Info

The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology

The weekly podcast where Phil Zito discusses topics related to building automation and provides useful tips and action packed examples to help you better understand building automation.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology
2022
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: 2018
Dec 10, 2018

What are API's? How do API's work? And what do building automation professionals need to know about API's?

In this episode, we discuss what API's are, how to use API's, and how to avoid the common issues with API's.

Dec 3, 2018

In this episode, we will discuss the five gotchas that sabotage your ability to seamlessly integrate smart equipment into your BAS.

Nov 26, 2018

How do you sell the value of a building automation system when it seems like all BAS are the same?

In this episode, we discuss how to differentiate yourself from your competition. You will leave with a clear strategy on how to position yourself to best deliver value to your customers.

Nov 19, 2018

Analytics have come a long way since they were initially introduced to the building automation market. In this episode, we discuss what analytics are and how you can use them to provide a service to your building automation customers.

Nov 12, 2018

Building Automation Monthly just celebrated its first year in business. In this episode, I look back at the lessons I've learned in building the world's first ever online Building Automation training company.

I discuss what went well, what could go better, and tips that you can use to help grow your career and or business!

Nov 5, 2018

How do you design IP networks? 

What questions should you ask? 

In this episode, we look at the three-step process for designing IP networks. Along the way, we will point out common mistakes and we will discuss why it is so important for BAS professionals to learn about IP networks.

Oct 29, 2018

Have you ever wondered how building automation systems work? 

What does each piece of the building automation system do and why does each piece matter? 

In this episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast we will discuss how building automation controls work and what each piece of the building automation system does.

Oct 22, 2018

How do you continue to grow your building automation business after the building is built? 

In this episode, we discuss three sales strategies to help you provide value to your customers and grow your building automation business at the same time. 

Oct 15, 2018

How do you organize your building automation business for success?

The reality is many building automation businesses fail not because they can't find work but because they are not organized to successfully execute that work.

In this episode, we discuss the 5 steps to effectively organize your building automation business for growth and profitability.

Oct 8, 2018

Subnets, IP addressing, default gateways. All of these things can seem overwhelming at first glance. And the bad news is all of this "IT" stuff isn't slowing down. But you can wrap your mind around IT and it starts with this episode. 

In this episode, we are going to focus on the 6 Ah Ha's moments I experienced when learning subnets and how you can use them to learn subnets as well.

Oct 1, 2018

Have you ever wired up your controls but nothing worked? Power can keep the most creative design from actually working. In this episode, we tackle the 4 gotchas of power that could keep your projects from being completed. 

Sep 24, 2018

How do you perform a takeoff? How do you ensure that you have the most competitive proposal when bid day comes? In this episode, we tackle the topic of takeoffs. You will learn 5 steps for quickly creating competitive proposals.

Sep 17, 2018

How do you interview a building automation candidate? Do you simply stick them in a room and hope you make the right choice? 

What if there was a way that you could verify that the person you are hiring actually has the skills they say they have on paper? 

In this episode, we lay out the 5 keys to successfully interviewing a BAS Candidate.

Sep 10, 2018

Have you ever tried to teach yourself something? It can seem overwhelming. 

Where do you begin?

How do you find resources for your training?

How do you know when you've "done it"?

In this episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, we are going through our 7 step process for creating your own building automation learning plan from scratch.

Developing Your Learning Plan

  • Why learning how to self-train is critical to your success (1:38)
  • The 7 step process for creating your training plan (3:03)
  • How to identify supporting skills for your training plan (5:02)
  • The importance of an honest self-assessment (8:45)
  • How to use Google to solve all your problems (or at least most of them) (10:27)
  • Why you must be willing to invest in your career (12:58)
  • The power of constantly adjusting your training plan (15:47)
  • Three examples of how to apply the 7 step process (18:52)
Sep 3, 2018

Have you ever been told you just need to do your time? Rome wasn't built overnight after all, right?

Well, that kind of thinking is dumb. In this episode, we explore how the current way of learning building automation is to slow and what you can do instead. 

How to Learn BAS Fast

  • Why you are capable of much more in your career than you know (1:38)
  • The two ways of solving the skillset gap (4:37)
  • How the industry currently develops skilled labor (6:25)
  • What tasks should a first-year tech really be able to do? (11:45)
  • Overcoming the four barriers to optimization (11:02)
  • Three alternatives to traditional learning (16:10)
  • How to avoid the dreaded pay cut when moving into a BAS job (21:17)
  • Why we need to change how we approach learning  (28:25)
Aug 27, 2018

Can you use a building automation system to optimize the performance of your facility? 

