3 min read

How to score "smart" [Nexus Newsletter #73]

Plus Haystack Connect, Carrier's new "platform", and what is a CSBO?

Hey friends,

Our recent podcast episode with the WiredScore team aired just before they launched SmartScore, their scorecard for commercial office building intelligence.

At the launch, which I recommend watching, WiredScore unveiled their 3-step framework for scoring how smart a building is:

  1. Determine the outcomes you’re trying to achieve
  2. Assess how well those outcomes are met through user functionalities
  3. Assess how well the existing infrastructure enables those functionalities

This division between outcomes and infrastructure is a key differentiator of SmartScore and I think it’s spot on. You first define “smart” in your terms (point B), assess where you are today (point A), and then create a plan that gets from point A to B.

We run into trouble when we don’t take this holistic, top-down approach to smart building planning. If we take a bottom-up approach, where we focus on upgrading infrastructure first, we risk spending money enabling outcomes we didn’t want or need. If we take a narrow approach by focusing on just one outcome or use case, we risk adding yet another silo with minimal functionality for only a subset of users.

And the value of this framework isn’t limited to office buildings… it applies across the entire built world. Each type of building has jobs-to-be-done, stakeholders that care about how well those jobs are being done, and ways technology can help do those jobs better. Each building has existing infrastructure that is either helping or hurting those jobs.

Serendipitously, WiredScore’s framework matches how I’ve structured our Foundations course curriculum. It’s scary how close it is, considering they were developed independently.

🎵 Here’s a quick clip from the podcast when I realized we were playing from the same sheet of music.

🧱 Join the waitlist for Nexus Foundations to hear about the next cohort.

At the Nexus

Here’s what we published this week:

🎙️ Podcast #048 with Andrew Rodgers: This is a follow-up from our first episode with Andrew on defining ‘open.’ This time we dove into the independent data layer of the stack, and specifically how the open-source software Volttron plays in this arena.


📰 April 2021 Digest (Pro members only): Covers everything our members need to know from the month, summarizing podcast episodes, our member gathering that featured a presentation on IAQ from Aaron Lapsley, and the best chatroom discussions.


🏷️ John Petze on Project Haystack’s First 10 years: Nexus Labs is a proud media sponsor of the Haystack Connect conference, which starts today. You can still register for free. In this quick video clip, John summarizes Haystack from idea to present day.

Signal vs. Noise

Only the best smart building resources we consumed this week…

The SmartScore Whitepaper: A high-level overview of the SmartScore system.

What has become clear is that ‘smart’ is an opaque subject for the industry – there is little agreement regarding what matters in a smart building: how to create one, how to work with the supply chain, or even what ‘smart’ itself means. This white paper provides clarity.


Carrier introduces Abound: One year after breaking off as an independent company, Carrier throws their hat in the cloud software ring. This is a crowded ring, which includes the big 4 and the many digital twin and IWMS companies that all seem to be converging onto the same overlay “platform” opportunity.


The Rise of the Chief Smart Building Officer: In our Nexus Foundations course, we talk about the role of the Smart Building Champion and how vital it is for this industry’s transformation. We talk about how we all need the mindset of a champion. This article takes that one step further, saying the champion should be on the executive team.

“This role has the challenge of aligning many different stakeholders and their goals ranging from energy and NOI to security and tenant experience and beyond.”

That’s all for this week—thanks for reading the Nexus newsletter by Nexus Labs, a blog, podcast, membership community, and online school for smart people applying smart building technology—written by me, James Dice. If you’re new to Nexus, you might want to start here.