47 min read

🎧 #055: Ruairí Barnwell on designing and commissioning smart buildings and IAQ

So you live or die by the data at the end of the day, not the sticker on the front door.
—Ruairí Barnwell

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.

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Episode 55 is a conversation with Ruairí Barnwell, Global Smart Buildings Leader, Principal at DLR Group.

We talked about how building design and commissioning are changing these days due to new technology in the aftermath of the pandemic. Specifically, Rauirí makes the argument that the Commissioning Agents' role should expand into Smart Building Consultant.

We went through another insider look at indoor air quality, and he took me through the keys to success today, as well as some of the unproven snake oil out there.

Please enjoy Nexus Podcast, episode 55.

Summary

  1. DL Group (0:35)
  2. Doublin School of Technology (1:32)
  3. BIG-CHI (7:14)
  4. ASHRAE Conference (13:52)
  5. SIEMENS Buildings of Tomorrow: #94 What does Commissioning mean to the industry? (18:53)
  6. Nexus #18 (20:05)
  7. Aaron Lapsley on Smart Building Strategy (38:18)
  8. Sonrai IAQ  (46:48)

You can find Ruairi Barnwell on LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

Highlights

  • We need Building Intelligence Groups in every city (7:13)
  • How we can overcome the challenges with the traditional design process (21:00)
  • How owners are seeing the need for the IDL and how Nexus is spurring collaboration and community (26:08)
  • Summarizing the past year of IAQ and rating system confusion (31:45)
  • How building owners/landlords and tenants are investing in IAQ data (37:59)
  • IAQ snake oil, or as Aaron Lapsley says, Hygiene Theater (43:36)

Music credit: Dream Big by Audiobinger—licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Full transcript

Note: transcript was created using an imperfect machine learning tool and lightly edited by a human (so you can get the gist). Please forgive errors!

James Dice: [00:00:03] hello friends, welcome to the nexus podcast. I'm your host James dice each week. I fire questions that the leaders of the smart buildings industry to try to figure out where we're headed and how we can get there faster without all the marketing fluff. I'm pushing my learning to the limit. And I'm so glad to have you here following along.