And if so, what does optimization even mean? 

In this episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, we discuss what optimization is and the role your building automation system may, or may not, play in it.

Optimizing your BAS

  • What is optimization? (3:38)
  • The four benefits of optimization according to facility leaders (5:42)
  • How the four benefits of optimization build upon one another (6:45)
  • Why 72% of facility leaders feel optimization can work, but not for them (9:02)
  • Overcoming the four barriers to optimization (11:02)
  • How to collect data on what is happening in a facility (11:05)
  • The importance of selecting your data source (12:02)
  • Four categories of tools for BAS optimization (15:35)
  • How do we utilize the four tools to optimize a building? (18:46)
  • Why you must maximize your BAS functionality prior to using analytics (22:40)
Aug 20, 2018

We reached out to over a dozen facility owners of small and large facilities. The reason for doing this was to understand how they use their BAS and more importantly why they don't use it.

After doing this we found two interesting results. And in this episode of the Building Automation Monthly podcast we will talk through those results and how to integrate a building automation system into a facility process.

Creating your triage process

  • The biggest barriers that keep facilities owners from understanding BAS (1:51)
  • The hidden danger of learning through "tribal knowledge" (4:07)
  • Three common facility triage processes (5:14)
  • How to tie a BAS into the facility process (8:02)
  • What is the main goal of a facility? (10:02)
  • How to collect data on what is happening in a facility (11:05)
  • The importance of selecting your data source (12:02)
  • Four key questions your data should answer (14:49)
  • Three methods for gathering data for your triage process (18:22)
  • Why you must get to the core issue as fast as possible (22:08)
  • Use the right tool to identify the right issue (25:42)
  • Key questions you must be able to answer in order to optimize a facility team (29:21)
Aug 13, 2018

Utilizing a building automation system to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a facility team can seem like a daunting challenge.

Where do you begin and what steps do you take?

In this episode, we "go back to the basics". We are going to look at how to command and control our building automation systems. By the time you finish this episode, you will have a series of steps you can take to begin working on organizing and structuring you or your customer's BAS operations.

Getting back to basics

  • Why it's important to get back to the basics (1:45)
  • The core parts and pieces of a BAS (2:49)
  • The importance of gaining alignment on the benefit of a BAS (4:50)
  • The two C's of a building automation system (6:40)
  • How to gain control of your building automation system (7:35)
  • Signs that you may not have control of your BAS (9:42)
  • How to get the right data, at the right time, to the right people (12:21)
  • Utilizing user profiles and use cases to segment data (14:52)
  • Why you must use user logs and unique logins (17:22)
  • How to use your BAS to address issues before, during, and after their occurrence (19:22)
  • The power of feedback loops to quickly solve issues (21:48)
  • How your trend interval may be costing you thousands (23:12)
Aug 6, 2018

Do you feel like you've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a building automation system and only use 10% of its capabilities?

If so you're not alone. In this four-part series we will be discussing how to design, setup, configure, and optimize your building automation system, even if you are a completely non-technical person!

How to analyze your existing BAS use

  • How do I optimally utilize my BAS? (1:15)
  • Why proper intake is the secret to effectively using your BAS (3:27)
  • The four-step process to optimally using a BAS (4:03)
  • How BAS systems are designed right now (4:58)
  • Why you must know the main purpose of the BAS (5:45)
  • The power of the RFI, RFQ, RFP Process (6:42)
  • The importance of proper consulting (11:55)
  • How a health check will keep your BAS system running well (13:05)
  • What is your current triage process, and why you must know (16:42
Jul 30, 2018

Have you considered upgrading a building automation system but aren't sure where to start? 

Do you struggle to explain why the "new" features of your building automation system are worth the cost to your customers? 

Are you trying to better understand how an upgrade could positively impact your business? 

If so this episode is for you. In this weeks episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, we discuss the ins and outs of upgrading a BAS!

Jul 23, 2018

How do wireless networks work with building automation systems? 

If you've found yourself asking this question then you're not alone. 

Wireless technology seems to bring with it a lot of benefits but yet wireless technology still is seeing slow adoption rates. Why?

In this episode, we discuss the four most common wireless technologies used with a building automation system.

We will discuss the pros and cons of each technology along with when you would use each technology.

