Modern Energy Management

COVID-19 Exposes Why We Need Remote Building Management

March 31, 2020 Amber Artrip & Nate Nilles Season 1 Episode 17
Modern Energy Management
COVID-19 Exposes Why We Need Remote Building Management
Modern Energy Management
COVID-19 Exposes Why We Need Remote Building Management
Mar 31, 2020 Season 1 Episode 17
Amber Artrip & Nate Nilles

The uncertainties around COVID-19 is having a significant impact on every industry. For commercial real estate (CRE), entire office buildings are emptied with mandated work from home policies in effect. Yet, many building management teams aren't equipped to manage this shift. In the face of everything from antiquated building equipment to technologies lacking remote access, how can onsite teams ensure buildings are optimized and energy-efficient when there aren’t people in the office? Matt Ganser, EVP of Engineering & Technology at Carbon Lighthouse, joins the show to share the challenges of remote work for facility managers, including the reality that controls are not remotely accessible or adaptive to the number of people in the space. When everyone is working from home over the coming weeks (and the trend that more people work from home in general), there is a huge opportunity to reduce the carbon impact of your building and save money leveraging new CRE technologies.

If you like our show, tune in and subscribe at and please leave a review in the Apple Podcast App. 

Questions, Comments, or if you'd like to guest star on the show please email [email protected]

Show Notes Transcript

The uncertainties around COVID-19 is having a significant impact on every industry. For commercial real estate (CRE), entire office buildings are emptied with mandated work from home policies in effect. Yet, many building management teams aren't equipped to manage this shift. In the face of everything from antiquated building equipment to technologies lacking remote access, how can onsite teams ensure buildings are optimized and energy-efficient when there aren’t people in the office? Matt Ganser, EVP of Engineering & Technology at Carbon Lighthouse, joins the show to share the challenges of remote work for facility managers, including the reality that controls are not remotely accessible or adaptive to the number of people in the space. When everyone is working from home over the coming weeks (and the trend that more people work from home in general), there is a huge opportunity to reduce the carbon impact of your building and save money leveraging new CRE technologies.

If you like our show, tune in and subscribe at and please leave a review in the Apple Podcast App. 

Questions, Comments, or if you'd like to guest star on the show please email [email protected]

spk_1:   0:00
Hello, everyone, and thank you for tuning into the modern energy management podcast. This podcast is for energy, sustainability and facilities leaders to share their stories of modern energy management after organizations. My name is Amber, Our trip, and I'm the producer and co host of the show. And as always, it's a pleasure to do this show every week with my co host nation. Alice.

spk_2:   0:24
Thank you, Amber, and I think we'll have Toe will have to definitely throw out a disclaimer, you know, because of the cove it 19. A lot of people are working from home. So through this podcast it may be the 1st 1 that we may hear a random dog or kids in the background so well, last for everyone's forgiveness. But I think a lot of people are in the same place. So let's talk about real quick, just the intent of today's podcast. And I thought it was great timing when we start to think about facility management in a remote world and when we all got together and really kind of dug in, it was all around the uncertainties of covert 19 in having a significant impact on a lot of industries, but for us specifically in commercial real estate, where ah lot of them are empty. Right now we're working from home policies and yet, you know, or those buildings teams, the facilities, folks, the corporate real estate individuals, or they position to be able to manage that kind of a shift and so really excited to have Matt Gans are on the line with Carbon Lighthouse, and we would love to dig into all kinds of related topics around that. Keep it interactive. So, Matt, would you like to jump in and tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the industry?

spk_0:   1:43
Yeah, of course. I'm very excited to be here. I may definitely be one of those ah, folks who has kids or dog noises in the background. I have twin four year olds in a very precocious one year old, not to mention a dog which loves to hurt my Children. So it sounds a little cacophonous. Well, that's the cause of it. Um, so real quick, I have the privilege of leading the engineering and technology functions at Carbon Lighthouse. My quick background, uh, graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. I was mainly looking for a large sense of adventure, Uh, exciting, big engineering kind of stuff. Ah, high risk, high reward, sort of opportunities. And I got into the oil and gas industry. I did that for several years, And after doing that, um, I while doing that, I was asked to lead, um, a air pollution project. It was an attempt to reduce the nox emissions from our drilling rigs. Um, uh, for onshore land rigs. And it was really exciting because it worked. Um, And for me, it was this really cool kind of front seat view to, um, large scale energy development. Uh, it was this chance to see that, like, local towns, people's concerns, uh, traditional environmental concerns and the financial interests of companies could co exist. And that experience for me was pretty pivotal. That this can't work. You can make large scale energy development happen in a very responsible way. And that gotta but it against one of my long term interests, which was climate change. Um, And so between those experiences, I decided to go back toe grad school, spent some time there. Um, and just when my office in grad school was starting to get stacked up with surfboards and tennis rackets and that sort of thing. That's about the time that I realized I was getting a little, um, personally frustrated with the speed of research. I wanted to be back in the action. Ah, and carbon lighthouses getting started at that time. So joined Carbon Lighthouse back in 2012 and I've been here ever stuns.

