🎧 #029: Google's plan for smart buildings at scale

  
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“Google operates at such a scale that we're often the largest customer of any given system in any domain, whether it's a physical security system or an HVAC head-end, you know, et cetera, et cetera, … to the point where we start breaking these things. Scale really is, with traditional approaches, oftentimes a barrier.

And the whole goal of what we’re trying to do in the smart buildings world is turn that on its head, and use the scale to our advantage rather than have it hold us back. ”

—Keith Berkoben

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 29 is a conversation with Trevor Sodorff of DB Engineering and Keith Berkoben of Google. These are two of the people responsible for rolling out the smart buildings program worldwide at Google.

Summary

We talked about many of the topics we’ve been covering for a while here on the podcast, like analytics, data modeling, and supervisory control; but this conversation was about doing all of that at scale - doing it worldwide. And how Google is doing that is pretty impressive.

Of course, we covered the digital building ontology effort as well, where the team is trying to make a lot of their data modeling work public, so that others can take advantage of it.

Mentions and Links

  1. DB Engineering (1:06)

  2. Switch Automation, SkySpark, Iconics (5:53)

  3. RMI article on Google’s load shifting effort (10:41)

  4. Digital Buildings Ontology (21:00)

  5. Brick, Haystack (24:22)

  6. RDF (45:48)

  7. Brian Turner, Buildings IOT and his article on Automated Buildings (50:28)

  8. Apache Beam (59:39)

You can find Trevor Sodorff and Keith Berkoben on LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

Thoughts, comments, reactions? Let us know in the comments.

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Music credit: The Garden State by Audiobinger


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:

  • My reaction, including highlights:

    • James’ favorite question - Keith’s straightforward take; Trevor’s frustrating experience with vendor lock-in / interoperability - tied together with Keith’s analogy to the airline industry and electronic medical records

    • Impetus for Google’s digital buildings project and where it fits with the company’s broader initiatives

    • Walking through the progression of their rollout and why they chose not to use other industry standards

    • given creation of own ontology, vision for industry convergence; and response from the industry at this point

    • diving into the applications, and DB Engineering’s unique perspective on FDD

    • Lessons learned from rolling out this project at scale

  • Full transcript

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