Building Technology Podcast – Guest: Joe Havey

Share this post:


___________________________________________________________________________

00:01 Scott: Hi, everybody. Scott Holstein here with Computrols welcoming you back to the building technology podcast. Today I’m joined by our guest, Joe Havey. Mr. Havey is a BOMA Denver past president, he manages a growing consulting firm specializing in energy efficiency, commissioning and retro-commissioning with offices and projects around the country. Active clients include UC Health, Stanford University, Hines, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Joe was the Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers responsible for design, construction, facilities, and leasing in a 100 plus locations. He was a Vice President and equity owner at Denver Place where his team completed the largest energy retrofit in Denver history and the first Energy Star and LEED-EB building in Colorado. He was Regional Chief Engineer with Hines managing large buildings in several cities. He has a Master’s degree in real estate and construction management from the University of Denver and is an adjunct professor in the same program. Joe, thank you for joining us today, welcome to the podcast.

01:02 Joe: Well, Scott, thanks for asking me, I’m very excited. This is my first podcast, so I appreciate you inviting me.

01:10 Scott: That’s fantastic. So a little bit of background…I actually had the good fortune of seeing Joe speak at a couple of events on a variety of topics. We mentioned in Joe’s bio that he was a regional chief engineer for some time. So, Joe has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to managing buildings and really what we’re trying to do with this podcast is we talk about all things smart buildings and it’s really geared towards facility managers. So, Joe, you have a really unique perspective in this. Can you tell us a little bit more about your background as an actual building engineer? 

01:47 Joe: Sure, sure, Scott. I started out… I’m from Chicago, originally, and I worked as a building engineer at an early age in Chicago, in some of the big buildings in downtown Chicago, and I moved out to Denver when I finished high school and went to trade school in Denver. I went to automotive trade school in Denver, I went to the top-rated, number one rated auto mechanic school in the country. At that time, it was called Denver Automotive and Diesel College. And then long story short, I ended up back in buildings after a few years as a mechanic and started at a large hotel in Downtown Denver, the Denver Hilton, which is now the Sheraton, which at that time was the largest hotel conference facility in the five-state area, and I was 24 years old at the time and the chief engineer needed an assistant chief. Nobody in the crew wanted to take the job because he was a very difficult guy to work for, which is putting it mildly. And I took the job and I was an assistant chief of one of the largest facilities in Colorado at 24 years old, and I’ve been in management of buildings ever since then, and I’m 63 now.

So, I’ve been going at it now almost 40 years and I was assistant chief for a number of years at the Denver Hilton, then I was a chief engineer shortly after that, there was a major building boom in the early 1980s driven by oil and gas industry in Denver and there were a bunch of Canadian developers building high-rises all over downtown Denver. Three of the three tallest buildings in Denver the Republic Plaza, 1801 California and the Wells Fargo Center Tower. Those are three 50 plus story buildings, they were all built at that time, and within a few years of being a chief, I was chief of one of the tallest buildings in Denver, for Hines, when I was 29 years old, which was a 52-story 1.2 million square foot office building that Hines developed and I worked for Hines for a number of years and worked my way up into a regional chief engineer position with Hines. And then after I left Hines, I was a senior sales engineer with Johnson Controls for a while. And then on a sales call, I was at Denver Place, and the owners of Denver Place I was on a sales call with and they turned the sales call into an interview and I went to work for them two weeks later and was there for 10 years, became an equity owner of some of the buildings at Denver Place and then I was with Lehman Brothers for a number of years, and now I’ve been with my own consulting company for nine years.

04:36 Scott: That’s great. It’s like you said, you’ve always been in this space and you have a very unique perspective on our topic today which is gonna be how facility managers stay relevant in this ever-changing landscape of smart buildings in the digital age. So before we jump into that, I did wanna also ask you a little bit more about E Cube. I mentioned that you all specialize in energy efficiency, commissioning, retro-commissioning and mentioned some of your major clients throughout the country. Can you tell us a little bit more about where E Cube is, where E Cube’s specialization is in really… what you all do particularly well.

