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Phil Zito

Recent posts by Phil Zito

3 min read

SBA 460: BAS Input Types

By Phil Zito on Apr 3, 2024 2:39:46 PM

Episode Description:

Join Phil Zito in Episode 460 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast as he continues the technician onboarding series, focusing on Building Automation System (BAS) input types. Following a general introduction to BAS, Phil delves into the specifics of input types, output types, and the various tiers of BAS architecture. This episode is essential for new technicians and those looking to deepen their understanding of how building automation systems monitor and control building environments. With a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical insights, Phil explains the differences between physical and logical inputs, the process of selecting appropriate sensors and devices, and the significance of understanding specifications.

Episode Highlights:

BAS Input Types Unveiled: Discover the differences between physical and logical inputs in BAS and the roles they play in system functionality.

Sensor Selection Process: Learn how to read specifications and identify the necessary sensors and devices for BAS applications, enhancing your skillset in equipment selection.

Introduction to Physical Inputs: Phil breaks down the most common physical inputs—resistive, voltage, current, contact, and pulse inputs—providing examples and their applications within BAS.

Logical Inputs Explained: Gain insight into logical inputs, including writable and non-writable types, and understand how they impact system programming and operations.

Practical Application and Specifications: Through real-world examples and a walkthrough of reading a specification, Phil demonstrates how to translate theoretical knowledge into practical application.

Future Learning Path: Phil outlines the upcoming topics in the series, including output types, controller types, communication buses, and more, setting the stage for comprehensive BAS learning.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone starting their journey in building automation or seeking to refine their technical skills. Through detailed explanations and practical examples, Phil Zito provides listeners with the tools needed to understand and work with BAS input types, paving the way for future episodes that will explore the depths of building automation systems. Tune in to enhance your understanding of BAS and prepare for the continued learning journey in subsequent episodes.

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 459: BAS Operational Structures

By Phil Zito on Apr 1, 2024 2:00:00 PM

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 458: Introduction to BAS

By Phil Zito on Mar 27, 2024 12:00:00 PM

Episode Description:

In this foundational episode of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast, Phil Zito launches a vital series dedicated to teaching building automation from the ground up, perfect for new entrants to the field. Episode 458 serves as the gateway, introducing the very basics of Building Automation Systems (BAS), the architecture of such systems, and the crucial components that make up a BAS. Through detailed explanations and visual aids, this episode aims to demystify the core aspects of building automation, including inputs and outputs, controllers, and the significance of visualization in managing complex building systems. Whether you're a new employee seeking to grasp the BAS industry or an employer looking to onboard fresh talent effectively, this series promises to be an indispensable resource.

Episode Highlights:

  • BAS Overview: A high-level introduction to Building Automation Systems, explaining their purpose and how they've evolved from electromechanical and analog systems to digital controls.
  • Key Components: Insight into the basic components of a BAS, including inputs, outputs, controllers, and supervisory devices, and how they interact to automate building functions.
  • Architecture Explained: Simplifying the three-tier architecture of BAS, detailing how data moves from field devices to the operator's interface for actionable insights.
  • Visualization and Control: Discussing the role of supervisory devices and software in visualizing and managing building systems, highlighting the shift to web-based interfaces for remote management.
  • Educational Approach: Phil Zito outlines the series' structure, focusing on foundational knowledge before progressing to more complex concepts and applications in building automation.

Join us every Wednesday at 10 am Arizona time for live sessions, where you can engage, ask questions, and deepen your understanding of building automation systems. This series is designed to build a strong foundation for those new to the BAS field, offering a step-by-step guide to mastering the basics and beyond.

