Cover image of The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology

The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology

If you want to learn building automation then you are in the right place. My name is Phil Zito and I am the CEO of Smart Buildings Academy. If you are a technician, operator, salesperson, or engineer the Smart Buildings Academy podcast is for you. Each week I tap into my vast experience in Building Automation and teach you the things no one else teaches. You will learn about BAS, HVAC, IT, Energy Management, Sales, Operations, Project Management, Cyber Security and so much more. Prior to founding Smart Buildings Academy, I held a variety of BAS roles in service, install, operations management, sales, and most recently I led the technical integration program at Johnson Controls. Suffice to say, I've been in your shoes and I know what you need to learn. I look forward to guiding you through BAS in the weekly Smart Buildings Academy Podcast.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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BAM 126: BAS for Owners Part 1

Do you feel like you've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a building automation system and only use 10% of its capabilities? If so you're not alone. In this four-part series we will be discussing how to design, setup, configure, and optimize your building automation system, even if you are a completely non-technical person! How to analyze your existing BAS use How do I optimally utilize my BAS? (1:15) Why proper intake is the secret to effectively using your BAS (3:27) The four-step process to optimally using a BAS (4:03) How BAS systems are designed right now (4:58) Why you must know the main purpose of the BAS (5:45) The power of the RFI, RFQ, RFP Process (6:42) The importance of proper consulting (11:55) How a health check will keep your BAS system running well (13:05) What is your current triage process, and why you must know (16:42


6 Aug 2018

Rank #1

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BAM 047: What is IT and a look at IT networking

In this episode, I take you with me on a journey into the world of information technology. One of the most requested topics is information technology and I understand why.  For most folks in the BAS world, IT is like a black art. Something that is full of acronyms, onery IT people, and miscommunication. Or at least it used to be. Over the next four episodes, I am going to unpack the topic of information technology.  We are going to explore the four pillars of IT: Networks Compute Databases Cybersecurity By the time you finish these episodes your knowledge of IT will have increased massively. In this episode, I will be discussing: What is IT What are the main areas of IT The fundamentals of networking The two most common IT networking objections and how to deal with them


8 Feb 2017

Rank #2

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BAM 04: Everything You Need to Know About IP Addresses

In this episode of the Building Automation Monthly podcast I discuss everything you could want to know about IP addresses. Specifically I dive into the topics of: What is an IP Address? What is a Sub-Net What is the Domain Name System (DNS) What is the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) What is a Static and Dynamic IP Address


8 Jun 2016

Rank #3

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BAM 102: Building Automation 101

Have you ever wondered what makes a building automation system work? In this episode I lay out the key principles that you need to know in order to have a solid foundation of building automation knowledge.


12 Feb 2018

Rank #4

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BAM 144: The Basics of API's

What are API's? How do API's work? And what do building automation professionals need to know about API's? In this episode, we discuss what API's are, how to use API's, and how to avoid the common issues with API's.


10 Dec 2018

Rank #5

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BAM 166: Controlling HVAC 101 Part 1

How do you control HVAC systems with your building automation system? In part one of our multipart episode, we will discuss how to control the process variables in a space. After all, everything begins with having proper temperature, humidity, pressure, and airflow within the space.


3 Jun 2019

Rank #6

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BAM 184: HVAC Control Sequences Part 2

Airside systems account for the majority of the HVAC systems that we control with a BAS, but do you know how they work? In this week's episode we are going to discuss how to control airside systems. We are going to look at rooftop units, air handlers, and other airside systems. We will discuss the devices we control, the sequences we use, and strategies we can implement to optimize the control of the our airside systems.


28 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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BAM 153: Three Ways to Get a Job In BAS

How do you break into building automation? What steps should you take? What knowledge do you need to have? Can you get a job without HVAC knowledge how? Do you need to know IT why or why not? All of these questions will be answered in this week's podcast episode.


4 Mar 2019

Rank #8

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BAM 148: What Are BAS Gateways?

Have you ever found yourself on a job site trying to get two separate systems to communicate? Maybe you purchased a BAS gateway but you can't seem to get things to "work". I've been there, and it sucks! That's why in this episode we are going to discuss what BAS Gateways are and how to use them to get your BAS to communicate with other systems.


28 Jan 2019

Rank #9

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BAM 182: Cyber Security for BAS Professionals

Is your customer's building automation system secure?  How can you make sure your BAS projects are cyber secure?  How do you know where to start? In this week's episode, we discuss what cybersecurity is and what you need to know in order to securely execute BAS work.


