Award winning manufacturer of IT-based building automation.
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Jim Sinopoli and Ken Sinclair
Sinopoli PE, RCDD,
LEED AP, Managing
Smart Buildings LLC
Sinclair: So you’re writing another book, this one published by Artech. But why another book?
Sinopoli: Ken thanks for the
interview and a good question. I put out a book in 2006 titled “Smart
Buildings”. I published a book again in 2009 which was titled “Smart
Buildings Systems for Architects, Owners and Builders” which was later
translated into Korean.
There have been a lot of major movements
and changes in the building industry since 2009; the penetration of
information technology in buildings, the use of analytic software, data
management, new systems such as BI-PV, indoor positioning,
cybersecurity etc., thus an updated book; the new book covers a lot of
You have written monthly industry
articles for years; why write?
Sinopoli: Some would said
it’s my therapy, but when writing I do a lot of research on the subject
and topics, educating myself, as well as I hope educating readers and
enlightening readers. Moreover, writing allows me to comment on
or critique the industry, it’s an opportunity to propose possible
solutions to industry issues and potentially influence the industry.
Some of the more successful articles I’ve written have been about FDD
being the Killer App, the idea that traditional BMS systems are legacy
systems and the industry needs to move to integrated BMS, and the
importance of a facility data manager.
How did you choose the topic of
Sinopoli: I couldn’t pick one
topic for the book; one topic seemed too narrow given the number of
issues the industry is currently managing; security, energy, IT, new
building systems, etc. Operating or managing a sizable building is
complex and it demands multiple skill sets by the staff and management.
Instead the general focus of the book is advanced technology for smart
buildings and within the overall topic there are 20 specific items;
everything from Building Integrated-PV, eye tracking, indoor position
systems, microgrids, and POE to wind power.
What inspired you to write your
Sinopoli: It was the work we
did for Ave Maria University. We did things on that project no one else
had done at that time; for example, an operations center with both
facility and IT staff, significant systems integration, and an
incredible campus technology infrastructure. Bryan Mehaffey, was the
owner’s information technology director, a very bright guy who allowed
us to be innovative, which we did. Ave Maria was cutting edge back
then, and the project won multiple awards and is known beyond the USA:
best automation awards, digital awards, etc. It spawned the name “smart
buildings” and inspired my first book.
Sinclair: What are your current projects?
Sinopoli: It’s more writing
and designing; that is developing construction specifications for
manufacturers or a design team. It sounds pretty dry, but you
have to step into “the shoes of the contractor, and the building
owner’, and at the same time create a legal contract for the parties.
It’s an opportunity to stand out and play a critical role.
For more information read this review of the book.
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