spk_2:   3:56
I was going to say in that intro piece is kind of interesting, right when you think about having ah being mission driven or have a passion for sustainability. Unfortunately, don't think that everyone looks to the oil and gas companies as as Thea First landing spot out of that. So was that kind of your thought process out of the gate? What drew you to to one of the bigger companies just to give them a different outlook or two, you know, be a part of something that would make it more sustainable.

spk_0:   4:26
No, I think it's great question. Um, I think my overwhelming experience in the oil and gas industry, um, is that how incredibly normal and thoughtful, incapable that people are within the oil and gas industry, it's no different than any sort of other industry. Um, in my experience, I've never encountered people who were like anti climate change or anti solar renewables or anything like that. Um, if if anything, I'd say that people with in oil and gas are much more acutely aware of the incredibly difficult trade off there are in different energy sources and different energy systems. Um, I think when you're when you get deeper into the world of energy, realize how things are not at all black and white, in fact, they're incredibly complicated. And with an industry like oil and gas, it's been around in force since the late 18 hundreds. Um, entire world's economy has been built on it. It's just not a simple thing that you kind of unwind or unplug. Um, I didn't join because I didn't don't get into oil and gas, particularly because of the love of it. It was a really big and exciting field where you get to be really cool, Um, at times dangerous things in the name and in pursuit of energy. But that's the same reason that I'm actually in renewables and kind of sustainability as well. Now is I see it is the same sort of adventure. Um, and I'm excited, of course, for more of my former colleagues that kind of to join in that more that direction. But I certainly don't like, hold any ill will for people who are in oil and gas at all.

spk_2:   6:12
Well, better outlook, I think for everyone definitely changed my opinion a little bit on that. And eso on carbon Lighthouse. Maybe dig in there that you had with your background. And I know, um, you have probably a lot of options of places to go. What was the big draw to carbon lighthouse that got you did to join there?

spk_0:   6:33
Because it was kind of like oil and gas. Um, the the thing that kind of really Ah, I think, you know, speaking personally as a as a grad student. One thing I became really frustrating for me was hearing seminar after seminar of people saying that someone should do something about climate change. And, you know, after doing after being a few years in grad school, you just like we'll find, I guess I'm gonna be the person to do it. There's only so many times you can sit in the seminar here a speech, no matter how credential The kind of, ah, leader, Whatever is before, you just start to get a little impatient with yourself and you start to look in the mirror and say, You know what? I should stop complaining and start doing something. We're active in Carbon Lighthouse was certainly that outlet for me hit me at just the right time where I was super excited to get into it. And also just feeling that anxiousness that, um certainly the private sector could be a powerful way to achieve benefit of the scale we needed it to be. Um, Carbon Lighthouse in particular, was really exciting because of the way that the founders, the company, were starting to talk about it because it matched the way I thought about it. So buildings and the built environment had never been a hot topic in any sort of seminar on TV at all. It never graces the cover of magazines like buildings in the built environment. It's not like a sexy topic, like batteries or fuel cells or, uh, you know, trading credits or something like that. Those have more cachet. They tend to be about cool new products But what drew me to Carbon Lighthouse was not that it was like a Moonshot sort of product. But it was a little bit more of like a Moonshot sort of business strategy. Um, and I'd always thought that the issue with the built environment wasn't a lack of available sort of product offerings or technologies or ideas. My hunch was that it was more about a inappropriate business model that was missing to kind of crack the built environment in making it part of the answer. I'm gonna came to climate change. When I started talking with the fat under the company, they their thoughts just parallel mine really carefully. And the more they talked about how they thought, you know what the business model might be for the built environment. I just saw so many crossovers with oil and gas, oil and gas has this incredibly powerful has a couple of things, but a really need about it. It has this sense of standardization behind it. You know, if you go to the gas stations and you get a gallon of gas, you're not questioning, did I get a gallon of gas or what's in it? It's just a known thing. Um, it has this other aspect of it too, which I think is pretty cool, which is this incredible risk reward perspective? Um, that, like this developer perspective, we're a developer, like a big company, like Exxon or Shell. They take on a lot of risk in terms of technology or financing or, you know, safety or health or whatever. They take on all these risks in exchange for a piece of a large reward. Um, and that's the way carbon lighthouse was, uh, kind of positioned was instead of it being about selling a data service or about selling new light bulbs or selling, you know, something like consulting reports. It was very much, um, position similar to a new oil and gas lease that a company like Carbon Lighthouse would go out the built environment, go to a bunch of buildings and rather than selling tryingto trying to sell a discrete thing they're trying to sell that they're trying to capture as much of the reward is possible, uh, trying to bring that forward because then both parties benefit both the client as well as the company. So carbon lighthouse to me, just felt in many ways similar to oil and gas. It was this aggressive perspective on risk and reward. It was not about products. It was much more about the appropriate business model and sales channel to success. So that was really exciting for me. Um, I showed up to the first day of one of my in the new quarter. Supposedly is a t a. Looks around the room, and I just felt Yep, I think my work is done here. Left the professor a little high and dry, but, ah, I think he I think all is forgiven.

