Article
Founder Note
12
min read

The Design Consultant

November 29, 2022

This edition of the Nexus Newsletter is brought to you by BrainBox AI and Clockworks Analytics.


Hey friends,

As we celebrate the holidays and start to wind down the year, I'm reflecting on the progress in our industry in 2022.

One definite area of progress is defining the specialist roles needed to make smart buildings successful. In this series, we're summarizing five vital roles that every smart building program needs on the team.

We talk a lot about the flashy new technology required for smart buildings. But we must always remember that when we're changing how things are done, it's people that make it happen.  Here are the five roles we're going to cover:

  1. The Smart Building Champion (last week)
  2. The Design Consultant
  3. The Master Systems Integrator
  4. The Network Manager
  5. The Commissioning Agent

At the end of the series, we'll turn this into our latest whitepaper. Before then, we'd love to hear from you: are you playing one of these roles? What are your keys for success?

Let's jump in...


Role 2: The Smart Building Design Consultant

The traditional design, construction, renovation, and operations processes weren't created with holistic technology strategy in mind. If these processes are carried out as "normal", we get silos.

Therefore, it's vital that someone takes responsibility for integrating technology into those processes. Someone must help the Smart Building Champion craft the smart building strategy and apply it to individual projects.

The team of teams needs a clear vision for how technology will achieve specific beneficial outcomes for its stakeholders. Crafting that vision requires:

  • Engaging key stakeholders
  • Defining the outcomes you're looking for from technology
  • Defining use cases
  • Assessing existing systems (as built or as designed by traditional design consultants)

In our Nexus Foundations course, we walk students through this process in the first few weeks. You'll notice it's first about human engagement before technology.

“My 80/20 rule is that it's 20% about technology—and there are a lot of technologies in a smart building. And it's 80% about people and human engineering."

—Bruce Duyshart on the Nexus Podcast

Then, when it's time to talk technology, the design consultant must champion the fundamental foundations of a smart building. They must define, educate, and sell the team of teams on the horizontal architecture.

Next, the design consultant must take that vision and integrate it into those traditional processes, from conceptual design to detailed design, through construction to operation.  

"We literally take the use cases and I embed them in the appropriate section of the spec. As in, in addition to the Division 25, which is the glue that would bring it together. Each contractors knows: these are your outcomes and these are the people you have to integrate with. And this is the manner in which I want information shared."

—Charlie Buscarino on The Nexus Podcast

Finally, this role is ultimately about addressing pushback and preempting issues. Changing the status quo is about change management, after all. The design consultant must field the pushback and facilitate the process based on their prior experience solving these same problems.

👉 Go deeper on the design consultant role:

See you next week for part 3!

What are your keys for success in this role?

—James Dice, Founder of Nexus Labs

P.S. The Nexus Pro community is your chance to rub elbows with the world's best smart buildings design consultants. Join Nexus Pro to interact with them and pick their brains.


🧠 A message from our sponsor, BrainBox AI 🧠

Transform your existing HVAC system into a predictive brain that learns precisely how to use less energy to optimize comfort in all building zones, at all times. With BrainBox AI you can reduce your carbon footprint, lower energy bills, and increase equipment life.

Learn more by checking out this success story: Westcliff shopping centre made more efficient with AI for HVAC.


✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything worth sharing from Nexus HQ this week:

---

★ PODCAST: 🎧 #128: James McGinniss on DER technology and the future of electricity consumption (Replay)Episode 128 is a replay of a previous conversation with James McGinniss, CEO of David Energy, a startup, and what I would call, The Grid-Interactive Buildings / Advanced Supervisory Control Space.

We talked about David Energy's founding story, the future of electricity consumption, and the problems David Energy solves by bridging the behind-the-meter demand-side world with the in-front-of-the-meter supply-side world with their software platform.

---

★ MEMBERS-ONLY EVENTS THIS MONTH:

  • New Member Orientation: Nexus Founder, James Dice, hosted an introduction to the Nexus Labs Community and how you access and take advantage of all the resources that come with your Pro Membership. This is for new members or those who've not taken advantage of all the resources at the Nexus Community.
  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: Pro member and Smart Buildings Programs Director at TIA, Marta Soncodi, dove deep into the UL/TIA SPIRE Smart Building Assessment program with what it is, how it works, why it's valuable, and how people can get involved.
  • Member Gathering: Global Leader in Real Estate Sustainability and ESG and Vice President of Sustainability at BXP, Ben Myers, will unpack BXP's smart buildings program. November 30th at 9 am MT

Join Nexus Pro now to get the invites and access to the recordings.