05:17 Joe: Sure, sure. Yeah, yeah, we’re a very unique consulting company. We’re viewed as unique and we like to believe we’re very unique and what makes us unique, like any company, is the quality of the people that we have. We have zero turnover, which I think is a very fundamentally important way to manage any kind of a business or any kind of a building is to have very, very, very low turnover, and to have high-quality personnel working for you. So, E Cube actually is a company that I hired for 25 years to help me do energy retrofits and energy analysis on buildings all over the country as a building owner and manager. And I went through about 10 energy efficiency consultants in the ’80s and ’90s when energy efficiency wasn’t the hottest topic back in those days, but I was heavily focused on it 30 years ago for one simple reason, it helped reduce operating costs, and make every building that I’ve been associated with more competitive and provide higher comfort for the tenants with these retrofits. And number two, increase energy efficiency. So the biggest driver was always improving comfort, with these retrofits and upgrading aging systems with these retrofits and secondarily, was the energy efficiency piece. And I still believe that today that I think the second component is still energy efficiency. 

The first component of these upgrades even today should always be focused on providing comfort because without comfort in a building, you don’t have tenants, and you don’t have revenue and you’re in bad shape at that point. So number one is tenant comfort, number two is still energy efficiency. But I hired E Cube over 25 years after going through about 10 other consultants that were in that space, and E Cube was the standout company. And for 25 years from that day when I found E Cube, I saw the founder speak on a big event and walked up to him after the event and started and gave him a shot at one of Hines’s 50-story buildings to help us with some retrofits and was blown away by the quality of the work, and I single-sourced all the consulting for energy efficiency with three or four different companies over the subsequent 25 years. And nine years ago, the founder of E Cube who became a very close friend of mine was dying from leukemia and went to dinner with me, had me sign a non-disclosure agreement, and asked me to take over the company from him and help transition the company.

And so here I am today. And so I’ve got several business partners with E Cube that also own stock in the company. We have zero turnover. We have about half of our staff are hands-on, blue collar background, building engineers, mechanical contractors, controls experts from Johnson and Honeywell and Siemens, ex-TAB backgrounds and then the other half of our staff is our mechanical engineers with a very hands-on background in mechanical engineering.

08:27 Scott: Very nice, yeah. I’ve only gotten a brief experience with E Cube, but nothing but positive things to say. So, jumping into our topic here today for facility managers, with the evolution of smart building the job description of a building engineer changed drastically over the last five to 10 years. What are some of the ways you’ve seen the role of a building engineer change over this time? 

08:54 Joe: Yeah, the role has changed significantly and we’ve got a serious problem today with a shortage of highly qualified building engineers. And we have a serious… And when I say serious, I mean, serious. We have a very serious problem today with finding and hiring and retaining highly qualified building engineers, chief engineers, controls technicians, TAB experts, test, adjust and balance experts, mechanical contractors that are really top-rated. There’s a lot of bad work being done out there by all of the above, and a lot of it is primarily due to lack of training and lack of education and lack of knowledge and lack of experience. So it’s really at the point where with this whole drive to improve the efficiency of buildings, it’s making it even more of a serious problem because how do we improve the efficiency of buildings all over the country and all over the world, if we don’t have the qualified people to do it? 

10:00 Scott: So what do you think has been the driver behind the shortage of building engineers? Why is it today that we’re running into this issue? 

10:10 Joe: I think that there is… I get that question a lot, Scott. And I think a lot of it has to do with the perception of people and it also has a lot to do with high school kids have no idea what a building engineer does. High school kids are focused on either going to trade school or going to college and being a building engineer or a building operator isn’t even on the radar. And so there’s little known about the profession, I think it’s the main problem, and there’s also little known about what a great profession it is, and that it really does pay very good money. And it’s more than a living wage. Chief engineers in any of the central business districts around the country, chief engineers are making six figures of the big buildings and that’s probably not very well known that the money is extremely good and it’s a high level of responsibility it is truly a career that somebody can do for their entire life.