spk_2:   10:58
It's all about finding passion in what you're doing. And I do think the business model is interesting. Maybe on that when you think about the building owner and looking at the different business model that you guys focus on, is it typically when they're weighing options? Is is it typically against an esco model that they're looking at or some other business idea? Where do you typically see them weighing choices between you and in another solution?

spk_0:   11:28
Unfortunately, the biggest problem we have is the biggest choice is between us and in action. This is one of the things that is both exciting and challenging in the built environment, the value of water or energy or any number of call it like e S t your sustainability sort of initiatives. Um, their financial value is sometimes really hard to stack up against the value of rent, the value of selling the building. It's an order one or two orders of magnitude less. Um, So what happens in the end is where I would love to be In a world where carbon lighthouses competing against a lot of other carbon lighthouse esque companies. Um, unfortunately, it's often times more we are a We could be seen as an elective or additional service. Um, because it doesn't stack up the same way you dollars and sense the way rent can. Um and and so the end result is that we are and we end up time spending. We end up spending a lot of time educating our clients about the value of things like efficiency. I think it is changing recently, but historically, this has been something I think most people in the building space I have always struggled with on DWhite I. It's been hard to make a business model necessarily successful.

spk_2:   12:57
Yeah, I definitely feel the pain on that side. And I wonder, you know, a lot of times energy efficiency and sustainability unless mandated. And we've talked about this a lot with some of our guests on the podcast listens, mandated, sometimes hard to get it out of the nice toe have bucket into the must have in the standard workflow. You know, a critical item that is part of the daily workflow. How do you think we're gonna continue to accelerate it, To move it in the direction where we're out of the nice tohave bucket and it's really on people's radars? Even without a mandate to be, Ah, must have.

spk_0:   13:38
Yeah. I think some of the mandates are starting to be, um, impactful like in New York. Some of the green building standards that are coming out, the cost of not acting the penalties and next couple of years they are huge, and I don't think they're affecting long term planning. But when the penalty start going into effect in 2030 and I think that is actually gonna have measurable impact on how building operators or owners or property teams, I think about, you know, sustainability and efficiency in general. So I am. Although I've always haven't been I've never nace aired a policy, but I have never been one to hold my breath that its policy is going to come save the day. I'm definitely in supported it when it helps, but as much as possible. Um, you know, for better or worse, we live in capitalism, and I think winning I capitalism is is the way to go.

spk_2:   14:34
I was just going to say, I'm with you on that. So the same boat, it'll be nice, Teoh. You know, I'm definitely seeing the winds of change. So So we're both, you know, on the same page there.