---

★ ON LINKEDIN: How Nexus is inspiring up and coming writers in our industry

---

★ JOBS: Are you hiring? Searching for a job in smart buildings?—We've relaunched the Nexus Labs Jobs Board.

It's got great jobs from PassiveLogic, Bernhard, Vigilent, Lockheed Martin, and Gridium.

🔥🔥🔥 Hot Jobs in Smart Buildings

👉 Lockheed Martin has two open positions:

  1. Building Management Systems Controls Engineer in Startford, CT.
  2. Fault Detection & Diagnostics Lead in Moorestown-Lenola, NJ.

These positions support the Smart Buildings Team within the Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems (RMS) Facilities organization. The selected candidate will initially work under the guidance of the team with the goal of quickly becoming an independent subject matter expert.

As a leading technology innovation company, Lockheed Martin’s vast team works with partners around the world to bring proven performance to our customers’ toughest challenges.


🔍 A message from our sponsor, Clockworks Analytics 🔎

The Building Analytics Comparison Guide is used by industry-leading facility teams and service provider organizations to make the jump from building automation system (BAS) alarms to prioritized and proactive maintenance using Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) software. There are actually two kinds of fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) software: those that stop at the first “D” (Detection) and those that go all the way to Diagnostics.

This guide tells the story of the second "D" and why it's so important. Get the guide here.


👋 That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday!

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways Nexus Labs can help you:

1. Take our shortcut to learning the Smart Buildings industry here (350 students and counting)

2. Join our community of smart buildings nerds and gamechangers here (450 members and counting)

3. Sponsor our newsletter & podcast & get 5k+ nerdy eyeballs and earholes on your brand, product, or business.

4. (NEW) Join the Nexus Labs Syndicate on Angellist for opportunities to invest in the best smart buildings startups that cross my desk each month.

Upgrade to Nexus Pro to continue reading

Upgrade

This edition of the Nexus Newsletter is brought to you by BrainBox AI and Clockworks Analytics.


Hey friends,

As we celebrate the holidays and start to wind down the year, I'm reflecting on the progress in our industry in 2022.

One definite area of progress is defining the specialist roles needed to make smart buildings successful. In this series, we're summarizing five vital roles that every smart building program needs on the team.

We talk a lot about the flashy new technology required for smart buildings. But we must always remember that when we're changing how things are done, it's people that make it happen.  Here are the five roles we're going to cover:

  1. The Smart Building Champion (last week)
  2. The Design Consultant
  3. The Master Systems Integrator
  4. The Network Manager
  5. The Commissioning Agent

At the end of the series, we'll turn this into our latest whitepaper. Before then, we'd love to hear from you: are you playing one of these roles? What are your keys for success?

Let's jump in...


Role 2: The Smart Building Design Consultant

The traditional design, construction, renovation, and operations processes weren't created with holistic technology strategy in mind. If these processes are carried out as "normal", we get silos.

Therefore, it's vital that someone takes responsibility for integrating technology into those processes. Someone must help the Smart Building Champion craft the smart building strategy and apply it to individual projects.

The team of teams needs a clear vision for how technology will achieve specific beneficial outcomes for its stakeholders. Crafting that vision requires:

  • Engaging key stakeholders
  • Defining the outcomes you're looking for from technology
  • Defining use cases
  • Assessing existing systems (as built or as designed by traditional design consultants)

In our Nexus Foundations course, we walk students through this process in the first few weeks. You'll notice it's first about human engagement before technology.

“My 80/20 rule is that it's 20% about technology—and there are a lot of technologies in a smart building. And it's 80% about people and human engineering."

—Bruce Duyshart on the Nexus Podcast

Then, when it's time to talk technology, the design consultant must champion the fundamental foundations of a smart building. They must define, educate, and sell the team of teams on the horizontal architecture.

Next, the design consultant must take that vision and integrate it into those traditional processes, from conceptual design to detailed design, through construction to operation.  