14 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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BAM 152: The Systems Integration Life Cycle

In this episode, Phil Zito discusses the 5-phase systems integration process. This proven process is how to professionally integrate complex integrated systems.  If you are at all interested in integrating systems then you need to listen to and embrace this proven 5-step process.


25 Feb 2019

Rank #11

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BAM 164: Relays, Switches, and Circuits

As BAS professionals we utilize relays, switches, and circuits every day. But often we are not taught how they work and why we use them. In this episode, we discuss why we use relays, switches, and circuits, when to use them, and how to use them.


20 May 2019

Rank #12

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BAM 03: Exploring the Concept of Access and Privilege with Arun Kothanath

In this episode we interview Arun Kothanath with Distributed Information Technologies. Arun and I unpack the topics of access, identity, and privilege as well as how to measure risk in this action packed episode. You will learn The difference between Access, Identity, and Privilege How context is critical to your security strategy How to measure and control risk The importance of user account management Key Frameworks for Risk Management


3 Jun 2016

Rank #13

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BAM 112: How to program a BAS part 1

Have you ever wanted to learn how to program a BAS? In the latest episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast we discuss how BAS programming works and how you can go about learning to program HVAC with your BAS programming software. Understanding the why behind your programming actions (1:15) Why your mentality determines if you can program (5:00) The traditional way of learning to program (5:30) The questions you need to ask yourself before programming (6:55) Is your program user dependent or user independent (9:55) What is programming? (12:07) How DDC controllers enabled us to write programs (13:00) Do you really understand inputs and outputs (15:50) How your choice of variable type will determine the safety of your programs (22:05) The two ways of programming BAS (25:00) Five steps to programming success (27:52) The reason you must write your boolean logic before your analog logic (30:40) Why following the sequence line for line is a recipe for disaster (33:55)


30 Apr 2018

Rank #14

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BAM 125: The in’s and out’s of upgrading a BAS

Have you considered upgrading a building automation system but aren't sure where to start?  Do you struggle to explain why the "new" features of your building automation system are worth the cost to your customers?  Are you trying to better understand how an upgrade could positively impact your business?  If so this episode is for you. In this weeks episode of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, we discuss the ins and outs of upgrading a BAS!


30 Jul 2018

Rank #15

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BAM 039: A deep dive into upgrading a building automation system

In Episode 39 of the Building Automation Monthly Podcast, I am doing something I've never done before. I am giving you access to the best recording from my new book. This recording is amazing and I encourage you to take advantage of it. In today's episode I will cover: How to know if you need to upgrade your BAS ( if you don't ask yourself these four questions you could be upgrading a perfectly good system) Why so many upgrade projects fail (and the five planning steps you can take to make sure yours doesn't) Twelve steps that every upgrade project should include ( step number seven, writing out your upgrade plan and how to roll back the upgrade will keep your building running in case something goes wrong)


28 Nov 2016

Rank #16

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BAM 63: Explaining PI Control

In the world of Building Automation, there are only a select few things you need to know in order to be awesome at your job.  One of these things is Proportional Integral loops.  I've gotten a lot of questions lately about PI loops and so I recorded this episode. In this episode you will learn: What a PI loop is How the P and I are calculated The difference between deadband and error How to calculate your prop-band And much more!


19 May 2017

Rank #17

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BAM 033: IoT Hacks and IT Basics

In Episode 33 of the Building Automation Monthly podcast I discuss the topic of IT basics and the recent IoT based DDos that took down access to Netflix and Twitter.  In today's episode I will cover: What is information technology and why does it matter for BAS The impact of storage and applications shifting to the cloud Why database knowledge is becoming important What you need to know about API's


24 Oct 2016

Rank #18

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BAM 034: The fundamentals of IT architecture

In Episode 34 of the Building Automation Monthly podcast I discuss the fundamentals of IT architecture. I unpack how computers work, what client machines are, and how servers and virtual machines work as well! In today's episode I will cover: What is IT Architecture How do computers work What is a client? What is a server? What are virtual machines What are containers


28 Oct 2016

Rank #19

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BAM 101: Using IP networks for BAS controls

In this episode I talk with Ryan Hughson of Optigo networks about the major changes that are happening in BAS networking. Ryan and I discuss: ► What OT and IT networks are ► The big changes to BAS networking and how to address them ► Why the differences between IP and Serial Bus field controllers matter ► And much more


5 Feb 2018

Rank #20