spk_0:   14:45
Yeah, um, for making it more how to accelerate the adoption of whether it's efficiency or batteries or other sort of initiatives is really It's a tough game for sure, but I think there's several ways that one can go about it. Just speak more the language of real estate, especially course commercial real estate. Eso. One of the parts to consider is that at the end of the day, what matters most of billings is not terms of saving. That's not kwh of savings. Um, I think people you know, intellectually get that. But what matters is really focusing on the financial value that's created. That might sound kind of obvious, but I don't think it necessarily is. Ah, lot of traditional approaches have tried to focus on improving your kw per ton or trying to, um, extract a certain number of K wh savings per year. And that just feels a little bit too esoteric. I think for a lot of your average commercial real estate client, if they only have a handful of hours per year to dedicate to sustainability or USG sort of initiatives, you understandably, I think, should speak in the language that's less common of them, which is gonna be about literally dollars and cents. So that's one way enough their way. I think that is increasingly exciting, is you do have this. It's definitely not a groundswell anymore. I think it's coming from the top. You have people like Larry Fink from BlackRock who are now starting to draw a real deliberate line that they view sustainability initiatives as an important part of any sort of fundraising strategy that they're not gonna invest unless they see some sort of evidence of, um Yes, G initiatives in things like energy efficiency, Certainly within a portfolio.

spk_2:   16:38
I, uh I thought that research report that they had out specifically but BlackRock recently on that was was a good stake in the ground, right, for for them another, whether it's a read to rather big commercial real estate properties. So I think that was great.

spk_0:   16:53
Yeah, and I can't speak to exactly why every company might do it, but I think there are. They're going to be a combination of moral reasons that companies might do it, but I think also financial um I think increasingly there's gonna be awareness that things like at a better run asset and more efficient asset is also going to be an asset that saves more money. It's gonna be more valuable when you go to sell the asset. Uh, and that, of course, speaks largely to building owners and operators. And if they're going to attract capital, if they're going Teoh, try to raise a fund to buy or, uh, it's by real estate and operate real estate. Increasingly, Yes, Iniesta strategy is going to we think, at least becoming increasingly, uh, I need tohave and not just lip service to it. I think the days of greenwashing are kind of. I think people are passed that a little bit. They want to see meaningful changes or meaningful demonstrations of E S G initiatives, sustainability or, in our case, energy efficiency. They want to see that at the building level before they perhaps invest. NLP might invest in a CRE fund

spk_1:   18:08
transitioning a little bit here. Matt E. I want to talk about Cove in 19 is clearly having a drastic impact on even just the three of us is We're working from home and recording this podcast from home. But people in major cities all over the nation and really the world are working from home, and buildings are sitting empty. So how is this impacting building owners and operators and what are they doing to adjust during this time?

spk_0:   18:38
Yeah, um, and definitely feel for all of them. Obviously, this is tough for everybody and everybody's business. Um, and certainly for buildings, especially tough. Um, depending on the least structure and how buildings get paid, it's definitely, uh, just definitely feeling for that space right now. Um, I think we're I is interesting. I think the current epidemic. Uh, I'm almost laughing. Sometimes epidemic is used figuratively, but it's now a literal terms that we have to talk about before job. Yeah, um, but it's highlighting where the built environment is falling short. Whether that's technology or operations, Um, this is putting a real magnifying glass to wear. I think we have not everywhere, but certainly in a lot of places under invested. But what I think is also important for a lot of folks and know, is the solutions that are out there are not rocket surgery. Some of the stuff is there are some pretty doable Band Aid solutions, some arm or short to medium term investments, whether it's capital or timelines, and some of them are a little bit longer and tougher to do. But there are a lot of options available to building operators and what they could do differently. So hopefully that starts become a parent. Or maybe the silver lining of this epidemic is that that brings that improve, that that highlights the importance of some of these things that we can do to make our buildings a little bit more resilient. These times,

spk_2:   20:17
when we think about remote access or just managing buildings differently. You know, Covert 19 probably did accelerate, as you said, the magnifying glass of O. B. How are we going to be able to do this? Um, so I think that will be helpful on the technology front. But do you think it's It's accelerating that way anyway in the market. So if Cove in 19 didn't happen, you know, there's a piece of me that looks at it and says, Hey, technology is is moving that way. I don't know how quickly, but you already see that happening. That's just an accelerator. I