Episode 55 is a conversation with Ruairi Barnwell, principal at DLR Group. We talked about how building design and commissioning are changing these days due to new technology in the aftermath of the pandemic. Specifically, Rauiri makes the argument that the commissioning agents' role should expand into smart building consultant.
We went through another insider, look at indoor air quality, and he took me through the keys to success today, as well as some of the unproven snake oil out there. Without further ado, please enjoy Nexus Podcast, episode 55. Hello, Rory. Welcome to the show. Can you introduce yourself?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:01:03] James Roy Barnwell with DLR group based here in Chicago and yeah, glad to be here. Glad to be on the show. It's my favorite podcast. So it's great to be on my favorite podcast. Oh,
James Dice: [00:01:15] thanks for saying that. We've been trying to plan this for months, so I'm glad that we did it happen.
Can you start with your, your background, give people context here. Who are
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:01:26] you? Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Well, if you can't tell from the accent I grew up in Ireland, so went to school at Dublin Institute of technology Bolton street for the Irish listeners on an order. It's a few hours sisters cause I got some feedback.
So graduated there and moved to the States. Probably back in 97, 98. At the time it was easy for us to get a visa to come over for the summer in between you know, school and come over, work for the summer and have some fun and go back with some money in our back pocket and some good stories and lots of good stories.
Lots of good stories. Yeah. Yeah. Moved over with a bunch of my hometown, best buddies and you know, still, still a tight group. But also made some lifelong friends and you know, that's why I'm still here in Chicago just because it's such a great city and kind of fell in love with the place when I got here.
So yeah, after I graduated, she moved back full-time in 2000. Know, again, we were at the time young free and single me and a buddies were working in Chicago, the Chicago sailing club, and working at a couple of bars around town and met my wife while I was working on checking IDs.
And one of those buyers Sheffield's up in the North side, it's just a couple of blocks out Wrigley if you had all those. And yeah, I actually got a job my first proper job that same week. So went to work at a MEP design firm called Hanaman Rafael. And at the time based out champagne, you might note down your neck of the woods there.
Yeah, I was very lucky to have a great mentor in Al Rafael. German immigrants kind of took me under his wing and taught me what was important in the industry. And what's not important what not to get stressed out about what to pay attention to. So that was some valuable lessons earlier on. It's been about, I suppose, nine years or so.
Hanaman kind of, and I think that was valuable kind of foundation of the engineering fundamentals for me. And just growing up in the MEP world, I think it gives. slightly different perspective on things these days. But then had an opportunity with a partner of mine to actually start at a startup company with some capital investment from funnily enough, a ceiling grid manufacturer who wants to diversify into a more services prior just have a services arm and the services they decided to you know, this is back in whatever 2008, nine, you know, when really the high-performance buildings were the buzzword.
And there was really no you know, people still love uncertainty or, you know we wanted to create a best in class firm that focused on building performance, energy modeling, commissioning energy auditing retrocommissioning at the time. And so we did that for three years and then capital got pulled, unfortunately.
And so I, I actually moved on to DLR group where I'm at now. And I had actually been working with DLR group as a, as a consultant for many years. And I was admired to just the concept of an integrated design firm, you know, where all the, all the professionals are at the table early on, you know, I felt like it felt strongly that that was the right way to approach design projects is to have all interested parties at the table early and, and pride and, and push.
So yeah, kind of grew that, side of the business into DLR group and kind of here I am today, eight years later. Can you
James Dice: [00:04:33] explain really quick How that integrated approach is different than other ways to set up a
design firm.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:04:42] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I think even just looking at my own experience and, you know, at an MEP design farm, you're very focused clearly on just the, the MDE and a P and the FP drawings.
And so you don't necessarily get a whole lot of input. And usually, you know, back in the day, the architect truly over some square boxes to put pipes and ducks into and, you know, try and fit them in and do your best. And, you know, versus, you know, really impacting that design early on energy modeling was a key tool for that.
Building performance optimization early on. When you're talking about integrating, you know, I think that's an area that we still are working on here in the States that maybe I see people are still a little bit ahead in the UK and Ireland and Europe in general, just on passive design strategies and incorporating natural ventilation, thermal massing, solar, shading those kinds of strategies in early these are not things you can kind of bolt on.
yeah, so that was when you're, when you're talking about integrating goals, types of strategies that they really need to be done early. And W, you know, with everyone at the table given, given him push. So that's really, for me, the siloed approach of specialties, versus I know you can still have an integrated project integrated design project with different consultants, but I feel like it brings an extra kind of dimension when we're all under one roof or our 29 roofs at DLR.
So where, you know, we're, we're about 1200 people and 29 offices across the country Shanghai and Dubai as well. So I guess it's probably more like 1200 roofs right now. Not, not 29 because we're all working from home, but I'm downtown today.
James Dice: [00:06:10] Got it.
All right. And you mentioned your, your team. So what, what are you focused on within
all of that
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:06:16] Same kind of services, you know Kind of growing smart building consulting out of the commissioning group, you know, that kind of operationally focused mindset.
We would have transitioned our, you know, what we want traditional retrocommissioning commissioning for new construction. We've kind of evolved that really, we're very passionate about integrating analytics, that process, and really having a data informed approach to commissioning, to monitoring based commissioning.
So we kind of left behind retrocommissioning projects probably six or seven years ago and really now in the last year or so, really super focused on how do we, enhance the commissioning process as well, like wrapping in analytics and and then also what are letters on our own projects or other people's projects working on in that kind of smart building consultancy role as well.
James Dice: [00:07:00] Got it. Cool.
Lots for us to dig into there.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:07:04] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.
James Dice: [00:07:05] First, the last time we talked though was last summer. Well, we've talked on all of our pro gatherings that you've attended, but we talked last summer at the BIG-CHI Event. Can you talk about what BIG-CHI is?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:07:17] Yeah, it's a great little group.
BIG-CHI stands for Building Intelligence Groups, Chicago, and really is an off shoot or building on the good work that BIG-TC, Building Intelligence Group, Twin Cities. Brad Cult up there did a great job kind of pulling the, you know, herding the cats together up there. Really, I guess the intent was to have the local conversation over beers, you know, generally we'd hit a local brewery or in our case in Chicago, we had gatherings at people like ESD and ourselves and Ganzler they were kind of the usual suspects of where we'd have the maintenance and who would be there and kind of grew. We had monthly meetings, usually 60-70 people showing up. Same concept as yourself, leave the marketing BS at the door and just come in and have a chat and let's try and figure this thing out together. And That's probably one of the biggest things I've missed over this past year plus clearly we're in a people business and it's a relationship business and we can get by on Zoom and teams for awhile and we will continue to do for awhile more.
But at the end of the day, we need to get back out, meet people and you know, continue those relationships. I would say you could probably generalize it as the same crowd that would show up at Real-Com once a year, were showing up at these events once a month.
James Dice: [00:08:26] I like it because we're a local business. Buildings get built by, for the most part, local people.