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 457: Mentoring BAS Employees

By Phil Zito on Mar 27, 2024 11:37:30 AM

Episode Description:

Join Phil Zito in Episode 457 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast as he delves into the critical role of mentoring in developing Building Automation System (BAS) employees. This episode is a part of our ongoing series on BAS management, focusing on cultivating soft skills, understanding finance, and enhancing sales through mentoring. Phil, leveraging his extensive experience in mentoring and running a successful training business, offers a fresh perspective on accelerating the growth of technical and sales professionals in the BAS industry.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Talent Crisis in Building Automation: An overview of the current demand for skilled workers in construction and manufacturing, emphasizing the need for 1.2 million new workers by 2029.
  • Traditional Development Models: A critique of conventional onboarding and mentoring programs, highlighting their inadequacies in addressing the rapid need for skilled BAS professionals.
  • Quantitative Mentoring Approach: Introduction to a data-driven mentoring strategy that emphasizes measurable progress and competency-based assessments to fast-track employee development.
  • Bloom's Taxonomy in Mentoring: Application of Bloom's Taxonomy to structure the mentoring process, ensuring a clear progression from basic knowledge acquisition to the application and beyond.
  • Implementing the Model: Practical steps for incorporating a quantitative mentoring model within your organization, including setting SMART goals, assessing competencies, and adapting mentoring techniques to individual needs.
  • Overcoming Challenges: Discussion on common obstacles in mentoring BAS employees and strategies to overcome them, ensuring a successful developmental journey for both mentors and mentees.

Episode Highlights:

  • Phil shares insights into the critical talent shortage facing the BAS industry and the importance of innovative mentoring approaches to bridge the gap.
  • Explore a structured, measurable methodology to mentorship that moves beyond traditional models, fostering rapid skill acquisition and professional growth.
  • Learn how to apply Bloom's Taxonomy to effectively mentor BAS employees, ensuring they achieve competency in their roles efficiently.
  • Gain practical tips on implementing a quantitative mentoring model in your organization, enhancing the development of technical and sales staff.
Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 456: T1L Deepdive

By Phil Zito on Mar 21, 2024 11:53:19 AM

Join Phil Zito in Episode 456 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast for an enlightening deep dive into T1L, an emerging Ethernet standard poised to revolutionize building automation systems. As we explore the technicalities and applications of T1L, this episode serves as a comprehensive guide for professionals eager to understand and implement this technology in their projects. From explaining the basics of T1L to discussing practical implementation steps, Phil provides valuable insights into leveraging T1L for both retrofit and new installation projects, ensuring your building automation systems are more efficient, cost-effective, and future-proof.

Episode Highlights:

  • Introduction to T1L: Unravel the basics of T1L, an Ethernet physical layer specification under IEEE 802.3cg, offering a promising solution for extending the reach of building automation networks using single twisted-pair cables.

  • Key Features and Benefits: Discover T1L's capability to support 10 Mbps full-duplex communication over 1 kilometer, facilitating cost-effective network expansions and leveraging existing wiring infrastructure.

  • Operational Modes and Applications: Learn about T1L's operational modes, VPP voltage levels, and how they cater to different network requirements, alongside exploring T1L's suitability for various building automation protocols like BACnet IP, LonWorks, and Modbus RTU.

  • Technical Deep Dive: Dive into the technical aspects of T1L, including the importance of impedance matching, the role of PHY transceivers, receivers, and gateways in a T1L setup, and how these components work together to ensure efficient data transmission.

  • Implementing T1L in Projects: Gain practical insights into assessing existing infrastructure for T1L compatibility, planning network architecture, upgrading devices, and configuring network settings to successfully implement T1L in your projects.

  • Interactive Learning: Phil encourages listeners to engage with questions and share their thoughts on T1L's impact on the building automation industry, fostering an interactive learning environment.

Whether you're looking to enhance your knowledge on cutting-edge Ethernet standards or seeking practical advice on implementing T1L in your building automation projects, Episode 456 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast is an invaluable resource. Dive into the world of T1L with Phil Zito and stay ahead in the rapidly evolving field of building automation.

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 455: The Pillars of BAS Business Management

By Phil Zito on Mar 18, 2024 3:09:52 PM

Explore the journey of BAS management and ownership with Phil Zito in Episode 455 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast. This episode kicks off a series focused on crucial skills for building automation leaders, spanning topics from financial acumen to operational prowess. Whether you're a manager, owner, or interested in comprehensive management practices, this series sheds light on navigating the building automation industry's complexities.

