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April 2017
Interview

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Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Greg ZimmermanEMAIL INTERVIEWGreg Zimmerman and Ken Sinclair

High-Performance Buildings Workplaces Executive Editor and Event Ambassador, Greg Zimmerman brings 13 years of experience and knowledge to the facility management field.  Zimmerman discusses the changes and trends he’s seen in the quickly evolving FM occupation.  With technology rapidly influencing the profession, FMs can expect to see the effect in their everyday lives on the job and the overall performance of their buildings. 



An Editor’s View of High-Performance Buildings + Workplaces

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Sinclair What misconceptions do people have about smart, sustainable buildings?

Zimmerman:  A common misconception I hear is high-performance buildings, or smart buildings must be super expensive and complex.  That’s simply not true.  Even small buildings that are easier to operate can be smart, high performance and sustainable.  Most buildings in the US are smaller, so we can really start making a dent in energy use if we concentrate on smaller buildings.  You can have a building with a smaller footprint and have it be high performance. 

Sinclair Looking ahead, what excites you about the future of the facilities business?

Zimmerman:  The rate at which high-performance building technology is being implemented is really encouraging.  Using technology in our personal lives is becoming part of our professional lives.  IoT is one example.  People have been using smartphones to control things like their thermostats, smart TVs remotely, or even to close the garage door.  This has migrated to the workplace, and it’s changing the FM landscape.

There is also an influx of young professionals moving into this industry, and it’s really exciting to see.  The face of the industry is changing.  Today, you can get an undergrad or post grad degree in facility management.  People who went to school for engineering and now want to go back to get their MBA are becoming FMs.  It’s a new trend we are seeing, and it has really impacted the industry positively. 

Sinclair What advice would you give to FMs that are just starting out?

Zimmerman:  One thing to focus on is learning about what’s going to be important in the future. The biggest topic in FM right now is high-performance buildings and sustainability.  Technology is second nature to young professionals just coming in. Understand and learn the technology. Be the “go to” person for your building.  Know, understand and learn the technology.  Make yourself the expert.  Educate those that didn’t grow up with technology at their fingertips, like you did.  Never stop learning.

High-Performance Buildings + Workplaces ConferenceOne outstanding place to continue your education is the High-Performance Buildings + Workplaces Conference, May 17-18 in Arlington, TX.

Sinclair What sets HPB+W apart?

Zimmerman:  HPB+W give you all the tools you need to make your building smart, sustainable and healthy.  Unlike most shows that charge in excess of $800, HPB+W is free.  Don’t let the price tag fool you.  This event doesn’t skimp on quality. At HPB+W you’ll experience superior education, network with leading experts in the industry, and meet with some of the most innovative suppliers in the business. Only at HPB+W will you find an unbeatable, intimate networking atmosphere, and the chance to focus and fully immerse yourself in the high-performance revolution that’s taking place. You’ll walk away loaded with new ideas, new contacts, and new strategies

Reliable ControlsSinclair What do people need to know about HPB+W?

Zimmerman:  This is really the only show of its kind, covering such a wide range of topics. It concentrates on energy and water efficiency, air quality, IoT, technology; all falling under the umbrella of high-performance buildings. This is our third year of the show, and we are really hitting our stride. Not only is this a unique event for the industry, but it’s also the only one that’s free. You get all the sessions, all the exhibitors, networking opportunities; at no cost!  As a bonus, the Rangers are in town that week! Come for HPB+W, stay for baseball! Learn more and register for Free at nfmt.com/highperformance

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About the Author

Greg has been covering facilities management, design and construction since 2003, regularly writing on high-performance buildings, sustainability, LEED, and bridging the gap between design intent and operational efficiency. Greg also is interested in how facility professionals are able to best leverage technology for efficiencies in all aspects of their operations, so he covers smart buildings, IoT, and new FM-related mobile apps. A graduate of Marquette University and current Chicagoan, Greg spends his spare time reading voraciously, sampling craft beer, running, and following his beloved Marquette Golden Eagles and Cincinnati Reds.


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