Right?
And so that's the reason when I was there, I was really blown away by, you know, these are all the people that are doing this in Chicago right now. And it'd be really cool if we had one of those in every city in the world.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:08:44] I mean, when I was in school in Ireland, I was learning about the art of the skyscraper in Chicago.
And it was always a destination. It's that architectural design hub of the world. That's same with smart buildings now. I feel like there's so many good firms here in Chicago and they're competitors, but they're not really competitors, you know, coopertition, we're all in the same.
It's all. How do we make the pie bigger? Not, how are we slicing up the pie? So I think it's very much that kind of attitude. And how do we work together to make it better for everyone?
James Dice: [00:09:08] Yeah, absolutely.
Really cool. Yeah. So shout out to those guys, everyone in the Twin Cities and Chicago.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:09:16] I'm looking forward to it.
Actually, we're trying to bring it back in, in June, here in Chicago. So look out for an email folks from myself or or Ben Disney from Honeywell he has been kind of helping me keep the thing moving forward. I haven't been very good about communicating in these past couple of months, but we're going to have an outdoor event that will get things back on track.
James Dice: [00:09:33] Nice. Very good. And if people are looking for, or wanting to start their own chapter in some other city, I'm sure they could reach out to you.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:09:41] Absolutely, yeah. Reach out to myself or Brad. Brad is really the man to kind of get the advice from but yeah, absolutely.
James Dice: [00:09:48] Yeah, definitely do that. If you're wondering whether I think that should happen, I think people all around the world should be starting these chapters. It'd be so cool.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:09:55] I know. Yep.
James Dice: [00:09:56] Cool.
Let's, let's jump into my usual suspect of a topic. Let's talk about analytics a little bit in the context of the commissioning practice you're talking about. So can you just talk about your overall sort of analytics driven approach, which to my knowledge is, like you said, you've been doing, you know, analytics-based commissioning for six or seven years.
It was rare then, and it's probably pretty rare still today. Can you, can you talk about why you approach it
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:10:26] that way? Yeah, for sure. I think probably the catalyst for that for ourselves and probably a few other firms in Chicago was pretty attractive incentive program comment monitoring based commissioning program.
And prior to that retrocommissioning program again, pros and cons to it, but the pro you know, the pros are we, we got to introduce analytics to buildings for building owners got basically connected to. You know, we got a 25 grand incentive to integrate sky's park to a million square foot building like I'm sitting in right now.
And a dollar per term saved in a 10 cents per kilowatt hour saved after that, after integration. And so that sounds great. And we've had some great projects and made some good money out of that. I would S I would say we all saw it as a means to an end, to grow our practice and to learn how to integrate to buildings and to learn.
There's a lot of painful integrations in there too. Let's be honest. And I think when people get something for free like that, they probably, you know, and it's not all that it was built up to be about guys. So, you know, it's, it's, it's just a difficult process. but. You know, we learned from that and we approached every project as a design firm in how can we, how could we do this as an, at a portfolio level?
How can we do this at scale? How can we augment our own post-occupancy evaluation process at the large group? You know, so we all, we, we focused very, very heavily on, you know, how we got our data organized and visualized that analyzed it would have had the emphasis on organizing it. And I think that stood to us early on when you know, we adopted haystack at a very early, very early stage to, to help them.
So that was that was it. That was a good learning curve for us.
James Dice: [00:12:07] Yeah. The only thing about the comment program. So I used to be a trade ally. I think that maybe, but the only thing about that program that I never liked is like the annual incentive. Stopped after 12 months or maybe it was 18. I always, I just never felt like that was enough time to really get things ingrained in the
owners operational process.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:12:30] That was a big, yeah, I would say that's an issue that you got the analytics for 12 months yet, and it's obviously they're focused on savings, you know? So I mean, the reason, the programs in place, because legislation was passed that mandated that private utilities had to reinvest. 1.5 or so percent of their revenue into energy efficiency programs, you know, took and was in the form of standard incentives.
Like just switching out lights, prescriptive incentives, you know, custom incentives, like, you know, putting in a new charter plant or upgrading a border plant. And really these were the building optimization incentives. But still, you know, again, very focused on energy savings. So, whereas we kind of approached it in a broader, how can we use this now that we've got this data with we're connected to that BMS, the lighting control system, that energy meters walk, you know, we can do lots more stuff with this or, and yeah.
And we did. We do. And that's what evolved into our smart building consulting practice. But still paying along the way.
James Dice: [00:13:27] Yeah. Yeah. Well, we just
got done with was that last week case that connects time's flying, but yeah.
Yeah.
I remember you guys had won an award back in 20, the, the last time we all got together in person for the Ash.
Oh
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:13:44] yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right. I can 2019 down in Atlanta. Yeah. So yeah, we got deal. Our group were recognized with the haystack award at the ASHRAE conference down in Atlanta. It was a great whole night. It was like the, like the Oscars, the control trans awards. So, yeah, that was great fun. So
James Dice: [00:14:01] why did you get recognized for the award?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:14:03] Well, I think it was honestly Our approach to organizing data. As I said, you know, we, we brought on a lot of haystack experts early on to help that. Cause we don't see in the big picture, how we're going to grow out of the monitoring based commissioning programming to, you know, utilizing analytics at a broader scale to help drive a whole design firm and really drive, drive, help drive the industry forward.
And just participation on Skype podium to develop data tagging apps and throwing them out to the community to use. I think just to all those little things added up, but yeah. Was that still have a priority to display it up there, like a dark board in the office. Nice. Very good. Don. It's amazing.
Now, you know, I think we've kind of come full circle. I mean, two years ago people were like haystack. What? I mean what the rest of the firm was like, okay, well, what is that? You know, now when you start to see it embedded into RFPs and hard requirements, you know what our tastes Docker break or whatever, just that.
Data modeling is, has become so front and center and so important. And it's just cool to see that the mainstream industry is actually really starting to sit up and take notice. And I mean, it's probably in the, you know, coming to it as pandemic will be one of the, one of the big silver linings coming out of it is that where organizing this data in a meaningful way and I'm present again and, you know, the whole concept of data, independent data layer that you've been touching on here lately as well.
James Dice: [00:15:27] Yeah.
So before we move on from commissioning, I did want to give a shout out to shoddy who in my course, who is on your commissioning team, I believe,
right? Yep. Saturdays or oxide. Yeah. Yeah. So she had to, yeah, again, we're trying to get, get the info from her on what happened during the course and she's teaching the younger engineers and we're going to sign a few more up and she had a great experience on there.
So that was that was fantastic. And she was a graduate of Monash university in Australia as well. So that was a good full circle conversation there recently as well. Yep. Yep. Yeah. She, she
reached out to me and said, this is awesome. That's a small world out there.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:16:08] That's for sure.