Episode Highlights:

  • Introduction to BAS Management Series: Phil introduces the series, aimed at dissecting the skills vital for successful management and ownership within the building automation sphere.

  • Key Management Areas: Discussing critical domains such as finance, operations, sales, legal issues, marketing, business management, leadership skills, and talent management, and their significance for business prosperity.

  • Finance for Business Growth: Insight into financial planning, reporting, understanding tax structures, financing options, and ensuring sustainable business development.

  • Operations and Organizational Structure: Emphasizing the importance of robust operational processes, documents, and systems in effectively scaling business operations.

  • Sales Strategy and Management: Advice on crafting a powerful sales strategy, managing sales efforts, and leveraging CRM tools to bolster business revenue.

  • Legal and Marketing Essentials: Navigating legal challenges and the role of clear, effective marketing in boosting business visibility and reach.

  • People and Leadership: Discussing HR policies, employee retention, and the leadership qualities essential for fostering a positive and productive workplace.

Embark on this insightful journey with Phil Zito into managing and owning a building automation system business. This foundational episode sets the stage for the series, offering invaluable insights for professionals aspiring to thrive in the BAS industry.

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 454: The BAS Project Management Process

By Phil Zito on Mar 4, 2024 2:35:12 PM

Join Phil Zito in Episode 454 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast as we delve into the intricacies of Building Automation System (BAS) Project Management. Unlike traditional construction project management, BAS project management brings its own set of challenges and skills. This episode not only highlights the differences but also categorizes BAS project management into four distinct buckets: new construction under a subcontractor, new construction owner-direct, and retrofit owner-direct, each with its unique demands.

Episode Highlights:

  • Phil outlines the essential qualities of a BAS project manager and emphasizes the importance of treating each project as its own profit and loss center to ensure financial success.
  • Discover the pivotal stages of the BAS project management process, including the sales to operations handoff, project kickoff meetings, subcontractor agreements, labor assignments, and the critical role of submittal creation and submission.
  • Gain insights into the importance of a well-orchestrated project kickoff process for setting the stage for project success, including ensuring clear communication between sales and operations to avoid costly misunderstandings.
  • Learn about the vital process of scope management, including the use of scope matrices, RFIs, and RFCs to ensure all project aspects are clearly defined and agreed upon.
  • Phil discusses the nuances of labor, material, and subcontractor management within the BAS industry, offering strategies for effectively managing these key resources to maintain project timelines and budgets.
  • Financial management is explored in depth, with Phil advocating for proactive billing and cash management practices to keep projects financially viable.
  • The episode concludes with a discussion on the importance of meticulous project closeout procedures, including point-to-point checkouts, functional testing, and thorough training for the building operators to ensure a smooth handover and long-term project success.

Whether you're a seasoned BAS project manager or looking to break into the field, this episode offers valuable insights and practical advice for managing BAS projects efficiently and profitably.

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 453: Exploring BBMDs and BACnet/IP

By Phil Zito on Feb 28, 2024 11:58:15 AM

Dive into the complexities of BACnet IP with Phil Zito in Episode 453 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast. This episode provides a thorough examination of BACnet IP, including BBMDS (BACnet Broadcast Management Devices), BDTs (BACnet Distribution Tables), and the use of Wireshark for network analysis. Designed for those with a foundational understanding of IT concepts, this session covers the essentials of BACnet IP communications, the functionality of virtual links, and practical insights into network configurations for building automation systems.

Episode Highlights:

  1. Introduction to BACnet IP: Phil sets the stage for an in-depth exploration of BACnet IP, emphasizing the episode's technical depth and encouraging live audience interaction for clarity.

  2. Understanding BACnet IP: Key concepts such as BACnet IP addressing, the role of UDP (User Datagram Protocol), and the importance of the OSI model in understanding BACnet communications are explained.

  3. BBMDS and BDTs Explained: The function of BBMDS and BDTs in extending BACnet communication across different subnets is discussed, alongside the mechanisms that enable these processes.

  4. Wireshark Analysis: Phil demonstrates how to use Wireshark for analyzing BACnet IP traffic, providing insights into reading and interpreting the data for troubleshooting and system optimization.