Wireless Technologies and Building Automation

  • Why is wireless still not receiving the love it deserves? (0:45)
  • Why Wi-Fi is the most common wireless technology (4:02)
  • The benefit of using mesh networking with your BAS (13:12)
  • How cellular connections deliver an always-on building network (17:20)
  • The solution to monitoring distant devices  (19:24)
Jul 16, 2018

Are you struggling to make sense of IP controls? Do all the different options just seem to blend together? 

In this week’s episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, we will be discussing the pros and cons of IP controls and the most common way of implementing IP controls. This episode will cover:

  • The pros and cons of the three kinds of IP controls
  • How IP controls are different than regular BAS controls and what you need to be aware of
  • Special design considerations that should be factored into IP controls designs

Pros and Cons of IP Controls

  • The history behind IP controls and why it matters (3:05)
  • What the future of IP controls will be (4:02)
  • The three BAS controller design patterns (6:05)
  • Pattern 1: The Star Pattern (7:55)
  • Pattern 2: The Daisy Chain | Bus Pattern  (13:07)
  • The hidden danger of power dependencies (16:40)
  • Why you want to limit the number of your IP controllers on a subnet (18:42)
  • Pattern 3: The Ring Pattern (20:15)
Jul 9, 2018

Why is your building automation server not communicating with your supervisory devices?

It could be that your network is down or it could be something much simpler like the firewall being set up incorrectly...

In this week’s episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, we will be discussing how logical links affect your building automation system's ability to communicate. This episode will cover:

  • How logical ports work and why you use them
  • Understanding how to talk to an IT person to succeed with a BAS project
  • Why you need to learn how BAS networking works even if you are in a non-technical role.
  • Examples of how the transport layer works with BAS networks

Ports and logical communication

  • Why the changes in the industry require us to increase our IT maturity (0:35)
  • The level of IT knowledge you really need to have (2:55)
  • How you are in a better spot for learning IT then you know (4:22)
  • How logical links work to keep your BAS communicating (6:55)
  • Why reliable communication is not necessarily better than unreliable communication  (11:02)
  • How the transport layer works with BACnet communications (15:00)
  • How your BAS server utilizes TCP communications (17:25)
Jul 2, 2018

Have you ever had to explain yourself to IT?

It seemed like the IT folks, were blocking you at every turn.

Why do you need IP addresses? Why do you need to put your devices on our network? Why do your addresses need to be static? 

Every day these questions plague BAS professionals. One false move and the IT group will withdraw and block you from achieving your goals.

In this week’s episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, we will be discussing how to deal with these exact issues. This episode will cover:

  • What IP addressing is and why it matters to BAS professionals
  • The common challenges you will get from IT professionals and how to overcome them
  • What the three most common IP controls architectures are and when you should use each one
  • Why the deep study of IT networking is actually hurting your BAS career and what to do instead

IP Addresses and IP BAS Controls

  • A real-world IT issue faced by one of our students and how they resolved it (1:35)
  • The importance of having IP knowledge (5:35)
  • What exactly is the IP address and why does it matter? (6:52)
  • How subnet ranges and IP addresses work together (9:55)
  • The very important reason for understanding how to calculate IP addresses  (12:02)
  • Two types of IP addresses and when to use each one (14:30)
  • How to deal with IT folks who don't want to give you static IP addresses (16:00)
  • How broadcasts and default gateways make BAS networks work (19:00)
  • What are routers and how do they affect your BAS network traffic (21:04)
  • The three major BAS IP controls architectures (26:05)
Jun 25, 2018

What are switches used for? 

Why do subnets matter? 

How do your BAS devices communicate with one another?

If you've found yourself wondering these questions then you are in the right place.

In this week’s episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast we will be discussing:

  • How subnets work
  • What you need to understand when adding BAS devices to a local subnet
  • How to interpret Wireshark captures to detect issues with your local subnets

Switches and Frames

  • What is a data link and why does it matter? (1:55)
  • What do a zip code and a local subnet have in common? (4:45)
  • How does local communication happen? (5:20)
  • Why do you use switches? (5:50)
  • The importance of the MAC address (7:25)
  • How do BAS devices communicate on the local subnet? (10:30)
  • The importance of the ARP broadcast (11:30)
  • What do you need to know when working with layer 2 communications? (13:35)
  • Why is it more important to understand how IT works than how to "do" it? (15:15)
1 2 Next »