James Dice: [00:16:09] So I think, you know, I've been out of the commissioning game for two years now, which is crazy. But can you talk about how those processes are evolving to sort of meet the new needs of today?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:16:22] Yeah. You know, I think with commissioning and again, current and mistake, you know, that the stick being code acquired IECC code required commissioning that's like a, and And necessary thing to keep the conversation it's like with lead commissioning and all that. So you kind of roll your eyes a little bit when you say these things all lead commissioning.
Oh, IECC commissioning, you know, cause there's, it's not quite full commissioning and it's a little disappointing. Usually you're saying it with a disappointing kind of context. No, it's just, just cold regard. So I think it's evolved now. I think a large part of the industry has moved on from, you know, we haven't having to convince people to do commissioning.
Cause that's pretty much the conversation that we've been having for the last 10 or 12 years. Right. Here's the benefits of commissioning. And so I think we've maybe moved past that, like, all right. The benefits of taking that car for a test drive before you hand the keys over to a new owner. Right. And I think I was involved and, you know, again, it was going back to analytics using the analytics, truly functional testing period being able to deploy it and test in a hundred percent of terminal units, for example, you know, just being able to have more.
Controlled remotely, but probably more important for me is that just the concept of a soft landing phase after the first day of business and looking out 12, 18 months and having a Bumphrey transition bridging that gap between the owner's project requirements or what, what was, what was stated as very valuable outcomes early on in the project during design, making sure that those outcomes are still being achieved, trunk construction, and ultimately ultimately on final, you know, Upon hand over to the owners here, you're delivering a building and peak performance, both again, ironically going back to monitoring based commissioning and the comment program that most successful projects we had were the newer buildings because they had good control systems.
And just that whole concept of of a drift after, after handover. And because they had good control systems, we were able to reign in that drift. I think now. With a soft landing approach and engaging those analytics the prior to testing and beyond first day of business and ultimately for the life of the building we can avoid that drift and really have them have a more robust warranty review before the contractors called loose and really give the facilities team confidence that that the building's going to maintain the performance ongoing.
Totally.
James Dice: [00:18:49] Is there something that you and I connected about also a couple of months ago, I did an episode on Siemens podcast about this, and I think you said your, your team
enjoyed it.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:18:59] We did actually. Yeah, we were had well, we got to an interview with Cal tech the next day and it was a successful interview.
So that was set for a commissioning project down there. And I know again, there was. Look about what I'm saying here now is not new for DLR group. We're new for the industry. There's people like Altura and associates have been doing it for a long time. People like Caltech have been pushing this for a long time.
And in fact, I go back to an article that was written, I believe in 2016 and ASHRAE the Altura road unconnected commissioning. And I, you know, I feel like they were, I'm pretty sure they were the ones that coined that phrase originally. But they definitely definitely pushed the ball forward quite a bit.
And funnily enough, that the haystack award we got in 2019, they had got the year before. So it was all us all as a firm, we've looked up to, we've worked together since then on a couple of projects. And so It's good to, good to see players like that continuing to do well.
James Dice: [00:19:47] Yup. Yup.
And whenever I started doing what they call connected commissioning, it was them who I like, I was like you know, younger brother stepbrother, like the other day, like, how do you handle this?
How do you handle that? And yeah, I
love the guys at Altera. And the cool thing is when you go back and reread that, put the article in the show notes. But if you reread that article from whatever gone on five years ago, almost now, it's still very, you know, still on point still, still, still relevant.
Absolutely.
So I want to bring up something that I've been wanting to ask you for a long time. As I've kind of dug into the industry over the last year with all these podcasts and, and Altera is a great kind of segue is the series that I did with Matt Schwartz, where we unpacked, you know, what's kind of holding back the BAS industry, right.
And, and w what the obstacles are to sort of
Moving
forward from business to processes, to technology. And one of the things that came up in that conversation, but also has come up in several other podcasts is that designers don't know anything about VAs. Right. And so I wanted to talk to you about like, okay, how can we, like, What are the challenges in the traditional design process?
And how can we kind of overcome those with how technology is changing today? And I realize that's a broad question, but...
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:21:12] That's a good question. I mean, that's probably most of the issues that we have today and in that side of the industry is we just copy and paste the last points list, then sequence and border plates back into the next one.
You know, as an industry collectively, that's been a, been a criticism for the last couple of years. I would say there definitely are firms who you know, all the ones I mentioned earlier and many more who get it and are kind of evolving more into that kind of smart building consulting world.
When I say smart building consultant, that's maybe to differentiate between, because I feel like Brian Turner did a nice job differentiating between that smart building consultant and what an MSI does because at the end of the day could kind of see both roles fairly similarly. But again, like I said earlier, I see the smart building consultant role kind of growing out with a commissioning practice and being that kind of owner's advocate and getting those outcomes embedded into the process early on, and less focused on that prescriptive design path, more focused on the outcome and what's the agile way we're going to get there, you know, it's stressful.
But yeah, maybe, I mean, I think honestly from a design firms perspective, I think just doing the simple things right. And getting to controls installed par how they're supposed to be. And then after that, getting the controls and saw how they're supposed to be getting data flowing, where it should be and letting the third-party vendors and, you know everything else kind of.
Fall detection, diagnostics, everything else, you know, that can come after once you got well-organized foundations. I think that if, as an industry, we just focused on getting that foundation right and leaving it open for technologies that we haven't even considered yet are still being built as we speak.
So that's, I feel like is the most important thing.
James Dice: [00:22:56] Yeah. I mean, I feel like that owner's advocate owner's rep commissioning role really suits itself really well for just kind of expanding beyond just HVAC performance and controls into the broader technology.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:23:10] I think so and again, you know, been brought up before, but just it's a fragmented industry and how it's funded, how it can still very linear.
You know, it hasn't changed that much since I got into it back in 2000. I mean, the tools are a little bit different, but it's still we're producing construction documents to bid competitively, low bid wins and low bid gets in and gets out as quick as they can. And at the end of the project, everyone's mad and everyone's trying to, you know, that's just across the board, that part hasn't changed too much, you know, clearly there's lots of exceptions to that.
That's a generalization, but in general, the margins are pretty tight. So you don't have a whole lot of time at the end of the project, which is the most important part to, you know, that bridging that gap between construction and operations is still open. And we'll see, you know, and that there's lots of conversations.
Again, throwing in the digital twin into that, which I feel like is different again. But and I, I personally feel that the success for the whole digital twin concept moving forward, will be doing those simple things right. You know, what it really is the digital twin at the end of the day, it's the dream that we were sold 15 years ago by rabbit when we were transitioning, I'm old enough where we transitioned from 2D CAD to Rev It. And I was a much bigger transition because back then we had to put a new server ax and upsize the pipe to, you know, to literally increase the bandwidth, to deal with this new software.
But we were sold, you know, it's going to be able to design better. You're going to have, you know, clash detection, scheduled time savings, et cetera. And also by the way, it's going to be this facilities management operations tool. So it's great for the owner too. And we were like, okay, sounds good, in theory.
