3 min read

🎧 #005: Troy Harvey of PassiveLogic on next-generation building automation

“Does that put them out of business? No, I think what it does is, whether it's fault detection or analytics or district management or energy audits, is allow them to let go of the 80% of work that's just weighing them down and focus ostn the 20% of work where all their value is, which means they get to put five times more effort into the high value part of their business.”

—Troy Harvey, CEO, Passive Logic

Welcome to Nexus, a newsletter and podcast for smart people applying smart building technology—hosted by James Dice. If you’re new to Nexus, you might want to start here.

The Nexus podcast (Apple | Spotify | YouTube | Other apps) is our chance to explore and learn with the brightest in our industry—together. The project is directly funded by listeners like you who have joined the Nexus Pro membership community.

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Music credit: The Garden State by Audiobinger

Disclaimer: James is a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). All opinions expressed via Nexus emails, podcasts, or on the website belong solely to James. No resources from NREL are used to support Nexus. NREL does not endorse or support any aspect of Nexus.


Episode summary

Episode 5 is a conversation with Troy Harvey, CEO of autonomous buildings startup Passive Logic. Troy taught me a ton in this episode!

  • We talk about how the hell we got here… to this point where building technology is 20 to 30 years behind the tech we're carrying around in our pockets.
  • We talk about the limitations of modern building automation systems, and what it means for a building to be fully autonomous, why that’s needed, and how Passive Logic is doing it.
  • We talk about what full autonomy means for all of the service providers in our industry.
  • Oh and digital twins. Deep digital twins.

This episode of the podcast is directly funded by listeners like you who have joined the Nexus Pro membership community. Subscribe to Nexus Pro to support the podcast, join the community, and get access to a deep dive into my reaction, my top highlights of this episode, and a full transcript of this and all episodes. Pro members get these weekly deep dives, access to the Nexus Vendor Landscape, and can participate in exclusive discussions and events.

You can find Troy online on LinkedIn and at Passive-Logic.com.

Enjoy!


Mentions and Links

  1. PassiveLogic (2:42)

  2. Big Four: Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Siemens, Schneider Electric (7:44)

  3. Novell (10:04)

  4. Levels of Autonomy (14:44)

  5. Edge Computing vs Cloud Computing (19:46)

  6. Deep Digital Twins (23:15)

  7. Control Trends demos (25:46)

  8. Nexus Podcast Episode 5 screen share (29:03)

  9. Nexus Podcast Episode 3 with Nick Gayeski (40:28)

  10. NVIDIA (49:49)

  11. Linux Kernel (56:25)

  12. Haystack and Brick (56:46)

  13. Nexus Podcast Episode 1 with Nicolas Waern (59:07)


THE ABOVE AUDIO, VIDEO, SUMMARY, AND LINKS WILL ALWAYS BE FREE. PODCAST DEEP DIVES WITH MY REACTIONS, MY TOP HIGHLIGHTS, AND THE FULL TRANSCRIPT ARE EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS OF NEXUS PRO.

Here’s this week’s deep dive outline:

  • Intro to Passive Logic

  • My reaction

  • Why technology in buildings is decades behind

  • What’s possible with today’s technology once we replace the old foundation?

  • Across the whole industry, what tasks would be at least partially obsolete?

    • Energy Modeling

    • BAS/BMS: Designing a system, writing sequences, Distribution / Parts list / Product requisition, installation, programming 

    • Utility Incentives

    • Commissioning

    • Networking/VPNs

    • Analytics

    • Cloud learning

    • System integration

    • Dedicated demand response / grid-interaction controls

  • What about all of those jobs?

  • What about buildings that don’t need the foundation replaced?

  • How can we automate small buildings?

  • Is Passive Logic the iPhone for buildings?