spk_0:   20:52
have to say it's a great question. Um, and it would be fun to say definitely yes or definitely no. But then again, we thought boxing, horse racing and baseball were the most important sports in America, not just 50 years ago, and now two of those are almost non existent or don't really matter anymore. Tough the forecast, but I'll share some of what we are seeing to maybe give a sense of of where we're headed or we might not be headed. So in our own experience, um, about 15% of buildings have little to no control. The speak of, um, or the controls air very outdated, so there's no way to easily log into a building. Ah, there's no way toe view data. There's no way to control it at all. Ah, about 1/3 of the buildings, um, are difficult hodgepodge mix of proprietary communication protocols, Um, or their maybe their nonproprietary by the of the require extensive number of software workarounds in order to get kind of that remote control aspect. It's really less than half the buildings that are somewhat to mostly accessible when it comes to be able to operate and access them remotely. I would like to think it's accelerating, but let's keep in mind we don't build buildings at a rate that ah, people might think of. Um, I mean, when we look at the number of just the sheer number of buildings, um, as far as counts about 2/3 of the buildings that we have today a Zara's commercial real estate. They were built, I mean, before the end of the Cold War. Uh, buildings don't get updated very often, and that certainly includes a lot of their control systems. Um, and then if we just kind of fast forward to the president for buildings that were built today. You can ask any sort of developer that man, Fortunately or not, there is this thing called value engineering. Quote value engineering that's done

spk_2:   22:54
a hell of an I hate that.

spk_0:   22:57
Yeah, I didn't realize that was even a term until I got into this industry. But V it makes it makes sense when budgets are running. Finn timelines are running long, and there's just pressure to open. Whether it's Ah, hotel, where a building people items start dropping, the axe comes down and a lot of things that have a long term benefit but might take a little bit more time or capital to do. Up front, they get dropped. Ah, friend of mine has a developer. He remarked that, um, he doesn't think there's like a huge technological leap that's necessary for buildings tap for operators that have more control over their buildings. It's just that it's just it is not doing value engineering. That's the thing that really kills a lot of buildings towards the end. So what about

spk_2:   23:42
on that? When I think about, I guess there's two ways to think about it and you know, one is is just access right to the data Insides analytics remotely, which, which is helpful, the other is is really the control side that we mentioned. And I think about cybersecurity. Do you see that more people are looking for remote access to the data and managing those portfolios on a national global scale? Where do you really think it is moving to the control phase from the cloud? Because I think, you know, we see a people get a lot more nervous, right? And a lot more questions come up when it starts to go beyond just visualization. Analytics. What? What? What is your thought on that

spk_0:   24:28
three question? I would, I think, the thing that's really, uh, not surprising to us, but it definitely comes up is that there is a can be a lack of coordination between the I T teams and the controls teams at a given building. Those aren't the same provider on, and they, you know, they might be entirely different companies, or they're organized completely differently within a given company. So it's not surprising to us when, in the course of our working carbon lighthouse, when we want to get data access, um, even just like remote viewing privileges into control systems it oftentimes involves. It's not a simple plug in play. It does require hearts. Hardware requires software, and then it requires three or four meetings with the I T providers, that control provider and maybe a bunch of other little patches to get around plenty of little problems that get in the way. Um, I would expect that, especially now there's gonna be a sudden demand for the ability to view and control buildings remotely. Um, I would also suggest that I I think of a good first step is just the ability to to view and to view buildings remotely into access to data remotely. Um, that would be already a large step in the right direction. The ability, the ability to control the building remotely would also be cool. But I think in some cases, let's start with the baby steps. Uh oh. Degree, Yeah. I mean, a lot of buildings are gonna have remote. They're gonna have people staff anyway, so I I can understand if a operator would care less about the remote control aspect, but any sort of facility chief go through their day. They suddenly got a call at three AM that a random something is going on. Um, it would be so nice to put yourself in your shoot their shoes that they could just glance at their phone or fire up their laptop at home and determine Is this really something? Or is this nothing?

spk_1:   26:34
Yeah. Any wonder? I'm sure there's a lot of buildings that are still on the same controls settings that they have for when the buildings were fully occupied in the last two weeks. But do you have any customers who are adjusting to this really well on doing a great job of remote, um, controls? And can you just walk us through what that's like?