And in 2004, you're like, I guess, you know, but 2021 you're still like, you still didn't do that. You know? So I feel like if we just focused on delivering an asset model that was properly populated with the right bits. And again, we've tried to do that for years as commissioning agents with a systems manual.
So that, that just needs to be standardized. Deliverable of a spatially accurate proper agile asset registry into a model. And I feel like that hopefully going back to the car and the stick, that's probably a stick that's needed and then the car can be the live data and the analytics and everything else to build on top of that foundation.
James Dice: [00:25:19] Totally. Two questions here. I'm going to try not to forget the second one. The first one is if, if like the smart building consultant kind of morphs out of this commissioning role. How do you see the MSI as being different?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:25:31] Well, again, I think the MSI's role kind of grown out of controls contractors generally here in the States.
We're doing a lot of work in Europe now. And in Ireland specifically, coincidentally kind of see it over there in Ireland and the UK is kind of growing out more of the IT side of things and maybe low-voltage IT kind of site. So yeah, I mean, I'd say the MSI role is traditionally contractors and smart building consultants are traditionally, you know, engineering consultants and traditional consultants.
So that's roughly how I see it. It's not always that way. There's good unicorn hybrids in between there.
James Dice: [00:26:07] Yeah. Second question. I've been talking about the independent data layer a lot. Where do you see that coming in in the context of this digital twin and that kind of where does that show up?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:26:18] Well, I think probably the, the issue now is just, there's so many point solutions and so many siloed, you know, this, someone's got a sensor for XYZ, whether it's air quality or people counting or acoustics or, or whatever. And just that I feel like clients are, our clients at least are kind of overwhelmed with how many different pilot projects of point solutions that they have.
And there's no real, even air quality sensors, right, well, we're going to try brand X and they've got a dashboard. What about brand Y? They've got dashboard. They don't talk to each other. I got one sensor that needs to go on in and outdoor air duct, and one sensor that used to go on a wall and they're completely different.
And so just get grabbing that data and pushing it to a database that the owner owns or controls. And then, you know, the whole concept of a single pane of glass, but now the whole concept of what if we want to change out that single pane of glass? Yeah. What do you do then and where, where does that leave your data infrastructure?
So I think our more sophisticated clients right now are asking those questions and super focused on how we're acquiring that data, organizing it, pushing it up to their cloud and and not so much super focused on the MSI itself for the single bed is still clearly need to bring that to one place to, to help the operations team.
But then how, how does that back into an enterprise solution? How does that back into outset? How do you take it from a single bespoke customized solution for building A and back it into 70 other buildings or 90 other buildings that we, that we have across the portfolio. So everyone's got a superstar gem and, you know, jewel in the crown building, but then how do you, how do you get back that into the rest of the buildings?
So that's where most of the conversations are today, I'd say.
James Dice: [00:28:02] Really cool. And you mentioned before we hit record that this podcast came up in a project meeting recently?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:28:09] Oh, well, I'd say not so much the podcast specifically, but I feel like it's a, it's kind of really cool to hear terminology that we know that's been, just talked about in this circle to come up in a project meeting on the other side of the planet, you know? So I think kudos to you for providing this forum for all the nerds to kind of get together and talk about that, specifically on the pro gathering, I guess. You know, so the conversations that I hear in the pro member gathering that actually coming out in real project meetings from multiple people who are listening to the same thing, but to put it really in a really positive way, so it's putting some charity to, I mean, you could go with buzzwords here for the whole hour and people have said like, wait, what are you talking about? You know? So like when you cut through that , right. Well, really what is that? You know, what is that independent data layer? What is a digital twin? So that's, that's really cool to see.
James Dice: [00:28:53] Yeah. I even heard recently, yesterday, I think it was, heard from one of our pro members who's developing a new product. And he wrote me an email and said, you know, we just released our new product. And I got feedback from, like he listed out like six or seven different pro members. Like all these people that had met in our pro gatherings and then they had like, basically collaborated on this new product.
And I was just like, that is so like how long would it have taken that person without the community, without all these people that are just willing to help them out? How long would it have taken him to get real feedback like that? And so those sorts of things are happening all the time and I just can't help, but just like smile in awe.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:29:34] Yeah. Yeah. You have to sit back and have a little giggle when you see those things happening.
James Dice: [00:29:39] Amazing.
Let's talk about thank you for that update on like, just like how construction is evolving, because that's one, the number one core course questions I get, you know, I kind of present out this kind of like.
Generic construction process in the course. And then I kind of highlighted all the ways in which things break down. But it's helpful for me to get kind of an update on how things are evolving to kind of avoid those things breaking down. So thank you. Let's talk a little bit about HVAC. So let's talk a lot about HVAC.
So in 2021, obviously HVAC has become very famous. And so kind of as we're, we're, we're mid may right now, 2021. And so we're kind of like the lights at the end of the tunnel, right. As far as the pandemic goes. So talk to me about like the state of HVAC design where we're at right
now. Yeah. Well, let's say hopefully the lights, the end of the tunnel.
I, you put me onto another good podcast and I say they're packing McCormack and he's he had a good one and are we ever coming back? And so I think that was a couple of months ago at this point. And I had. I agreed with the majority of these points, I guess, you know, there's a few that I didn't agree with, but I was like, well, very well put together asset.
And I love that he has had a few other really good on sightsee up then the API one was really good as well. But yeah, we are, I'm sitting in my office here today. I will stand on my office here today. Our office is built out for 85 people or maybe still single digits here today. This whole building is a million square foot.
And I know from having, you know, not a generalized your hair, still single digits occupancy. So I think we're tentatively coming back. And I would say that with the caveat, that again, we're doing really well with vaccines. And I know anecdotally that we're pretty much at a hundred percent vaccinated here in our, what our gang.
So. I'd say that is, is given some of our clients a little anxiety in that, Hey, we talk, everyone's going to be back when they got vaccinated. Now everyone's going to be back on the ladder, got better. And it's a summer holiday, you know, summer time. And so I think now September is kind of, you know, we've told our principals come, you know, gotta be back here in July and everyone else gotta be back in in September.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:31:41] So I think there's still a lot of uncertainty there, but yes, I think the last year plus we've been grappling with ASHRAE guidelines, CDC guidelines, what's the right thing to do? What's the right technology to, what do we need to do to impart a sense of trust and transparency and confidence in building operations that, Hey, yes. Safe to come back to the office. It's okay. So I think the majority of the initial early, you know, April 2020 conversations, were, Hey, can you check? Tell Tyler to write a little report to tell our tenants how much ventilation, how, you know, what Merv rating our filters are and what ratings, what stickers we have in the front door, you know, or whatever.
And so everyone's kind of done that. I feel like so to varying degrees of success, my personal opinion is a more, again, core is going to be focused on the data and the performance of the systems and how do we, how do we share it out data and share the performance versus putting the motor sticker on the front door.