11:12 Scott: Yeah, I agree and I honestly think that the transition to these smarter buildings is something that could eventually attract some of the younger talent out there back to this profession if for no other reason than the younger generation is very technology-driven. Do you think that that could potentially bring people back into the profession? And again, going back to the original question, I guess is, what are some of those major changes that you’ve seen from the building engineer of when you started your career in that profession versus what these guys are doing today? 

11:54 Joe: Well, I mean, the evolution that I’ve seen is every maintenance crew and engineering crew of the larger buildings in any of the downtowns, needs to have really, really highly qualified people in-house that know controls, that know test and adjust and balance, that understand systems inside out, that know central plants inside out, boilers and chillers. And the automation piece that I’ve seen evolve over the years, starting with Johnson Controls had the JC/80 back in the ’70s and ’80s, then they went to the JC/85, then they went to Metasys and they’re still kinda hung up on Metasys today for God knows what reason but the evolution has been interesting to watch. And the in-house staff that understands these controls and understands these automation systems is critical to these large buildings. So if you have five building engineers in a large building, one or two of them need to be very adept at the automation system and really go through a lot of training and a lot of hands-on experience working with Johnson or Siemens or whoever the controls company is and not be so reliant on the vendors to do all the work for them.

So I think with the younger people today coming into the industry, I think it is a great opportunity for some of the tech-savvy younger people to come into this industry as a building engineer, men and women, frankly, that have a good computer background, have some computer science background and then need to learn systems. It’s hard to control systems you don’t understand, but I have seen plenty of people with the controls companies that know how to control a pump or a chiller, but don’t really understand the refrigeration cycle of the chiller or don’t really understand how that system works. So I think we’ve got a problem there today, too. And for many, many years with controls companies not having staff, not having enough staff to fully understand HVAC and fully understand these systems.

14:05 Scott: Yeah, I can certainly attest to that where there’s a lack of individuals who have that full understanding. I can tell you from my personal experience at Computrols, we’re always looking for those engineers who want to drive their own building automation system and have the skills to do it. And like you mentioned, they’re just, they’re fewer and farther between, every day. So, I have definitely have seen that myself. Now for building engineers, who they’re in the profession right now and they feel like they’re getting passed by with some of these computer skills and automation that they’re seeing, how would you recommend that they keep up with all of these changes? 

14:50 Joe: Well, it all comes down to training and constant training, constant attending seminars and classes outside of normal work hours. Typically, people have to be willing to put in that extra time and effort to study and understand these systems and understand these control systems and ramp their knowledge up. Study computer science, start with Computer Science 101. The world is changing rapidly on us right now. And so, this type of training and ongoing… Just like never-ending training is really the key, but part of the problem that is preventing that is… And I just had lunch yesterday with a few folks that we were talking about this, there seems to be a bit of an issue with some building owners and managers are struggling with their budgets and they’re having a hard time loosening the purse strings, which is a nice way of putting it, right? I can put it much more bluntly, but I’ll put it nicely. And there’s a lot of short-sightedness, I think, on budgets and especially with such an acute problem we have with finding building engineers today. 

In my view, the training dollars need to be freed up significantly, they need to be freed up quickly, there needs to be several thousand dollars a year for training purposes for building engineers, that are young and starting out, and have a lot of ramp-ups to do that’s gonna take 10 years, five, 10 years. And so it all comes down to training budgets and making this a very high priority. I think people know it’s a high priority. I just don’t see as much action being taken on that high priority at this point.

16:39 Scott: Yeah, I absolutely agree with you, Joe. I’ve seen the same thing whereas opposed to spending where… spending that budget, where you’re training your in-house staff to be more self-sufficient, what I’m seeing a lot of is individual property management entities becoming more dependent on vendors and frankly, no one knows that building as well as a building engineer. And so, if you can give them the tools to be successful, they’re gonna be able to do, they’re being able to do their job much more efficiently than someone who’s going to ten buildings a day, and trying to keep up with what’s what, in each individual building.