spk_0:   26:58
Sure. Um, so I think the companies that are set up are certainly the ones that can not only view but control their buildings remotely. Um, the ones that I think you're doing it well are the ones who are. What they're dealing is they are shutting down equipped, shining down equipment and systems remotely. A lot of this equipment is wasn't designed to run 24 7 I mean, it can certainly, but it certainly is able to also run, you know, quote on Lee, you know, two or three hours per day or not at all. Um, I think people have this impression that equipment is supposed to be running, you know, non stop. But the truth is far from that, um so certainly reducing or cutting the schedules of your equipment entirely. That's one thing that, of course, some of our clients are doing and doing well, which is great. Um, other things that they could be doing is there might be some sort of limited, um, work going on their buildings. And maybe there are people in some of these buildings. Um, you could really kind of a cheap, But certainly I think functional way of doing this is shifting a building from kind of like a full capacity code compliance sort of mode into a far more reduced to a skeleton kind of load situation on def. A client doesn't have that sort of pre programmed. They could use kind of like shoulder season, but shoulder season like conditions to guide their decision making. So what I mean by that is, um, like in places especially like the East Coast, where you have very hot summers and cold winters Equipment can really run at the extremes in those two situations, and you might turn more or less systems on during those seasons to adapt really hot and cold conditions. When in the spring time and in the fall, however, the loads might be such that you don't really have to have your central plants running at full crank or certainly a lot of pumps running. Or you don't really have to have your heating systems, you running. You're in this really magical time where the outdoor air is pretty close to what your desired indoor air is. So smart Operator is, and so smart operators is adapting to that.

spk_2:   29:06
So Matt, in, in looking at ways to shed load, to be more energy efficient. You know, we see a lot of clients that are really focused on the employee experience. How are you balancing? Ah, a real drive to lower the energy spend but yet balanced the occupant or employee experience and not impact that?

spk_0:   29:30
Yeah, that's a great question. Um, and that's one of the first questions that comes up. Um, I think maybe it might be worth splitting hairs a little bit on this when we talk about energy. When people talk about energy efficiency, there's there's maybe two different branches of that one is in conservation and one is efficiency. They both get groups in energy efficiency. But what I mean by that is conservation tends to be eliminating or doing without, whereas efficiency is you provide the same sort of comfort and experience, but you do it with less energy. Um, what's really cool about a lot of efficiency measures certainly is. You can provide the same level of comfort or, in some cases, better comfort, but do it with less energy. And at the same time that you're doing that, you're also saving on costs. Um, the smart facility chief or engineer or building operator always wants to know. Are my tenants gonna be impacted by what you guys are doing to the space? Um, that ends up being one of the really large guiding constraints that we use when it comes to any sort of changes to a building. Um, but if we do our job correctly, if we have a great working experience with a facility team A to the end of the day, the average tenant has no idea that we did anything to the building, they have no idea that we changed the ordering of how the pumps turned on and off. They have no idea how we change some of these esoteric set points within these things called chillers behind the scene. Um, all that they care about is there. Room is still 70 degrees, just like it is every single day. And it doesn't steals feel stuffy. And what's really need is there's a lot of ways to achieve that within the realm of energy efficiency. Uh, that doesn't at all sacrifice that sort of tenant experience. In some cases, I would say efficiency not only me brings the same amount of, uh, tenant comfort, but actually improves it as well. Um, the obvious places, of course, are Does they? Does the space feel fresh? I think all of us have had that sort of sick building syndrome where it feels like a space is just overly stuffy, feels a little bit humid. It feels like we can all smell each other sweaters a little bit. Um, energy efficiency is pretty cool because there are certain measures which are designed not only to bring in more outdoor air and reduce that sort of feeling, but at the same time also reduced the energy expenditure because you're no longer using mechanical energy, whereas and instead just benefiting from the quote free cooling from the outdoor air. Um, lighting is another obvious place with an energy, the realm of energy efficiency that certainly helps with the ah, the tenant experience. Um, I think everyone could say for certain that they don't like spaces that are overly breath right or under lit. Um, and likewise, I think most people don't really care if the space is lit. When the space when they're not the office energy efficiency neatly slots into all the sort of demands it with. There's a lot of really cool lighting solutions out there now, which provide the right amount of lighting. It could be adaptable, or it could be kind of basic on off when a space is occupied and and at no other times as well. So there's a lot of really cool solutions that aren't a trade off between those, in fact, their solutions that neatly bridge those two.