And again, that's the love, hate relationship I have with these rating programs, because we wouldn't be probably doing commissioning and energy modeling and energy audits and retrocommissioning and philosopher lead on them and lead beating and see, and those, those certifications, pushing those into the mainstream in the first place. But, you know, even just with energy modeling where, you know, are we impacting design?
Are we doing an energy accounting? Or we just documented what happened at a hundred percent CDs? Or are we doing that energy modeling up front? Like I said, to impact design decisions Same with commissioning. Same with these rating systems, you know, are we just putting a sticker on the front door just to give people a sense of security and not really?
Or should we be putting that money into the systems, into upgrading the controls? Again, while building I'm a little skeptical that too. When you see Robert DeNiro and Lady Gaga in their promotional videos of maybe we're paying too much for that while building program, you know, so. These are for profit organizations I think they're public benefit corporations or whatever they call them, but they're not. You know, I'm on the board of three nonprofits.
So I kinda get like, get a little irked when I see those kinds of things. But I'd say taking care of those basics, everyone's kind of got, you know, again, Chicago, pretty progressive market, local Trina and United engineers here. Everyone's doing a good job. So generally it was, yep. We're, we're hitting the Mark and we're going to Chicago.
Ventilating code is a very, is more stringent than Asher 62.1, any Nash or 62.1 is that, I mean, again, that's probably part of the problems of our design and construction industry is that we're so focused on these minimum standards. That's a, you know, a minimally acceptable standard for indoor air quality.
So clearly we're should be so focused on something above minimally acceptable. And and that's, that's where we're at right now. And he's luckily in Chicago, Chicago, my planning codes, those more stringent and are to be bringing in more outdoor air. And so most of it. Most of the bigger buildings have the ability to go full up economizer and clearly can't do that when it's negative 20 outside or when it's 95 degrees outside.
Most of the buildings would have had at a minimum Murph 13 filters. You know, again, I feel like a lot of the conversations revolve around the big giant towers downtown, and again, you know, it got, I remember the schools and everyone else that's been struggling. And so most of them that's a completely different conversation, same system, same problems, completely different problems.
I should say, you know, they've got eight filters and never, it was just, yeah, you'd be surprised with some of the stories we've, we've come across in school districts with people trying to save energy and shouldn't have to wear diapers and broken actuators on, on unit ventilators and whatnot. But yeah, you know, I'd say.
The workplace office buildings. Don't just trying to get tenants back, you know, trying to attract them back downtown. What can we, what, what, what can building owners put in, in, in their lobby, tenant amenities, attend engagement apps, et cetera. So they, the good ones I feel like have been focused on We're working with Sterling Bay here in Chicago.
They're very progressive very progressive developer, owner, operator. They've really pushed push the boundaries on getting that real time data into their tenants hands to give them that kind of trust and transparency. So you live or die by the data at the end of the day, not the sticker on the front door.
James Dice: [00:35:41] Yeah. What are some of the things that they're doing well? And some of the things that others are not doing well?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:35:46] Well, like I said, they have the advantage of you know, there a developer who, you know, they would have developed McDonald's global headquarters are Google's Midwest headquarters.
Those kinds of, you know, high-end buildings are just came out of the ground in the last four or five years. So they've invested in good HVAC systems. So it's less about for them, it's about communicating what the good work they've already done. It wasn't a whole lot of big capital changes that they had to do.
Interesting. I'd say that. I mean, you got our end of the scale is your, I mean, we're talking about eight class players there, you know classic commercial office buildings. The other players are the, you know, the B and C players that just either didn't do anything or are waiting for people to come back or hadn't been kind of progressive and proactive and.
You know, I think if you're not moving forward, you're dying in this industry at the moment and you're, you just have to do something. So even working with some of those, quote unquote B class buildings, which are just on the West Loop or not, you know, old hundred year old loft buildings, I'd never had the best HVAC to begin with itself.
Seeing investments there in new air handling units, new controls, you know, again, trying to up their game there. So that's been a, well, I guess the people have been doing well as the people who haven't been doing anything, you know, just hoping people come back. Totally. I think there's a degree of nervousness and anxiety, as I said, that that business model even still works.
So that's, there are generally building owners are finding money from somewhere, but it's more of that we have to do. This is not a nice to do.
James Dice: [00:37:19] Got it.
Hey guys, just another quick note from our sponsor nexus labs. And then we'll get back to the show. This episode is brought to you by nexus foundations, our introductory course on the smart buildings industry. If you're new to the industry, this course is for you. If you're an industry vet, but want to understand how technology is changing things.
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I want to ask you a little bit more about design HVAC design, but I want to set that aside because We're really talking about kind of proving indoor air quality to tenants and trying to get them to come back.
Right. So can you talk a little bit more about the types of data that you, you said data is key to this verifying? What types actually data are you talking about and let's build on what Aaron Lapsley talked about? So I think he introduced, a and we'll link to that episode as well. Aaron introduced the five different types of sensors that are packaged into reset.
So can you talk about kind of like the keys to the, doing the data piece of indoor air quality well?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:38:35] Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, again, kind of in the wild West here , on the sensor front and the enhanced air cleaning front and all that. So I think if you boil it down again, we believe strongly in the reset air standard.
That's kind of in our opinion that the go to global standard for air quality, you can get the certification. Put the sticker on the front door, but I think more importantly, you can follow the standards and that's the big differentiator for reset. So in following the standards, you're looking at tree target of pollutants and temperature and relative humidity, your three targets pollutants are CO2
obviously we emit CO2. It's a natural human bio affluence. So that is a good proxy for how well or how poorly ventilated the space is. Particulate matter again, would have been a big concern for some of our West coast clients with forest fires and that I, everything and, and actually concern globally, you know, a lot of these sensors and initiatives came out with a Chinese market because the outdoor air quality so bad with smog and you know, it, wasn't unusual to see people walking up and down the street back then.
And, you know, it was more of a badge of honor in China to have a reset o just displaying air quality information in your lobby versus or a lead gold plaque on the wall or whatever. So particulate matter and then kind of new context these days with Obviously particularly in spreading the whole infectious infectious disease conversation and then VOC, TVOCs.
So total volatile organic compounds, basically the chemicals in the air. And that's been kind of in our, in our mindset for many years, but we're working on lead projects and we need to flush out building, the offgassing of carpets and glues and heroes and paints and furniture. You know, when you walk into a building or, you know, you get that new car smell, that's chemicals, right?
You don't want to be sitting all day and in that. And so they're the three target pollutants that the data has got it on.
James Dice: [00:40:18] What does the conversation right now look like between the landlord and the tenant or the occupants basically saying, look, we have this standar that we've met.
And here's some trends like now they're showing.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:40:31] Yeah. That's a very, yeah, it's an interesting question because that's very different, right? Because you know what a landlord can do and can control the landlord, generally controls the base building systems. So we'll look at reset no differently than, than lead, right?