17:22 Joe: Right, right, and that’s another part of the problem is especially on the suburban buildings, which are the majority of the buildings in the country, a building engineer might have seven buildings, might have seven 30,000 or 40,000 square foot buildings. Normally the ratio is one building engineer for about 200,000 square feet. So you could have one building engineer with seven 30,000 square foot buildings so 210,000 feet, and they’re running all over the place all day and in the old days, we used to call it a Rolodex engineer that would have a big Rolodex of business cards and contacts and would have to call somebody in for darn near any issue. But today and 30 years ago, we had the cream of the crop building engineers that hit the books, studied, got the training, took the initiative, kind of at that top 10% and we have that top 10% today. We had it 30 years ago, we have that top 10% today. The ones that take the initiative, the ones that have the training budgets, the ones that take the time to go to training, the ones that make this a priority, so that’s… I haven’t really seen that change over 30 years. There’s always that cream of the crop that exists in any industry.

18:37 Scott: Right. Now, part of keeping up with all the technology is certainly self-education, and I think another big part of that is finding the right partner. So as a building engineer, what steps do you think these guys can take when looking at partnering with the right provider for new technology? 

19:00 Joe: Well, that is a topic that I speak on and write on every day, and this is really, really something that people need a lot of education on and it’s fun… Everything’s fundamentals. And on this topic of how do you pre-qualify vendors and partners, and how do you pre-qualify consultants, how do you pre-qualify the best general contractors, mechanical contractors, how do you pre-qualify the best controls firms, controls contractors? How do you pre-qualify the best test, adjust, and balance contractors, which by the way, in my experience and a lot of people’s experience, the test, adjust, and balance piece is one of the most critical sub-contracts that someone can procure on any project, and hiring the cream of the crop TAB firms in any city is a critical component of doing a retrofit, or building a new building, or doing a tenant build-out, whatever we’re talking about, ground-up construction. Some of these specialty subcontractors like test, adjust, and balance, like controls, and like commissioning, which is what my firm does, those specialties are critical to the success of any project, and knowing how to pre-qualify these firms is an important skill to learn and to have.

So I’m… Been on a mission for several years now, on writing articles and speaking about how do you pre-qualify, how do you do it properly, how do you find the best 10% or 20% of the firms out there that do building envelope work, that do roof consulting, that do energy retrofits, that are mechanical contractors, electrical contractors, architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, any of this. When you sell your house or you sell a building, are you gonna hire the 25th-rated broker to sell your house or your building, or are you gonna hire one of the top three brokers to sell your house or building and make sure you maximize your return? Well, if it’s me, I’m gonna hire the top three, but then you have to know how to pre-qualify the top three, and what credentials do they need to have, what kind of training and education do they need to have, who’s gonna work on your facility or your project? What kind of experience do they need, what kind of project experience do they need, what kind of skills do they need? This gets very detailed, and a simple pre-qualification or RFQ, a request for qualifications, is a missing link in a lot of procurement processes that people are missing, a key link. People go straight to the request for proposal to firms that have not been pre-qualified versus… The request for qualifications should be first, the request for proposal should be second.

22:03 Scott: Yeah, I can tell you, we’ve certainly seen the same when it comes to RFPs, it’s all too often a race to the bottom; it’s not a full evaluation of who’s gonna be the best partner for this project, and particularly for these ongoing projects. I always say with building automation companies in particular, you’re looking at a vendor that’s gonna be in your building for the next 10 plus years. It’s not the same as somebody who’s gonna come in and install a new tile floor or something like that, they know it’s an installation, and then it’s pretty much it. So I think getting that message across to property managers and property owners that a lot of these really critical components of, like you said, retrofits, tenant build-outs, ground-up construction, everything, it’s not always the lowest price should win, it needs to be a little bit more of a thorough assessment, and I think… You always say, “Look, I’ll go hire a consultant who knows how to assess this,” well, how do you know how to assess the consultant to begin with, right? 

