The future of building management was on display at the Honeywell User Group (HUG) Symposium for Buildings, held June 9-13 in Phoenix.

More than 325 attendees—including 140 first-time attendees—were on hand, representing 195 companies from eight countries. They participated in dozens of breakout sessions covering airports; government, commercial, healthcare, and higher-education buildings, and industrial/manufacturing and pharmaceutical plants. Educational tracks focused on business leadership, energy, integration and information-technology infrastructure, service and support, and utilities.

The attendees also toured Honeywell’s Customer Solution Center, a showcase for the company’s latest products for facility operations, including safety and security, energy efficiency, and enterprise integration.

Mentalist Lior Suchard was on hand for the opening session, and if he was doing any mind-reading of the audience he was probably seeing words such as “benchmarking,” “data modeling,” and “visualization services,” as data management clearly was on the attendees’ minds. Many were there seeking ways to deal with “big data” analytics and looking for ways to use the increasing stream of building data to help them avoid unplanned downtime, gather real-time asset data, increase productivity and profitability, and optimize energy use.

“A huge amount of building data is pouring in every day,” Paul Bardon, Honeywell’s vice president, global markets, said. “Managing it is the next big frontier for our industry.”

Datta Godbole, Honeywell’s vice president of engineering and chief technology officer, added, “The key is to take all the data and turn it into knowledge.”

Looking to the future, Honeywell’s Colm Lennon, director, information technology, specialty materials, said the company, through its “My Building Community” mobile app, is gearing up for the next evolution of building management.

 “We’re going to see a move from smart buildings to social building, in which tenants interact with facilities personnel and each other,” Lennon said.

Finally, Dana Sundmark, P.Eng., electrical superintendent, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, offered six tips for building operations personnel who are struggling to handle the flood of building information that is now available to them.

“Control the information you receive; don’t let it control you,” Sundmark said.

Sundmark’s six tips can be found here: bit.ly/18uEE4t.