  5. Practical Network Configuration: The episode covers network configuration strategies, including the management of broadcast domains and the scalability of network segments, to facilitate efficient BACnet IP integration.

Join Phil for this technical deep dive into BACnet IP, offering valuable knowledge for professionals seeking to enhance their understanding of network communications within building automation systems. This episode is an essential listen for anyone involved in the design, implementation, or management of BAS, looking to deepen their expertise in BACnet IP.

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 452: Non-Techie’s BAS IT Guide

By Phil Zito on Feb 28, 2024 11:48:03 AM

Unravel the mysteries of IT for Building Automation Systems (BAS) with Phil Zito in Episode 452 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast. Geared towards the non-technical audience in the BAS field, this episode serves as a comprehensive guide, introducing key IT concepts essential for BAS professionals. Whether you're a building owner, MEP spec designer, salesperson, or operations manager, this episode aims to equip you with a foundational understanding of computers, RAM, storage, networking, and more, tailored for effective communication with IT groups or handling BAS IT-related tasks.

Episode Highlights:

  1. IT Basics for BAS: An exploration of fundamental IT components including computers, RAM, storage, and networking, essential for anyone in the building automation industry.

  2. Network Connections and Devices: Dive into network connections, understanding the role of network devices in BAS, and the significance of servers and databases in the IT infrastructure.

  3. Decoding Catalog Sheets: Learn how to interpret catalog sheets for BAS products, focusing on server requirements, networking protocols, and hardware specifications.

  4. Navigating IT Conversations: Gain confidence in discussing IT requirements for BAS deployments, including server configurations, memory, storage needs, and understanding network connectivity options.

  5. Software and Database Essentials: Phil sheds light on the importance of selecting the appropriate operating system and database software for BAS servers, including tips for ensuring compatibility and performance.

  6. Q&A Session: An interactive segment where Phil addresses listener queries, providing deeper insights into IT concepts relevant to BAS, enhancing listener understanding and application in real-world scenarios.

Join Phil Zito in this enlightening session, designed to bridge the gap between BAS professionals and the world of IT. Perfect for those looking to enhance their IT literacy within the context of building automation, Episode 452 demystifies complex concepts, making IT approachable and understandable for all.

Topics: Podcasts
3 min read

SBA 451: BACnet Integrations

By Phil Zito on Feb 21, 2024 12:07:00 PM

Uncover the essentials of BACnet integration in Episode 451 of the Smart Buildings Academy Podcast with Phil Zito. This episode is an invaluable resource for professionals embarking on BACnet integration projects, offering a comprehensive overview of BACnet protocols, communication methodologies, and practical integration strategies. Whether you're tackling a retrofit or adding new components to your building automation system, Phil's expert insights will guide you through the complexities of BACnet integration.

Episode Highlights:

  • BACnet Basics: Phil introduces BACnet as the standard protocol for building automation, explaining its role in structuring communication and defining data structures within BAS environments.
  • Understanding BACnet Objects: Delve into the world of BACnet objects, including devices, inputs, outputs, and values. Learn about the significance of discovering device objects and the process of mapping points within a BAS.
  • MSTP vs. IP Integration: Explore the differences between BACnet over Master-Slave/Token-Passing (MSTP) and BACnet over Internet Protocol (IP), including their application scenarios and challenges in integration processes.
  • Integration Fundamentals: Phil provides a step-by-step guide to BACnet integration, covering essential aspects such as wiring, baud rates, MAC addresses, and device IDs, ensuring a smooth integration experience.
  • Real-World Integration Scenarios: Gain insights into practical BACnet integration examples, including troubleshooting tips and strategies for overcoming common integration challenges.

Phil Zito's expertise shines in this episode, offering listeners a deep dive into BACnet integration tailored for both novices and seasoned professionals in the building automation field. If you're looking to enhance your understanding of BACnet and improve your integration skills, Episode 451 is a must-listen, equipped with the knowledge and confidence to tackle BACnet integration projects successfully.

Topics: Podcasts

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