • The Way the Design and Construction Industry works, needs that should be considered

4. ROI – Focusing on ALL COSTS, not just First Cost, and sustainability goals will follow.

  • Traditional First Costs
  • Operational Costs
  • Discovering solutions that benefit all bottom lines
  • Smart Buildings Do Not Need to Cost More
    • Leveraging the capabilities of the Existing Systems
    • Labor and Materials Savings
    • Utility Provider Incentives / Grants (including retro-commissioning)
    • Leverage competitive pricing for systems through excellent specifications
    • ROI is no longer an excuse for inaction

5. Leveraging BIM Tools in the Smarter Building

  • BIM Master Planning / Process / Workflow
  • Standardization of families and parametric data
  • Leveraging schedules in innovative ways, especially with control, IT, and AV
  • Modeling process plug load

6. The Workflow for Design New Construction and Existing Buildings

  • IBT Questionnaire
  • Project and System Assumptions
  • Incorporating the goals into the LEED project process
  • User Matrix
  • Design Brief
  • System Matrix
  • Scope Gap Analysis
  • Coordinated Drawing Package
  • Division 25 Specifications / Coordinated Specifications

7. Construction / Buying the Job

  • Programming the systems
  • The Integrated Building Technology Project Manager
  • Design Bid Build / Design Build Process

8. Operations and Continual Commissioning

  • IBT and BIM Master Plans
  • Leveraging Energy Monitoring
  • Support and Maintenance Tools, AV, IT, BMS, Security, etc.
  • Operational and Cost Savings Opportunities

9. Conclusion / Wrap-Up / Next Steps


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