23:16 Joe: Right, exactly, exactly.

23:17 Scott: So just… You gotta know where to get started. So I’ve definitely seen the same thing.

23:23 Joe: Yeah, yeah, I think that even… You named the tile floor example, or really any trade or any consultant, they’re all very important to any project because all those pieces add up to a quality project. So even when we’re building a ground-up building and we have a top consultant for the building envelope, I like to get a top separate consultant for the roof. A lot of building envelope firms will do roof and the vertical facade, but roof, to me in my experience, is so much more specialized than the vertical facade, and it’s a whole different skill set of consultants. And so these are the kind of details that a lot of people aren’t very familiar with in procuring consultants and pre-qualifying consultants. And even when we start building that curtain wall on a 30-story building or 20-story building, the company that’s hired is a sub-consultant to do the backer rod and silicone sealants between the various substrates of… Whether it’s aluminum window frame to a piece of granite, or it’s granite to granite substrate, any of those caulked joints, the detailing of those caulked joints, and the material that’s used, and the person that’s holding that caulking gun and doing that work ends up being a very critical part of the job, so even some of the littlest subcontracts are very critical.

24:56 Scott: Yeah, absolutely. So what are some of the trends you’re seeing that are changing the landscape of building management right now, and what do you see coming up over the next five or so years? 

25:10 Joe: Well, I think automation is going to just continue to be very, very important, and having the right automation companies involved in buildings is going to continue to be more important than ever. The City of Denver, which I’m on some advisory councils with the City of Denver representing the Building Owners and Managers Association, I’m seeing a lot of regulations on the horizon that are pretty intense and strict, and building codes are being… The International Energy Conservation Code is being amended heavily by the City of Denver, and many cities are doing their own amendments, and that’s typical of any code, every city does their amendment book, and oftentimes the amendments can be as thick of a book as the original codebook was. You could have a two-inch-thick codebook and a two-inch-thick amendment book on top of it. So these amendments to these codes are getting very rigorous, very strict.

The City of Denver has many initiatives that they are talking about rolling out. They’ve started with the energy benchmarking, which Chicago and many other cities do, where your Energy Star score is publicized for buildings over 25,000 square feet. Every year you have to submit your Energy Star score, and it’s kind of a public shaming process that the cities have started with. Well, that’s going to evolve… In my viewpoint, that’s going to evolve into fines, into carbon taxes, into all sorts of penalties to buildings if they don’t start improving their energy efficiency. So all of that being said, this is a major changing landscape over the next five years that’s coming at us, and it’s going to change very quickly. And over the next 10 years, for example… Well, I’ll give you another example.

The City Denver, by the year 2035, so that’s 16 years from now, is going to require all new construction of commercial buildings and homes to be net-zero energy. And then you have to ask yourself, how does a 30-story new building do net-zero? There’s not enough surface area on the facade of the roof or the plaza areas to put photovoltaic panels. Well, no, there isn’t, and even as we improve photovoltaics, there still won’t be enough surface area. So they’ll have to buy all of the balance of their power from off-site solar to be net-zero. So this is where the building codes are going for new construction. And then there’s going to be a whole another set of rigorous code amendments geared towards existing buildings because that’s the bulk of the buildings and forcing existing buildings into being more efficient. This is a major, major change that is happening or that’s going to happen over the next 10-15 years.

28:07 Scott: So yeah, I mean, it sounds like as a facility manager, that’s gonna be an important part of their individual roles going forward is understanding what these regulations are, how you meet them, and again, we go back to how do I stay up with the latest and greatest technology, how do I assess potential partners? So it’s not something that’s going away, it’s something that’s gonna become a bigger part of their role in managing the building.

