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Ford Land Is Creating a 21st Century Tech Enabled Workplace - Paul Maximuk Explains!

RealcommEDGE talks with CoRE Tech 2019 co-chair Paul Maximuk of Ford Land. He is the product owner as well as a technical SME and leads all BMS and controls integrations globally. He has over 30 years of experience in the industry managing multiple types of energy systems and specializing in strategic smart building implementation and management. Paul's expertise in the built environment spans real estate assets from large industrial facilities to Class A office buildings.

Tell us about your role at Ford Land.
I am part of the technology group, a collaboration between the IT and OT teams. We're currently focusing on North American sites, with attention on our updated R&E (Research & Engineering) campus where they do product development. Our team resides in the same collaborative space and interacts on a daily basis - something that a lot of organizations have not done in the past. We are in the process of undergoing an agile transformation, as we found it necessary to evolve our methods to support the way technology rapidly advances.

What are the major technology projects you started or completed in the last 12 months?
We've been heavily focused on space utilization and space analytics. Part of that focus is to understand where the heaviest concentration of people are within a given space, the total people count within those spaces and how long those spaces are used. We've advanced the user interface controls for conference rooms as we've learned what technologies people like to use for collaboration including more interaction and control of their environment. We've brought in wireless lighting and interactive temperature control that drives energy savings when the space is unoccupied. We also have a team that is developing apps to interface to these spaces from a mobile device.

Other technologies we have evaluated include using camera based object detection. One example is parking decks: we needn't know who a vehicle belongs to, but car counts enable understanding of parking capacity. Eventually we'll interface vehicle information to know what decks and spots are available. Connected vehicles will incorporate this information to navigate to available parking spaces within that parking structure.

From a historical standpoint, do you remember how and when Ford decided to take the smart building premise seriously?
Our IT/OT collaborative team went to Realcomm | IBcon 2018 in Las Vegas. Our converged team used this experience as an opportunity to better understand the technology that would drive a frictionless environment in the future workplace of Ford's new campus. Because of this collaboration of our teams, we are able to become more agile in testing, evaluating and deploying these technologies. Leadership saw this converged team interaction as a win for bringing new technologies into the new campus and provided funding to prove these technologies out in various workspaces - through proof of concept projects.

WATCH THE VIDEO - Ford's Dearborn Campus Transformation:


What are your highest priority technology initiatives for the next 12 months?
Bringing high density Wi-Fi wireless technology into the workplace for connected IoT devices like spatial mapping, location services, wayfinding and asset tracking; it's also an enabler for other use cases.

We're deploying wireless Bluetooth technology using your phone as an access key instead of badges. Phone as a badge utilizes secure token encryption both passive and active so you don't necessarily have to hold your phone up to the card reader to badge in, you just walk through. One thing lacking with legacy badge readers was that people would only badge in, they typically never badged out. This new technology enables a better understanding as to how many people are in the space in the event there is a life safety incident within that building.

One of the major Ford projects for our team is the Corktown campus which is a large historical preservation renovation of the historic train station in Detroit that was built in 1913. Ford is converting this structure into a multi-use facility, maintaining the historical footprint and interjecting technology into this space.

The technology used to renovate the train station is amazing. Initially, the building was surveyed using 3D cameras scanning every inch of the interior and exterior for the 3D BIM model. This technology enabled the design teams to evaluate the existing structure's condition to determine the extent of repairs. Secondly, because the old stonework could never be duplicated without the original model, the scanning technology would help recreate the original look and feel of the building for replicating the stonework using technologies like 3D printing. Ten years ago, this technology was not available so renovation to this degree may not have happened.

After this phase, what will be the highlights of the way you operate the Ford Real Estate portfolio?
Understanding with greater granularity the total cost of the space per employee based on the number of people in the space, the energy used to maintain the workplace environment and the different components of their time. Breaking down the analytics is really going to change the game and enable opportunities to reduce operating costs. Data is a very powerful commodity; understanding and using that data will change the way we look at the workplace.

On the OT side, technology is the enabler for building operations and mechanical systems. Are the systems being maintained properly; are we wasting money replacing components such as air filtration too frequently or not enough; are we performing enough PMs; are the predictive analytics enabling proactive decisions?

We've enabled the operations service and maintenance teams with technology that will integrate into business systems supporting service work and maintenance. Mobile devices will connect to the work order system, to the building management system, and to the BIM 360 Digital Twin. Our connected smart buildings may have the ability to generate work orders, control lighting and temperature in the space, through an employee app.

What technology, automation or innovation trends do you see impacting Corporate Real Estate the most?
I think there will be a lot more focus on the well-being within the interior space. For example, we are evaluating circadian lighting that changes color in the daytime, so employees feel more relaxed. We've really examined the environment itself. Are people getting enough fresh air in this space? Are we looking holistically at that building envelope, optimizing everything we can?

The integration of multiple business operating systems sharing data to a data lake rather than storing it within its own database. It is amazing how many different systems generate the same data but do not share it with other systems.

What are the extreme innovation ideas that Ford is considering for the future?
Our Workplace Experience group is a team from different business units within Ford Land and Ford IT. One thing we discuss often is the day and life of an employee, where your technology experience starts from home. Your house has controls to adjust lighting, lock doors, set the alarm, etc. Now your house is connected to your vehicle, using that same technology as you drive. It gives you the traffic path, relates accidents, reroutes you through the GPS. When you arrive to work, it connects you seamlessly to the parking garage. It knows your schedule, your first meeting, guides you to your conference room. The room's enabled with your lighting level preferences, temperature and A/V preferences; the meeting is ready to go. Food service is taken care of. It's integrating all those different things in your life - not only work, but also options in family life. For example, we have mothers' rooms. We've done pilots with bringing your dog to work; we're looking at all these things that perhaps aren't normally in the workplace.

Technology is the enabler to simplify your connected lifestyle. Whether you are in your vehicle, at work or at home, we are all seamlessly connected through that technology; it is part of today's lifestyle.

Hear more from Paul, along with co-chairs Emmanuel Daniel of Microsoft and Matthew Montanes of JPMorgan Chase on digital transformation and Real Estate Strategy at the CoRE Tech opening session on Nov. 13 in Silicon Valley. CoRE Tech 2019 is the leading conference on technology, automation and innovation for the Corporate Real Estate and Facilities industry. Register today!

Realcomm Staff
Realcomm Conference Group LLC is the leading research and educational institution that produces annual conferences and expositions on technology, automated business solutions and intelligent buildings strategies for executives in commercial, corporate, government and institutional real estate. Realcomm was founded in 1999 with the goal of bringing industry leaders together each year to discuss, demonstrate and debate the latest innovations that impact the industry.

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Realcomm News



The flexible space and co-working trend has been evolving for decades and has accelerated significantly in recent years. Densification of office space, a quest for higher utilization and the need for space flexibility have all fueled the rapid expansion of this idea. Most flex space and co-working projects require a great amount of time, planning and financial resources. Build-out expenses are high and are fixed to a specific location.

A new concept, the Flex Space Business Lounge Powered by ZenSpace, will provide building owners and operators a fast, inexpensive, flexible and portable solution to meet their growing flex space needs. This cost-effective, quick and flexible alternative space option will turn any under-utilized lobby, reception area or common space into a productive, engaging and potentially profitable workplace!

CoRE Tech is pleased to present this exciting new concept to the Corporate Real Estate and Facilities industry on November 13th and 14th at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley.

For more info and to register today, visit CoRE Tech 2019.

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