You can do lead corn shell and lead Carson anteriors and likewise at recess. And you're looking at different sensors. So I think from a landlord's perspective promising the tenant, that from the moment that CFM of air passes through the outdoor air intake and through the coils and through the filters and the enhanced air cleansing, if you have it or whatever to the demising wall of the tenant space that we're delivering the highest quality air.
And that's our promise to you. Landlord doesn't really control what happens after that landlord can't control if the tenant shoves 10 people into a conference room, if the tenant puts a carpet or paint or whatever, that's going to set off the VOC levels. There's different sensor types for that are going to go into base systems versus going to the wall for a tenant space.
And so then probably the more progressive clients we're working with on the tenant side are deploying these indoor air quality sensors, full, full coverage across their entire enterprise, beyond the wall, the tenant. Yeah. And then they're pushed back and the landlord's going, Hey, how come this is happening?
How come this is happening? And so so yeah, there's, it's an interesting dynamic between the tenant and the landlord.
James Dice: [00:41:50] The new sensors.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:41:52] No generally the tenant will put those sensors in and yeah. And they're, you know why they are doing is to better understand how their space is being utilized to push notifications to employees.
If temperature's getting too hot, I've got a sensor behind me right here, and I can tell that it's a little toasty in my office today. So, but I'm not going to the chief engineer is a friend of mine, so I can't really bug him too much. But then also, you know, tracking temperature and relative humidity and really thermal comfort is still as much of a just the whole concept of healthy buildings, you know, it's not a new concept.
I mean, even Dr. Joel Allen's book was published prior to the pandemic. I always think that's really cool because it's such a, still a go-to for every one of these metrics afterwards.
James Dice: [00:42:36] Yeah.
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:42:36] So not new concept, maybe just looking at it in a slightly different context. We're not so focused on the productivity of the employee anymore.
Right. Maybe it's just getting the employee to actually come downtown and go to the office is more important.
James Dice: [00:42:47] Absolutely. Yeah.
It's interesting that the landlords don't, I mean, I understand why from a financial standpoint, why they're not installing new sensors everywhere, but that's the data that they need to convince the occupants to come back.
And so it's interesting to me that they sort of stop at the tenant wall because like, you can't really prove anything about a space. If you stop there. Like return
air, you can do some stuff. Right?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:43:12] Right, right. Yeah. I mean, amenity spaces, conference centers, lobbies fitness centers. Definitely.
We're, we're going full coverage on those types of spaces for landlords. And again, given, you know, if you want to go do a yoga class at lunchtime, or want to check, see how many people are in the fitness center and what's the the air quality. So that they're the types of mainstream metrics that landlords are given their tenants.
James Dice: [00:43:35] Really cool.
Talk to me about snake oil.
Yeah. It is the wild West here. So you said wild, wild West, but I'm just sort of like coming up with a couple of different articles, you know, once a month or so in the newsletter.
So what do you, I mean?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:43:53] There's a lot of green washing going on right now. I mean, some of it is harmless enough.
I mean, the stickers on the door , I wouldn't count it as greenwashing, that's just one . You know, and again, at the end of the day, like I said, love, hate relationship, all of that. And even while, I mean, it's still a good process for formally documenting best practices and showing the public that you formally document that those best practices.
So I'm okay with that in general. I think where I got kind of where I started to think of the, the monorail episode of the Simpsons is when you know, you get the enhanced air cleaning strategies and that, that whole sales pitch of bipolar ionization, dry hydrogen peroxide, you know, the list goes on and on.
I would say UVGI has been kind of a tried and trusted solution. You know, if we were going to go, one of them, you'd get, go with that. And that's kind of ASHRAE, I've said so much that it's been tried and trusted. I've also said that kind of buyer beware and all the other stuff.
It's not peer reviewed. There's no scientific peer reviewed data on it. There's no scientific data on how it's being used and some scientific data is available like for bipolar ionization. That one just blows my mind. I mean, it's been tested in a cube the size of a shoe box, and nobody's ever really tested it in the real world.
And yet it's just now you're starting to see the lawsuits pop up and you're starting to see and I feel like it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better because people don't know. They just see, okay, cleans the air. That's a good sales pitch. I got a couple of million bucks I'm going to go buy to stuff and starting to see, you know, some worrying trends.
And, I would say, you know, again, carrot and stick it. Yeah. going to monitor this data that we just talked about to, to provide that sense of trust and transparency, or do you have to monitor it? And I think now you've started to see some, some glimmers of that happening in California, where if you're going to avail of that cares act funding and the local California funding for schools specifically, you have to make at least the CO2 data available to the AHCA.
So if you're a teacher in a classroom, you must have access to the CO2 data for your classroom. And that creates a whole host of other questions on equity and you know, which teacher gets the sensor or which teacher gets the sensor to actually automates a damper And, so they're the types of things that are starting to bubble up as issues now.
So as I said, it's probably going to get worse before it gets better, but it reminds me a little bit of the whole led lights thing a few years ago. You know, it's just similar kind of wild West and then I think we're going to end up, you know, quite possibly what worse our quality than better.
I mean, if we're putting in technologies that are going to emit ozone, or we're not quite sure of how they're going to react five years down the line, or are they going to oxidize? We're putting positively and negatively charged ions into the Airstream and people are breeding those in, how does that impact people?
Who knows? We don't know, it might be no problem, but until we tested until there's some science to back it up we're engineers at the end of the day, we were very risk averse in that regard. So we try to keep it in line with ASHRAE guidelines.
James Dice: [00:46:44] Totally.
So you guys have come out with your own software platform with you.
Obviously it's aligned with the non snake oil, that conversation. Can you, can you tell
him more about this thing?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:46:58] Yeah, no. I mean, I think at the end of the day, what we've really just put together is a, a nice little software platform that focuses on the data organizing that data just happens to be IQ data.
Again, I think we, we built it ourselves for our own aid. We do a lot of reset projects. And so this is a re reset accredited data platform. So we're one of 10 trusted platforms to, if you're going to do a reset project anywhere you know, we're one of 10 choices. But I guess our frustration was with the sensors that are out there.
Again, again, I would say, do not purchase a, an IAQ sensor unless it's approved by reset. And then even at that, you know, you need to leave yourself flexible while I want to. I'm probably telling you our favorite one is Ty Tara. The Cartera sensitive committee and, you know, we don't have any affiliations with Katara or, you know, if there's you know, finding analysis has one I think is better.
Give me a call and we can talk about it, but we liked that one just because it's easy to calibrate. You just pop in and out of the car, anxious, you know, so you don't have to take it off the wall and mail it back to the factory, like you need to do with the other ones. And but I guess more so they sell sensors, all of those guys, South central, they don't really sell good visual packages.
They don't sound good analytics packages. And so again, we've built the platform on top of sky sparks has got, it's got a good analytics engine and best-in-class analytics engine. I think we're, you know, just like we've always been committed to haystack and just general data organization. So making that data available between whatever different sensor technology and, and the thing.