"We literally take the use cases and I embed them in the appropriate section of the spec. As in, in addition to the Division 25, which is the glue that would bring it together. Each contractors knows: these are your outcomes and these are the people you have to integrate with. And this is the manner in which I want information shared."

—Charlie Buscarino on The Nexus Podcast

Finally, this role is ultimately about addressing pushback and preempting issues. Changing the status quo is about change management, after all. The design consultant must field the pushback and facilitate the process based on their prior experience solving these same problems.

👉 Go deeper on the design consultant role:

See you next week for part 3!

What are your keys for success in this role?

—James Dice, Founder of Nexus Labs

P.S. The Nexus Pro community is your chance to rub elbows with the world's best smart buildings design consultants. Join Nexus Pro to interact with them and pick their brains.


🧠 A message from our sponsor, BrainBox AI 🧠

Transform your existing HVAC system into a predictive brain that learns precisely how to use less energy to optimize comfort in all building zones, at all times. With BrainBox AI you can reduce your carbon footprint, lower energy bills, and increase equipment life.

Learn more by checking out this success story: Westcliff shopping centre made more efficient with AI for HVAC.


✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything worth sharing from Nexus HQ this week:

---

★ PODCAST: 🎧 #128: James McGinniss on DER technology and the future of electricity consumption (Replay)Episode 128 is a replay of a previous conversation with James McGinniss, CEO of David Energy, a startup, and what I would call, The Grid-Interactive Buildings / Advanced Supervisory Control Space.

We talked about David Energy's founding story, the future of electricity consumption, and the problems David Energy solves by bridging the behind-the-meter demand-side world with the in-front-of-the-meter supply-side world with their software platform.

---

★ MEMBERS-ONLY EVENTS THIS MONTH:

  • New Member Orientation: Nexus Founder, James Dice, hosted an introduction to the Nexus Labs Community and how you access and take advantage of all the resources that come with your Pro Membership. This is for new members or those who've not taken advantage of all the resources at the Nexus Community.
  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: Pro member and Smart Buildings Programs Director at TIA, Marta Soncodi, dove deep into the UL/TIA SPIRE Smart Building Assessment program with what it is, how it works, why it's valuable, and how people can get involved.
  • Member Gathering: Global Leader in Real Estate Sustainability and ESG and Vice President of Sustainability at BXP, Ben Myers, will unpack BXP's smart buildings program. November 30th at 9 am MT

Join Nexus Pro now to get the invites and access to the recordings.

---

★ ON LINKEDIN: How Nexus is inspiring up and coming writers in our industry

---

★ JOBS: Are you hiring? Searching for a job in smart buildings?—We've relaunched the Nexus Labs Jobs Board.

It's got great jobs from PassiveLogic, Bernhard, Vigilent, Lockheed Martin, and Gridium.

🔥🔥🔥 Hot Jobs in Smart Buildings

👉 Lockheed Martin has two open positions:

  1. Building Management Systems Controls Engineer in Startford, CT.
  2. Fault Detection & Diagnostics Lead in Moorestown-Lenola, NJ.

These positions support the Smart Buildings Team within the Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems (RMS) Facilities organization. The selected candidate will initially work under the guidance of the team with the goal of quickly becoming an independent subject matter expert.

As a leading technology innovation company, Lockheed Martin’s vast team works with partners around the world to bring proven performance to our customers’ toughest challenges.


🔍 A message from our sponsor, Clockworks Analytics 🔎

The Building Analytics Comparison Guide is used by industry-leading facility teams and service provider organizations to make the jump from building automation system (BAS) alarms to prioritized and proactive maintenance using Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) software. There are actually two kinds of fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) software: those that stop at the first “D” (Detection) and those that go all the way to Diagnostics.

This guide tells the story of the second "D" and why it's so important. Get the guide here.


👋 That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday!

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways Nexus Labs can help you:

1. Take our shortcut to learning the Smart Buildings industry here (350 students and counting)

2. Join our community of smart buildings nerds and gamechangers here (450 members and counting)

3. Sponsor our newsletter & podcast & get 5k+ nerdy eyeballs and earholes on your brand, product, or business.

4. (NEW) Join the Nexus Labs Syndicate on Angellist for opportunities to invest in the best smart buildings startups that cross my desk each month.

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