TAB Journal Summer 2020 - 14

going to be asked to explain why humidity levels are what
they are. Ditto for volatile organic compounds (imagine that,
especially in new buildings with new furniture, carpet, paint,
wall paper). I also predict that the TBE in the field may be
much more involved in the calibration of these vast amounts
of sensors, because we all know that garbage in equals
garbage out. Kind of like how we calibrate CO2 sensors in
parking garages or outside airflow monitoring stations or
smoke detector testing. Sound testing will also be the topic of
conversation more than it ever has been.
All these thermostats need is a low-cost camera and mic,
then they will be able to recognize our TBE technician's face
and voice. AI could then allow the TBE to program every
HVAC zone by simply looking into the thermostat camera and
speaking the parameters required. I am unaware of anything
that exists like this at this time, but think about Alexa, Siri,
Cortana, or Sofia and you can guess that we may not be far off
with this idea.
In the near future, I predict that our TBEs will take on more of
the role of a "data analytics" expert. With 5G and AI, a newly
installed HVAC system will have enough data collected in just
one week so that an experienced TBE/technician could be able
to make HVAC system recommendations that totally optimize
the HVAC system. In fact, it wouldn't surprise this writer if
HVAC design engineers change the way HVAC systems are
designed (and commissioned) due to 5G and AI.
For example: with that vast amount of data that will be
collected even in the first week of operation - say on a 5-story
office building with an rooftop unit/variable air volume system

- a TBE might recommend that a booster fan be installed on
the system's "hardest to serve" zone/floor so that a rooftop
unit's supply fan can be slowed down even further.
Of course, engineering economics, return on investment and
payback period will probably become part of the TBE's new
vocabulary. 5G and AI will change the way we live for sure,
exactly how is fun to guess. No one can claim to have a crystal
ball, but one thing is for sure: things are definitely going to
change, big-time.
The 5G infrastructure will take time to build out because it
will require 5 times as many cell towers than 4G requires. 5G
uses smaller, short-range cells, that can be mounted almost
anywhere (street lights, building walls, etc.).
Building the infrastructure is phase one. Major cities like
Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Sacramento, Indianapolis,
Jacksonville, Atlanta, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma,
Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Las
Vegas will be completely built out first, and the rest of the
USA could be set-up by 2025.
The 5G future is here and now. Phase two is when the
"internet of things" takes advantage of the new 5G mobile
internet infrastructure. The TBE technician needs to embrace
these numerous new and various changes coming to their job
description.
AIA
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TAB Journal Summer 2020

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