How platforms are transforming building energy efficiencies

Last week's, VERGE conference explored how innovation in energy, building and transportation technologies is transforming sustainability to generate "radical efficiencies."

Innovation was the buzzword as discussions throughout the conference showcased a transformative vision: "the future of sustainability is about data.

To that end, HackCity opened the conference on the theme "hacking to scale" showcasing how start-up ingenuity can be developed for commercialization. OnStar and Panoptix by Johnson Controls were sponsors for HackCity which offered participants prizes in total over $7,000.

At the event, Johnson Controls announced the official launch of the Panoptix App Marketplace as a avenue for commercializing third-party and JCI building efficiency applications, underscoring the growing interest in platforms for energy efficiency.

At the event, I moderated a panel on just that topic: "Platforms for Accelerating Energy Efficiency." I joined Dave Bartlett of IBM, Domenic Armano of First Fuel, Scott Harmon with Noesis Energy, Sonal Kemkar from the White House CEQ, and Michael Murray of Lucid to discuss how social platforms and data enable information-sharing and the tools and best practices needed to promote energy efficiency. In this context, platforms are online communities where information can be shared, products can be reviewed and in some circumstances there is a marketplace to commercialize smart building solutions.

One idea discussed is that the industry is heavily focused on new technologies, tools and applications to promote energy efficiency, but there is a lack of focus on the people who will ultimately use smart building technologies. There are two specific ways platforms can help the industry overcome the people challenge to advance the adoption of smart building technologies.