28:42 Joe: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, Scott, let me elaborate on that for just a moment. So we kinda have two pieces of that puzzle, of how do you stay up and current? And so if we talk about the younger generation, how do they do it? And then the second question is, how does the more seasoned and experienced folks that are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, how do they stay up-to-date? So first with the younger generation, the obvious way that the younger generation needs to get up to speed on all this is through education and training coupled with… What’s missing in the universities and the colleges, unlike the trade schools… And as I said earlier, I went to automotive trade school when I was 17 years old. And the trade schools are phenomenal because you’re hitting the books in the morning and you’re in the laboratory in the afternoon every day.

So when I was in automotive school, we studied refrigeration for six weeks because cars have air conditioning systems, obviously. So we had six weeks, Monday through Friday, of refrigeration textbook, three hours a day in a classroom, 40 of us in a classroom with a refrigeration instructor. And then we were out in the garage, this huge garage at Denver Automotive and Diesel College, tearing apart refrigeration systems, tearing apart compressors, charging systems, properly charging systems, testing systems, and checking the discharge temperatures. And that was how we learned. But the universities are trying their best to solve this laboratory component because studying the books is half of the puzzle. Doing things hands-on, and working with systems, and being in the so-called laboratory, or working as an intern in a building, or working as an intern for a controls company, or a general contractor, or mechanical contractor, I think that’s an essential part of the education process.

And then we talk about the employees that are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, and that becomes an issue of how do you stay relevant, how do you stay current, and more importantly, how do you stay relevant so that you stay sharp, and you don’t lose your edge, and you stay up with technology? So I think the same applies, I think it’s reading trade journals, it’s studying textbooks, studying trade journals, studying the latest technologies, reading the O&M manuals letter for letter, and understanding all this new technology. It just doesn’t… It doesn’t all happen with hands-on experience; there’s a study and reading component that still has to happen. And going to seminars and going to trade shows and things like that, that needs to continue to happen kind of lifelong.

31:34 Scott: Yeah, and something that you had mentioned in one of the presentations I saw you give is, particularly for those individuals who have families who are already working a full-time job as a building engineer, it’s a bit of a sacrifice, and it’s just a matter of how do I get started here? So is it a class that you take one night a week? Is it attending webinars? Webinars are one of the ways that I like to learn personally ’cause I can do it from my desk, I get some visual cues along with a lot of good data, and it’s free. So it’s one of my favorite ways to learn because of that. And I think a lot of times it’s overwhelming because I think we all get wrapped up in our jobs, day-to-day activities, and it’s a flurry of keeping up with the latest fire, but setting aside that time, I think, is where you hit the nail on the head, where it’s prioritizing it really, it’s how important is it to you to stay at the top of your game? 

32:36 Joe: Yeah, I think literally a person does need to schedule these kinds of things into their calendar. I know that when I went to… I did 20 years of night school to get an associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree while working 60 hours a week. And so people kinda look at me like how in the heck did you do that? And I was getting up at 4:00 AM in the morning every day before work and studying before work, and found a couple of hours, 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM in the morning, to study. Had to go to bed early at night to do that. And then lunchtime, close the door if you have an office, I had an office a good portion of the time, private office, closed the door at 12 o’clock, opened the book, hit it till one o’clock, reopened my door at 1:00 PM. So picked up another hour a day doing that. So the analogy here to just setting aside that time and having those slots scheduled in your calendar so nothing else fills those slots.

So that lunchtime example is a prime example. Rather than going to lunch… Which I’m not saying don’t go to lunch ’cause you need to get out there and be with people to learn what’s going on out there as well that way. But I think several days a week, if a person’s trying to ramp up their knowledge, they need to block that lunch hour for them. And I call it scheduling time with yourself, it’s scheduling meetings with yourself ’cause otherwise, the calendar’s gonna get filled very quickly with meetings that aren’t with yourself, that are with other people.

34:04 Scott: Absolutely. It’s easier said than done, but you’re 100% right, it’s all about prioritizing yourself in some capacity. So if you’re talking to a young person who’s considering becoming a building engineer as a career, what do you tell them as far as, one… And you’ve touched on some of this, but one, how do I come in as prepared as possible? And then two, why? Why become a building engineer? What’s the appeal? 

