# 428 Exploring the Future of Building Automation Controls with Donny Walker

As someone deeply invested in the world of HVAC and Smart Buildings, I recently had the privilege of interviewing Donny Walker, a renowned partner at Newcomb and Boyd. Donny is not just a consulting engineer; he’s a visionary in the field of building automation controls. In our conversation, we delved into the fascinating landscape of building automation, focusing on how it’s transforming the industry.

Building Automation Controls: The Heart of Smart Buildings

Building automation controls, in essence, are the brains behind the brawn of modern smart buildings. These controls encompass a range of technologies and systems that efficiently manage and monitor various building functions, from HVAC systems to lighting, security, and beyond. They are the key to creating spaces that are not only energy-efficient but also intelligent and responsive.

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Donny Walker’s Expertise in Building Automation

Donny Walker’s extensive experience and expertise in the realm of building automation controls are truly remarkable. Throughout our conversation, he highlighted several crucial insights:

  1. Proactive Maintenance with Machine Learning: Donny emphasized the importance of integrating machine learning into asset management. This approach allows us to identify equipment anomalies and potential failures before they become costly issues, thus saving both time and resources.

  2. Automation Streamlines Asset Management: While automation plays a pivotal role in asset management by providing part numbers and repair steps, Donny reminded us that human validation remains crucial. Technology can enhance efficiency, but it’s the human touch that ensures accuracy and reliability.

  3. AI Templates for Data Accessibility: Artificial intelligence templates can extract data from building systems like Niagara Jace, making this information more accessible and actionable. This opens up a world of possibilities for optimizing building performance.

  4. Cost-Effective Innovation: Donny discussed the posibilities tools like AI and digital twin applications present during new construction projects. He advocates a proactive approach to ensures data accessibility and readiness while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

  5. Building the Right Team: To handle the installation and data analysis aspects of projects effectively, Donny recommended assembling teams that include diverse skill sets from controls experts to data analytics specialists. Collaboration is key to success in this rapidly evolving field.

Building Automation Consulting Engineers: Your Guiding Light

Donny’s insights underscored the critical role that consulting engineers play in the world of building automation controls. When selecting a consulting engineer for control systems, consider their approach, expertise in controls, and awareness of industry trends. It’s a partnership that can make or break the success of your smart building project.

The Future of Building Automation Controls

One of the most exciting trends Donny touched upon is the shift towards IP controls, where the industry is moving towards a “parts and smarts” model. This model reduces on-site installation work and places greater emphasis on programming and efficiency. It’s a forward-looking approach that promises to make our buildings even smarter and more sustainable.

In Conclusion

My conversation with Donny Walker left me inspired and excited about the future of building automation controls. The integration of advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and digital twins is paving the way for smarter, more efficient, and environmentally friendly buildings.

If you’re embarking on a smart building project or seeking to optimize your existing systems, Donny Walker’s insights are invaluable. Remember, building automation consulting engineers like Donny are your guiding light in this transformative journey towards a smarter, more connected future.

If you are looking for a proven consulting engineer that can guide you through a building controls upgrade or make sure that your building is ‘future proofed” on a new construction project, you might consider Donny and his team at Newcomb and Boyd. I have known Donny and his team fro years, and I have no hesitation in recommending them; they are good people that do exceptional work.

Stay tuned for more discussions on cutting-edge technology and innovation in the world of HVAC and smart buildings!

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