4 min read

#65: Google's decarbonization metrics & a new data layer startup

Plus COVID-19 and building tech, PassiveLogic on disruption, and more
“If you want to disrupt an industry, build your own thesis, then teach the market.”

—Troy Harvey

Good morning!

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

Here’s an outline of this week’s newsletter:

  1. 🤔  On my mind this week: Passionate students!
  2. 💡 Insights: Mapped comes out of stealth mode, PassiveLogic’s plan for their series A, and a new CABA report on COVID-19
  3. Brand new stuff: A new podcast
  4. 🧱  Foundations: A perfect day in the life
  5. 🌎  Diversions: Google’s project prioritization metrics for decarbonization


1. 🤔 On my mind this week

As has been the theme lately, I’m fully immersed in Nexus Foundations again this week. Our first call was so much fun and I was blown away by the dedication of our APAC region friends, who joined us in the middle of the night!

Lots of passion in our community!

2. 💡 Insights

Only the best smart building resources we consumed this week…


Welcome to Mapped—I first met Shaun Cooley, CEO of Mapped, at our January Nexus Pro member gathering. Shaun popped up on Zoom out of nowhere and started saying very insightful things.

Mapped is now out of stealth mode and this article explains the company and what they do. I think it explains the integration problem and independent data layer opportunity well.

The industrial and commercial industries’ answer to all of this is protocol standardization. Unfortunately, the industry has gone in at least 20 different directions, putting us back in the same boat — but just over IP this time.

We’ll unpack this in an upcoming podcast and at the March member gathering, where the theme will be the independent data layer.


Intelligent Buildings and COVID-19—A new CABA research report prepared by Frost & Sullivan. This is the executive summary and key findings. While it’s a good summary that’s certainly worth a skim, I think we need more real-world examples and concrete details for people like me that put in the time to read 35+ pages!


With Focus on Deep Tech, PassiveLogic Reinvents Building Control—A good write-up on PassiveLogic and how they’re looking to build their own thesis, then teach the market.

“…recently one of their lead investors introduced him to the CEO of the largest building automation company in the country. The CEO told Harvey, “In the last month, I haven’t  had a conversation with anybody in the whole industry where PassiveLogic wasn’t brought up.”

This installment of NEXUS is free for everyone. If you would like to get full access to all content, join the NEXUS Pro community. Members get exclusive access to the Nexus Vendor Landscape, monthly events, weekly-ish deep dives, a private chatroom, and all past deep dives.

Join NEXUS Pro

3. Brand new stuff

Everything Nexus created this week…


PODCAST—🎧 #040: Jeremy Macdonald on sustainability, ESG, and where analytics fit

  • We talked about the ins and outs of outsourced facility management companies, and how they serve building owners and occupants.
  • Then we took a bit of a deep dive into today's trends around sustainability, ESG, and where analytics fits into the equation.


VENDOR UPDATE—Even though the Nexus Vendor Landscape has 150+ vendors on it, I still learn about new companies/products to track every week. Here is this week’s discovery:

Mapped—These guys have been in the Nexus Pro community for several months and they’re now out of stealth mode. They’re an independent data layer startup… coming soon to the podcast. Their announcement is above.

4. 🧱 Foundations

Bite-sized learnings for newcomers to the smart buildings industry courtesy of the Nexus Foundations course. To be notified when we launch Cohort 3, join the waitlist here.


A lot of our focus in week two of the course, which we’re putting the finishing touches on now, is on studying how humans currently use a building and the systems in it. The crux of this is the “day-in-the-life” exercise, which reveals so much insight into the status quo and the opportunities for new technology.

Here’s a futuristic example of a perfect day in the life of a perfectly smart building that I like to share to get the juices flowing:

How far are we away from giving all of us Franks a day like this?

5. 🌎  Diversions

Technology resources from outside of the built environment. What might we apply in our industry?


24/7 Carbon-Free Energy: Methodologies and Metrics—This provides a lot of the context behind our popular podcast episode on Google’s plan for smart buildings at scale. Sharing because this can help other building owners prioritize their projects based on their decarbonization potential.

“Using these two scores, as well as other criteria, we are able to prioritize new projects for possible inclusion in our portfolio.”

In September 2020, Google announced their most ambitious clean energy commitment yet: by 2030, they intend to operate entirely on 24/7 carbon-free energy (CFE) at all data centers and campuses worldwide. This paper provides a detailed overview of their current CFE framework and methodology.

OK, that’s all for this week—thanks for reading Nexus!