34:34 Joe: Well, I think part of the… It’s kind of a little bit bigger picture, I view, than just telling a young person why should they consider being a building engineer today. I think the bigger picture is why would you tell a young person to go into any of the trades today, which includes building engineers. Why would you wanna tell a young person what’s the benefit of you becoming a controls contractor, or a controls technician, a building engineer, an electrician, a plumber? Any of these trades are great trades; they are great professions, pay very good money, you can support a family in these trades. And so I think I would open it up to more of a wider… With younger people: “Here is the benefit of working in the trades, including being a building engineer.” And I would roll the building engineer in with, just ’cause controls companies are having a serious… Or just as big of a problem trying to find people right now.

And when I say serious, that is the absolute… That isn’t even a strong enough adjective to describe how big this problem is with finding controls technicians, building engineers, chief engineers, electricians, etc. This is a grave problem we’re facing today, and I think that the word needs to get out nationwide at the high school level. We need to get the word out before people… Before these kids in high school decide if they wanna go to college or trade school. I think they need to understand early in the high school process, not senior year, freshmen in high school, sophomores in high school: “Here’s what your options are, and college is not the only option.” And I think the parents of these high school kids need to understand the benefits of their kids going into the trades. And college isn’t cut out for everybody, and so that’s just my view.

36:44 Scott: No, I think that’s right, and something you mentioned early on was perception, and changing that perception at the high school level is key because that’s where you make that decision, at a very young age. And I always thought coming out of high school, when I was 18 years old, I’m like, “I’m not ready to make this life decision that’s gonna send me down a path that… I don’t know whether or not it’s right for me.” But I think you’re 100% right, I think it’s changing that perception and educating at that level to help kids understand what their options are. And I think something else you mentioned early on is, look, there’s a living to be made here, it’s not just a job. You can do well, you can excel, and these are really tangible skills that you can bring to this trade.

37:39 Joe: Yeah, and the fact of the matter is that when we talk about building engineers and chief engineers, as I said earlier, these large downtown buildings, the chief engineers are making low to mid-six-figure salaries including bonus. And when you talk about a mechanical engineer that’s working for a design firm, very difficult for them to get up into that low 100s, mid-100s range as a design engineer. So I hired an engineer, a building engineer 30 years ago when I was with Hines, and interviewed mechanical engineering students at Metropolitan State College of Denver and University of Colorado Denver, which are on the same campus together near downtown Denver, and ended up hiring a degreed mechanical engineer, and we made him, this individual, an apprentice building engineer with Hines at that time in this 52-story building. And he is today the city chief engineer for Hines. And he could have gone to work for a design firm, but we brought him in at the apprentice level at the same salary that he would have made working for a design firm, and he moved up rapidly, and his salary moved up rapidly, and moved up quicker than his salary would have moved up if he had been working for a design firm for 10 years. So this is… A lot of people don’t realize that there’s a significant upward career path starting as an entry-level building engineer in these bigger buildings.

39:16 Scott: Yeah, I totally agree. Well, Joe, we greatly appreciate you coming on the podcast with us today, you’re welcome back any time. You’re a wealth of knowledge on the topic of building technology and particularly from the facility management standpoint, which we’re constantly trying to help facility managers better understand this new technology. But we really appreciate you joining us today, and like I said, we’d be happy to have you back any time.

39:45 Joe: Alright, Scott, I appreciate you asking me to talk today, thanks for the podcast.

39:53 Scott: Alright, and thank you all for listening today. That was Joe Havey from E Cube. We’ll be coming back to you shortly with a new podcast. Thank you again for joining us. This is Scott Holstein with Computrols signing off.

 

About Scott Holstein

Scott Holstein is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Computrols where he began working in early 2016. Holstein has since entrenched himself in the building automation industry and has written articles for the Computrols blog, ControlTrends, and AutomatedBuildings.com and spoken at a number of industry events. Some of his specialties outside of sales and marketing include new technology trends in smart buildings, energy efficiency strategies, and the internet of things.