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The Building Technology Podcast

The Building Technology Podcast

By Scott Holstein
The Building Technology Podcast brings in the best and brightest minds in smart buildings, facilities management, and operations to discuss the latest technologies and trends in buildings today. Our expert guests share their insights into what it takes to run facilities safely and efficiently while keeping up with their ever-changing industries.
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What is Predictive Maintenance?
"What is Predictive Maintenance?" Guests: Tim Darrah - Intelligent Systems and Rick Bennet - National Facilities Solutions Tim served 7 years in the U.S. Army as an airborne infantryman and later as an avionics maintenance technician. In 2017, Tim graduated from Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s of science in computer science prior to entering the Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt University. His focus at Vanderbilt is on extending the current state-of-the-art in health management technologies for cyber-physical systems to include system-level prognostics, predictive maintenance, and decision making. In 2019 he started his company, Intelligent Systems, and has been working with National Facility Solutions to develop their flagship product, Facility Coach, which gives Facility Managers the predictive edge when it comes to maintenance and indoor air quality. In 2020 he was awarded a prestigious NASA Fellowship to support his thesis research and is working towards embedding the technology behind Facility Coach into iPerformance (National Facility Solutions product), so that he can focus on finishing his degree. --------- Rick has over 25 years of experience in the HVAC industry as a service technician, supervisor, instructor, designer and Commissioning Engineer. His areas of expertise include high- and low-pressure chillers, large DX systems, DDC controls, pneumatics, hydronics, air makeup, computer room systems, process equipment, steam high and low pressure, and frequency drives. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 0:00 - Intro 10:48 - What is predictive maintenance and how does it work? 13:27 - What are the benefits of predictive maintenance? 19:20 - Are fault detection and predictive maintenance the same thing? 19:46 - Many facility managers have concerns about this being a replacement for their services. What would you tell someone with this concern? 24:10 - What does it look like to implement a solution like this? 30:48 - How do you evaluate a service partner in the predictive maintenance field? 36:56 - Can the time horizon of the notifications be adjusted to meet the needs of your customer? 39:31 - Tim discusses the false positive rate of predictive maintenance programs. 42:16 - Rick discusses the importance of establishing baseline metrics before implementing predictive maintenance program. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Helpful links on the topic: IAQ Tools for Schools: Preventive Maintenance Guide Condition Based Maintenance Plus (DoD Guide Book) How AI can save money, spare lives, and reduce downtime NAVSEA’s Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) Initiative
September 30, 2021
The Business Case for Healthy, Sustainable Buildings with special guest Greg Patton
"The Business Case for Healthy, Sustainable Buildings" Gregory Patton, a long-time building operator and now CEO of Sustainable Consulting Group, joins the podcast to talk about how making buildings healthier and more sustainable will also make them more profitable for owners. Greg's practical knowledge on this topic gives building owners and operators actionable insights to take into their properties. 00:00 - Intro 03:32 - What makes a building healthy and why should it be attractive to building owners and operators? 07:00 - Is sustainability more than just energy efficiency? 09:23 - Have you found building engineers struggling with running their buildings for health vs. efficiency? 10:45 - Are tenants choosing buildings because their employees are more productive under the right environmental conditions? 12:11 - What are some of the sustainable and healthy building certifications and how buildings are incentivized to achieve them? 16:08 - What low-hanging fruit is there for building engineers to make the facilities healthier and more sustainable? 20:55 - Greg's closing message Additional Information on Today's Podcast Topic LEED - WELL -  Fitwel - SCG website – Reference to C-PACE at 19:15 -
May 20, 2021
VFD Drives - HVAC Applications & How They Work with special guest Tim Skell
Tim Skell, a veteran Sales Application Engineer for ABB joins the podcast to share his knowledge on variable frequency drives, better known as VFDs. Listen here to learn everything from what a VFD is to how they work to how to evaluate potential service partners in this industry. YouTube Chapter Links 00:00 - Intro 04:00 - What is a VFD and how does it work? 06:57 - What happens when you put a VFD on an older piece of equipment? 09:38 - What are the benefits of VFDs? 17:04 - What can facility managers do to help maintain their VFDs for peak performance? 21:24 - What kind of maintenance agreement would you recommend having with a VFD service provider? 22:43 - How do you choose a good VFD service partner? 25:29 - How do you differentiate one VFD manufacturer from another? 27:54 - What are some of the latest trends in VFDs? Additional Information Harmonics in HVAC applications – ABB: An important topic to be aware of for facility folks in charge of hospitals, data centers, universities with science/technical labs – anyone with sensitive equipment who needs clean/quality line power: ABB Drives HVAC Webinar Series: On-demand webinars for a variety of HVAC VFD topics including VFD101 content Proper BACnet Integration to a VFD (Page 8) – BACnet International Journal
March 23, 2021
How Technology is Helping Create Healthy Buildings with special guest Doug Palmer
Our featured guest in Episode 2, Season 2, Doug Palmer brings a wealth of knowledge on the topic of creating healthy buildings. Doug's 28 years of experience in facilities management roles and current involvement with the Hines Return to Office task force brings our listener's a fantastic basis for ensuring their own facilities are ready for the return of their building occupants. Chapter 1 00:00 - Intro Chapter 2 09:52 - Doug talks about what was being done to create healthy buildings prior to the onset of COVID-19. Chapter 3 14:00 - Doug tells us about what defines Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and some of the technologies use to improve it. Chapter 4 27:06 - Doug talks about maintaining clean surfaces in his facilities and the viability of creating a touchless experience in commercial real estate. Chapter 5 33:12 - Scott and Doug discuss people counting technology for the purposes of physical distancing and limiting occupancy in a given space. Chapter 6 35:45 - Doug shares his approach to communicating with tenants in regards to what is being done to ensure a healthy environment for them. Chapter 7 40:05 - Scott and Doug talk about how to assess new technologies for creating healthy buildings.
February 24, 2021
Selecting "The Right" Service Partner with special guest Gip Erskine
The Building Technology Podcast is back with our own Scott Holstein interviewing Gip Erskine on his approach to selecting service partners. Gip's background allows him to provide a unique perspective on this process that is all too often driven by the initial price.
February 08, 2021
How Building Engineers Can Stay Relevant in the Age of Smart Buildings with special guest Joe Havey
In episode four of the Building Technology Podcast Joe Havey of E Cube ( we discuss how building engineers can stay relevant in the age of smart buildings. Transcription:
February 04, 2021
Creative Ways of Financing Smart Building Projects with special guest Lucas Dixon
In edpisode three of our Building Technology Podcast, we talk with Lucas Dixon from Plug Smart ( to discuss creative ways of financing smart building projects.
February 04, 2021
Building Automation Training with special guest Phil Zito
In our second episode of the Building Technology Podcast, we talk with Phil Zito from Building Automation Monthly which has now become Smart Buildings Academy, to discuss what building operators should know about their building automation system and where to start. Not intentionally started as a training resource, Phil's desire to get information out there to help others train and become knowledgeable within the building automation industry, led to huge demand and ultimately a change in direction so he could cater for and offer the training courses people needed.
February 04, 2021
Building Emotion with special guest Ken Sinclair
In this first episode of the educational Building Technology Podcast, we talk with one of the industry's leading resource for information and education, Ken Sinclair from
February 04, 2021