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Previewing the April issue Building Operating Management


The April issue of Building Operating Management — our annual technology issue — is live and in the world! Here’s a short preview of some of the highlights of the issue.

Our cover story this month is a forward-looking series of articles examining six different facility technologies that will shape the future of facility management. As one example, our senior editor Naomi Millàn writes about virtual and augmented reality and how designers and facility managers alike can use these quickly growing technologies to visualizes space and equipment and make better-informed decisions about operations. Other stories look at technologies like drones, wearables, and autonomous vehicles.

Office design in tech companies is an endless source of fascination for the public at large, and our contributor Raul Baeza of interior architecture lauckgroup, looks at some of the trends. Beyond just the goofy amenities that grab the headlines — like the slides and nap areas — tech companies excel at creating thoughtful, well-design space that matches the culture of the organization.

An online-only story in the issue by Jered Widmer of The Lighting Practice looks at how retail facilities are using LEDs as part of “smart lighting” systems. “Beyond the technical aspects of smart lighting, controllable fixtures have the ability to shape a person’s perception and evoke an emotional response through dimming and color temperature adjustment,” says Widmer in the piece.

Contributor and efficiency expert Richard Lubinski wrote about how to make the case for energy efficient HVAC equipment. “Follow the money,” he advises, borrowing the line from the famous Woodward and Berstein book, All The President’s Men. The idea is to concentrate on costs over the 20-25 year life of the equipment, not just the initial costs.

Zero energy buildings are growing by leaps and bounds and I spent some time getting in touch with my inner tech nerd to write about how technology is helping create this boom. It’s always fascinating to Robert Knight, of Environmental Systems Design, an expert on IoT, who explained how machine learning and AI can help create efficiencies facility managers could never find on their own. But still, the human element and expertise is critical to tuning and managing these systems to ensure their effectiveness.

In addition to these stories, we have stories on how technology has led to better paints and coatings, smart sensors, and remote monitoring, among others.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story profiling Northwestern University’s vice president of facilities management, John D’Angelo.

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