spk_2:   32:59
I would agree with you on that really help with employer productivity, and I think you nailed it with that one. That is such a big thing. And in conversations, um, when you're working with clients, you know what is the balance? Do you see the lot of them you touched on doing more with less right? That I that I think is great. So do you see a lot of them trying to make do with the systems and assets that they have in the building or is part of this process going through and continuing to upgrade? Or is even technology at a point where the really efficient technology is even affordable for most of these clients to to rip and replace?

spk_0:   33:36
Yeah, that's a great question. It's it's It's all of the above, Um, and I think you're really you're you're on a topic that I think really empathizes with kind of state of some buildings. Some buildings have a lot of maintenance that you know, needs doing behind the scenes. Ah, some buildings have very outdated control systems. Instead of a digital controls, something have a nomadic control system. Ah, we're very little control it all on top of that, a lot of buildings can be short staffed. We certainly been in our, uh, in buildings where there's two or three facility folk. Um, which is great. We've also been in buildings where there is a facility. Ah, staffer who not only has to it's not just one building that they have tough rate, they might operate a collection of buildings and a suburban office park. Um, and I hate to put him in a tough spot to begin with, um, about and like the question of then owed anymore technology or data. The starting point for some of these buildings is actually is really low, so it can sound like it's really coming out of right field for some of these operators when they struggle, just do the kind of the basic maintenance and operation of their buildings that mountains. I

spk_2:   34:55
wonder when I look at that. When you think of the you know, the services out of the business is such a ah giant part of commercial real estate. And you know the interesting things that carbon Lighthouse is doing with remote monitoring and services to help drive down that cost. Do you see with technology advancing and then the things that you're doing, do you see it disrupting the services space at all in the way that people are going about building management?

spk_0:   35:22
Oh, I hope so. I think there's much more effective uses of facility Person's time. Um, so I think like disruption usually has a negative connotation. But I think it can actually have a really positive connotation for your average your average facility, person or property manager because there's better things that could be doing with their time, uh, then tracing down problems that could be solved with data and technology. I think there's, I think there's a lot of easy wins that bacon that could be had for them. So a lot of building management systems there are affordable upgrades that can provide a lot of access. Um, there's a lot of cool data solutions out there. Um, my remote data monitoring data collection systems actually push data to existing BMS or into some other platform download from, um, there's a lot of neat, I think, opportunities that are available, um, kind of in the space right now that that certainly I think facility folks should be should be moving towards right now.

spk_2:   36:26
The data side is really interesting, and we spoke a lot about, uh, the energy side right in those assets. But when you think about again, we're in modern building management. But we think about other data sets. You know, I think about location services or even more about the associates or employees in the buildings. What other data do you think is really interesting or trending the coincides with with energy data?

spk_0:   36:58
Yeah, um, I'll give you what's interesting, but also maybe describe the picture a little bit more so in our experience, a lot of data that's really powerful tends to be the very just engineering. It's almost boring, but it's gives so much insight and how a building operates. So the flow, the hydraulic flow, your different piping systems in the building contains so much value to it. It tells us so much about how loaded a building is. It tells us so much about what spaces are occupied and unoccupied. It tells us so much about potentially how we can change how systems operate to maintain the same load in the building. Um, of course, nobody really gpm is not doesn't tend to be the top of someone's lists when they're thinking that hate a stream

spk_2:   37:50
of mine, but it sounds interesting.

spk_0:   37:52
It is this major backbone behind any sort of decision making that most people don't even consider. Um, occupancy. Also kind of boring and mundane, but so powerful. Um, the best energy source are the best sort of savings. Is is the energy that you don't have to use it all. Why think about really clever ways toe operated equipment differently if you don't need to operate it at all. Um, and occupancy data is one of those, um, again, kind of, ah, mundane and boring data set that has own, like, powerful insight into what you should be doing in a building. There's something called wet bulb. Um, wet bulb temperature. Is this again very kind of esoteric engineering term? Um, but it has so much implication for your cooling systems for how hard or not to run your cooling towers. Um, it is the difference between needlessly running a cooling tower versus effectively running cooling tower. Really cool. Ah, really useful when economists are learning how to optimize your systems together. Um, but as much as I love all of this stuff, um, I think what's kind of true also is that building or not, These beautifully instrumented ecosystems were just so spoiled by our phones and thinking that buildings are assuredly as interesting and powerful treasure troves of data within buildings. There is a lack of uniformity and naming conventions. His data even gathered to begin with. Is it even stored? That made it? The metadata descriptions are all over the place. Brands call things differently. Ah, sample rates Very entire. Very, quite a bit. The actual accuracy of the data is also all over the place. Um and all of this is even if data is collected, it all within a building. Um, I I think for a lot of us who get into the world with buildings were were spoiled by other industries that we expect assuredly buildings have all this data we just have to download. And we can just find amazing things and unlock value, but it actually turns out not to be true. Um, the fanciest machine learning algorithms in the world aren't gonna get you get you very far if you have no data to begin with. So it's kind of Ah, it's a little. It takes a lot of us by surprise who come from other industries once we get into it and we realize, Oh, wow. Kind of a data desert in many respects.

