In the latest episode of BossCast, Troy Harvey, CEO of software firm PassiveLogic discusses how building automation can help the architectural and construction industries design and engineer next-generation buildings.
You can listen to this podcast via Apple Podcasts or Spotify or SoundCloud or listen to it through the player below:
With an impressive background as both a software developer and architect, Troy Harvey is well-placed to interrogate the status quo of the built industry, particularly when it comes to the control systems which dictate how our buildings are run.
Because even the most well-designed, well-engineered buildings fail to meet their energy efficiency potential, he highlights the need for the industry to make up for its technological shortcomings and, in doing so, identifies the potential to vastly improve the sustainability of buildings through intelligent, automated platforms.
“It turns out buildings are not just buildings,” Harvey says. “They are the world’s largest and most complex robots. We’re not facing the reality of what buildings are, or the levels of complexity, and the tools that we have to manage that complexity are wholly insufficient.”
We are, Harvey continues, missing the potential energy efficiency of our buildings by wide margins. According to studies conducted by the US Department of Energy – which is a major backer of PassiveLogic’s technology – on average the US building stock could be 40 percent more efficient just by controlling and conditioning buildings properly.
For instance, this could include building automation software which knows when occupants have left, letting itself cool down enough that it will be able to heat back up by the time the occupants return in the least energy-consuming way.
Having identified this shortfall in efficiency, PassiveLogic has developed the first fully autonomous platform for buildings – tools that are capable of managing and controlling the complex network of processes that exist in each building, analogous to the self-driving function of a car.
The key is recognising that every building is unique and requires its own distinct system to steer it more accurately to attain maximum efficiency — in other words a ‘brain’ to which buildings both old and new can connect.
“There are no two buildings with the exact same architecture, location, systems, equipment, and typologies,” Harvey explains.
“You don’t just need an autonomous platform, you need an autonomous platform generator – you need what we call ‘generalised autonomy’ that you, as a user, can define what is in a system, whether that’s heating, cooling, ventilation, or energy systems.”
For Harvey, staying ahead of the game with the latest and most cutting-edge technology is what ensures the best results and what sets PassiveLogic apart. Last year, software company NVIDIA invested $15 million in PassiveLogic to help integrate PassiveLogic’s tools and NVIDIA’s Omniverse platform for the industrial metaverse.
“One of the things NVIDIA were excited about in PassiveLogic is not only how we’re addressing the buildings industry with all these different products to build the whole ecosystem,” Harvey notes, “but the depth to which we were solving the problem.”
“It’s not just the products, we’re building whole new frameworks.”
You can listen to this podcast via Apple Podcasts or Spotify or SoundCloud or listen to it through the player above.
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