The sensors are, I mean, just that whole landscape is moving so fast. You don't know who's going to get venture capital next and who's going to build a next best widget and so less focused on the widgets and more focused on the data that comes from the widgets. And how do we, how do we pull that together?
And I'd say, you know, really more than anything else is trying to provide context between air quality, energy usage and thermal comfort, and ultimately people counting. So, you know, you tell me that my building told me they saved 40% energy in the last six months. I'd be like, well, geez, I'm still feeling a little warm in here, you know?
So let's go, what's up with that. Maybe you should have been using a little more energy or, you know, you need to provide more context on those energy savings. Did you save them because you shipped out the on birth and how does that impact the air quality? I would say impact the terminal comfort. How does that, how many people were even here to, get that impact of building performance?
So I think overall providing that content context and, and really we're kind of. Democratizing the whole data set that hasn't been available. Right? So we've, we've literally, it's the name of that side of the energy temperature controls industry. So we, we control things, so you're not too hot or you're not too cold, so it can be not too hot, not too cold, but even horrible air quality.
I can, you know, that can be, I can be in a school district. That's not too hot, not too cold, but horrible energy performer or a great energy performer. Cause they shut the out the right opera just to keep everyone comfortable with the air. Again, the air quality is horrible. So again, Carrie, there's a couple of different, extreme examples you could give there, but the sweet spot is getting air quality, thermal comfort, energy use, and the people that it serves.
And so we're trying to keep it simple, you know, trying to. Just a one, one problem that we saw in the industry and, and just build and grow it from there. So, so yeah, it's been going well, we're actually, we've been going very well. We started kind of had a soft, soft launch before Christmas of 2020, and again, kind of right time, right place for that kind of product.
And I guess we had the luxury of starting to, but we've been building platforms for other people. It's kind of pulling in disparate data, datasets and bespoke kind of solutions. And this was something that we said, you know what? We should just focus on this one problem and build, build, build a really good, cool best in class solution to this one problem and grows from there.
And so we didn't have, again, the benefit of. Well, we had the benefit of creating during the pandemic when these problems, and we weren't like, well, we used to be this, but now we're a room booking system, or we used to be this, or now we're something else that's not, you know, not quite what we were trying to hit on this new issue.
So we're able to build it from ground up, purely focused on this kind of the new issues. Cool.
Really cool.
James Dice: [00:50:42] Let's circle back on design before we close out.
So where do we sit in terms of like, you have fortune 100 company over here making huge carbon neutral goals, and then you have that same company that's filling an office building. That's trying to maximize, sorry, outside of her as a designer, like how do we
rebuild a building for that moving forward?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:51:07] I mean, that's, that's the, I mean, that's the elephant in the room has to go to a shoe to fall here as I, no, one's already been talking about energy, you know? No, one's really, I mean, we're working with clients that have committed to being carbon carbon negative by 2030, and wiping their entire carbon footprint since their inception off the planet.
And, how do you do that? How do you, how do you provide con how do you provide context around you? You still clearly need to, if we're going to design a net zero building, it's very easy. If we just turn off all the lights in the HPAC and close the door, and I think someone wants that a smart building is a, is a, is a fully leased building.
I think we're getting, you know, a smart building is a, is a fully leased, fully occupied building. That's going to be the other. You know, elephant in the room here. And once we get, we get past, this is that there are, are people coming back? Are they coming back? And are we, are we, how are we attracting them back into these spaces?
But yeah, as we, as we progress on these carbon reduction goals and, you know, move to net zero energy, and I think we've been kind of fixate, I don't even going back to those comment programs we talked about. I mean, clearly they're all driven by energy, energy reduction, energy reduction, energy reduction, all these lead biggest, you know, waiting points as to the energy points.
I think again, another silver lining out of this, we'll be stepping back and taking a more holistic view of building performance. And for us, that was always, you know, we did the first reset project in North America, six, seven years ago. For us air quality, indoor environmental quality was always our differentiator between energy company, a and energy company.
B is that we, you know, we were looking at the big picture, so it's a little bit of a vindication on that approach for ourselves. But yeah, you have to, you can't, it's just putting all the different metrics and contexts you have to, you know, you can kind of look at them in a siloed approach anymore.
Yeah. That's one
of my favorite things about, like, if you look at what happened in the last year, so many different aspects of the silos that are in our industry, They all became a little bit weaker, right? Like the argument to maintain the silos. It just became a little bit weaker in so many different ways.
Software processes just everywhere.
Yep. Yep. And so I think we're, we're back again was like air quality and energy have traditionally been two ships passing in the night as my friend Piki chief engineer says, so we just have to have to bring that balance back together. Awesome.
James Dice: [00:53:25] What else are you looking forward to the rest of this year?
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:53:29] Well, honestly, There's the, the, the projects that are in the pipeline here that has been designed or had the ability to kind of impact design post pandemic. There's, there's, there's a lot, really good high quality product coming to the market here. And I think that, again, that's good news for, for the market and probably less good news for the BNC class players that, you know there's going to be a flight to quality.
I think that's been said before, and I think that's true. If you're gonna attract people into these spaces, they need to be the best of the best. So excited to see that we're working with Pines on on we call them Teatree projects. I got DRA shacks in there. I can't really say a tree. It's not a tree, like a light grows out of the ground.
Well, it is the girls out of the ground. It's that heavy timber buildings, but a timber technology and transportation. Okay. And so we've got, yeah, we're probably on. Number 12 or 13 of those coming out with the ground here and just they're super high-end sustainable buildings. So that's cool. That's exciting.
And then honestly, just seeing that Backhouse conversation come in front of house and quite literally the things that we've been talking about for years, when you see to the leasing folks talking about it and you see it, you know, Chicago Tribune, headlines on it and you know, CNN articles on it, you know, I think it's it's exciting.
It's going to be a little bit anxiety for some of us to kind of signed for him. Nigga, you got to live up to your design, right? You got, now you're gonna have all these, the post-doc the evaluation process. It's going to be focused on outcomes and we're under pressure to outcomes operators under pressure, how it comes to level of expectations have gone through the roof.
But It's good for the industry because we needed that kick in the bow, I think, just to get ourselves together. And I think we needed something collective to kind of, I mean, unfortunately it was a global pandemic to make us focus on, well, what can we, what can we do here as an industry to push this thing forward?
But yeah, I think it's all positive stuff. All good stuff, looking forward to it. Awesome.
James Dice: [00:55:20] Well, thanks so much for listening to all the past shows coming on for
Ruairi Barnwell: [00:55:26] your own episode. I appreciated learning design. Yeah. Good stuff. My daughters will be, it'll be glad to hear. I was actually on the podcast, so I'll have to have them listen to good self all the textile chains.
Yeah. Appreciate it. And look forward to chatting again.

Jim Whalen: [00:55:46] All right, friends. Thanks for listening to this episode of the nexus podcast for more episodes like this, and to get the weekly nexus newsletter, which by the way, readers have said is the best way to stay up to date on the future of the smart building industry. Please subscribe@nexuslabs.online. You can find the show notes for this conversation there as well. Have a great day.