spk_2:   40:24
Yeah, it is. It is wild and especially how much time we spend in buildings. And kind of why Amber and I were driving into modern energy management loving to see that the trends and to see a shift in mindset because there's so much coming out to the market so quickly. So I think all of this information is incredibly ah, interesting to the listeners, but for for us a swell.

spk_1:   40:46
Well, we're coming up on the end of our our here. So, Matt, why don't we wrap up with some words of advice for our audience?

spk_0:   40:54
Yeah, Well, um, first of all, let's all be pleasant to each other, Especially during this time. Uh, humans are incredibly adaptable, so I am excited for all of us toe pleasantly and knowledgeably adapter way through this, Um, my advice, especially for facility folks, is to yet your i t and controls providers on the same page to make sure that I issues aren't standing in your way. Um, for troubleshooting, for understanding, how to turn down or change how systems are running. Ah, I highly recommend expanding the number of data points there. They're being collected or trended at all and how long they're stored as well. This could be pretty cheap and fast. Um, I think that it's also reasonable. Ask that if you've always wanted to get those two other new data points added to your building management system, that would give you a lot more visibility. Well, this is a good a time as any to justify that sort of change. Um, for ah, changing how the buildings are operating. Um, this is also a good time to contact your controls provider or other vendors and say, Hey, we've always wanted to make our buildings a lot more adaptable to changing load conditions. Um, can you help? Um, a lot of these strategies can be done in the low thousands of dollars range. Um, the trick is, of course, doing it correctly and making sure it doesn't sacrifice other operations. But you can. You can change the controls from from static to a very dynamic set of set points that allows a building to to really conform to load rather than just assuming there's some sort of static load that is there. Um, and finally, I think this is also, um the silver lining of this situation for a lot of people is that buildings are fairly to nearly unoccupied in some Geos right now. Um, and this might be a great time to seriously think about those upgrades that involve tearing apart ceilings tearing apart walls. Maybe they involve shutting down equipment and systems for a while. Absolutely. This thing's going to disruptive. And, um, tenant complaints can, of course, be be toxic at times. But, ah, the silver lining of the situation is this might be a great time to do precisely those sorts of things. Those wish list items that have always been neglected or turned down because of possible. Excuse me. Is it possible impacts on clients, our tenants? This is the time to possibly do those things.

spk_1:   43:32
Awesome. Thank you so much, Matt, for being on the show. Um especially during this time. I know it's hard to kids at home. We really appreciate you taking the time. Teoh. Connect us.

spk_2:   43:43
I don't think we heard any dogs. Any kids. Can you believe that? See, we prepped. It never happened.

spk_0:   43:49
Yeah, I'm kind of surprised and you see a wall kind of wings on our fence outside. That's probably the distraction, but yeah, well,

spk_1:   43:59
thanks again. Not. We hope we hope you stay safe and healthy out there.

spk_0:   44:03
Thanks. You as well, Everyone else as well.

spk_2:   44:05
And Amber wanted to say thanks to the carbon lighthouse marketing team as well who helped connect us. So thanks to you.

spk_1:   44:13
Yeah. Thanks for reaching out. You know, at the end of our show every week I let you know that if you would like to come on our show, please email us, uh, communications at lucid dg dot com. The good folks of Carbon Lighthouse emailed us. We were happy to have them on the show. So if you've got a story that you'd like to share feel Frida, she was an email. Also, don't forget to tune in every week and subscribe to our podcast at modern energy management, Darko. And if you have any questions or comments or if you would just like to leave us a nice review, don't forget Teoh. Visit the apple podcast app where you can leave It's five stars In a nice review until next week, we'll be back with war. Great episodes for you. Take care.

spk_2:   44:58
Thanks, everybody