How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?

We have an intrinsic involvement with lighting being a vital medium of all buildings. As smart building technology and becomes more prevalent we must ensure we are aligned and ahead of lighting component mediums. There is a close knit between Smart Building Technology and the Well standard. It is almost as if perhaps they should be conjoined in some form.

What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?

New innovation always excites me and Smart Building Technology and IoT could perhaps become one of the most significant game changers since the advent of LED in commercial terms some 10 years ago. The fact that clients and the design professions in particular and the construction industry in general has committed to smart technology moving forward is proof this is something we needed without really being aware of it prior to its inception

Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?

I’m sure there are but as a mere mortal within the leading edge of lighting technology I cannot think of one although somewhere in the future perhaps phosphorescent lighting for general use? Some bright spark has to devise a means to harvest this in a larger means though. Just a thought! 

What services does your company offer?

We are a multi-national designer and supplier of commercial lighting. Research design development and manufacture of cutting edge luminaires. We supply and service our products across UK Europe UAE and GCC North and South America so I guess we are a worldwide provider of lighting for all manner of commercial educational and infrastructure projects. We manufacture everything within the UK which is proof how our world has shrunk in the last two decades

Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?

Interesting question. Currently there is no legislation relating to Smart Building Technology however this will become recommendatory I believe via the likes of CIBSE and BCO in time.

There is a train of thought that the smart building agenda is driven by those selling technology and there is a concern that poorly implemented technologies can disempower occupants. That said there is always a negative to all new innovation and the correct balance will be found I’m sure

What are the benefits of a smart building?

There are many such as those listed here but I imagine there will be more to come through the data collection and analysis.

  • Reduction of energy usage.
  • Predictive maintenance ability.
  • Building efficiency improvement
  • Better use of resources.
  • Provide a more comfortable experience to the occupants.
  • Data collection and analysis

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

There have been many people that have influenced me, in particular Brian Teale.

I met Brian about 25 years ago when he was king of the world of property within a major international bank. He was in the throes of negotiating with others, the building of a new H/Q at Canary Wharf. He amazed me that with all the massive issues he had every day he always had time for this guy with a then small lighting company.

He has empathy, tolerance, patience and enthusiasm, as well as being the best read person I have met to date. He never suffers fools gives short shrift to those with negative agendas and most of all always has the ‘you know what’s’ to make decisions!

What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?

Two really: 1) How did you start? 2) Why do you still work?

The first one I cannot define a short answer I sort of fell into lighting and as years have passed it has become my passion.

Secondly the answer is because I think I am 32, so too young to stop! I love what I do – retiring to someone like me is an irrelevance as I don’t have a real job of work it is more of an intense hobby! It’s just what I do daily.

What are the best/worst things about your job?

Best – The team at FD, the joint passion for being the best at what we do.

Worst – people not telling the truth, making promises they don’t keep.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Ensure it is what you want to do. Too many hours spent at work to not enjoy it.

Make success your driver. Strive for success and financial stability is generally the by product. Work hard.

What living person do you admire and why?

Sir Alex Ferguson.

He woke a sleeping giant. And kept it awake for twenty six years.

He made unpopular decisions to get what he wanted for the good of the Club.

He constantly reinvented his team of people to keep ahead.

Never frightened to get get rid of an ‘irreplaceable’.

Huge enthusiasm.



Where would you most like to live?

England - best country in the world in spite of those trying to talk and send it down.

What is your favourite book?

“How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.

How do you relax?

I don’t. It’s not something that fits with my madness!

What sports team do you support?

Manchester United, England.

What is your desert island disk?

Sam Spirro Black and Gold

What is your ideal holiday?

At my seaside house in Shellness, no-one else will understand!