Peter Selby has worked with Honeywell for four years and moved to the UK Nordics MD role from New Zealand where he was the Country GM.
How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
Two ways. First to note is through Honeywell and being involved in smart buildings projects in New Zealand. I was fortunate enough to run the New Zealand business for Honeywell before arriving in the UK. I have been able to help with the critical planning infrastructure of buildings while also assisting the New Zealand government on how to run more efficient assets.
Secondly, on a more personal note, I have always been interested in smart home applications. Being able to handle the security, lighting, heating, overall functioning of a home is remarkable. Because I travel a lot as well, smart home apps fit perfectly around my lifestyle.
What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
The future. The industry is set to grow rapidly. With big data and the Internet of everything approach, more and more things are becoming interconnected. There is constant data at your disposal and as an influence on the runnings of a business’s assets. Given this, the development and progress of the smart buildings industry is set to rise by a further 30% in the medium term.
Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
Integrating a building’s operations into a single software platform is something that should be considered when developing new construction moving forward. Utilising one common platform allows for a higher level of integration and ultimately optimum efficiency and security and will soon appear the norm.
Honeywell is also starting to work on the development of smart cities. Connecting heating systems, energy usage, security systems, traffic systems, water management, etc. This concept of smart cities and connecting all or parts of cities has limitless opportunities and is truly astonishing.
What services does your company offer?
Honeywell Building Solutions addresses the challenges that are specific within the modern building environment. Our focus is installing, integrating and maintaining the systems that keep facilities safe, secure, comfortable, productive and energy efficient. We’re also a global leader in energy services, working with organisations to conserve energy, optimise building operations and leverage renewable energy sources. We deliver bespoke smart building solutions through energy management, integrated security, building management controls, fire & life safety systems, smart building master integration and total through life support of an assets and facilities.
Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
Yes, they are aware of the obvious ones however regulations such as wireless control and wireless receiving in a building can easily be overlooked. Others that businesses would need to be aware of are voice-activated controls, security around cloud-based technologies, energy efficiency and Building Information Modelling.
What are the benefits of smart lighting?
Energy optimisation, increased productivity, increased life cycles, reduced operational demands and CO2 emissions.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
There is not one person I can name here. I have been lucky enough to have a several mentors in my professional career who have influenced and enhanced my learning.
What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
I am regularly asked about market dynamics. For example, what markets are worth investing in and how best to work with them.
What are the best/worst things about your job?
The best thing about my job is the people. Working with talented people in a great market that moves rapidly and opens us up to many opportunities is priceless.
The worst thing about my job is seeing how innovative concepts through technologies are not well utilised, giving rise to lost opportunity for businesses. There is a general lack of understanding in the market of the latest integration developments, which impedes current technologies from optimising building functionality.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
I would share this advice with anyone and that is having a long-term plan. Think where you want to be and what you want to be exposed to in the next five of ten years. How do you get there? What do you need to do? How can you challenge yourself?
What living person do you admire and why?
There are two people I admire in life. Firstly, Bill Clinton. I admire his grasp of global priorities and his ability to get 300 million fellow Americans on a journey to address those priorities. Secondly, it has to be Richard Branson. Why? Because of his shear skills in entrepreneurism.
Where would you most like to live?
I am lucky enough to live in two great locations - Auckland and Bristol, giving me regular access to two really great countries.
What is your favourite book?
A really difficult question! I would probably have two favourites here. Firstly, Mr. China by Tim Clissold. The book is a great peek into business in China and the associated Chinese culture. It is a true story that explores the contrasts between American and Chinese business approaches and the difficulties for Western organisations trying to penetrate the Chinese markets. A must-read for someone looking at funds and investments in Asia.
My second choice would then be an older sci-fi trilogy called Of Man and Manta by Piers Anthony. The book provides a very different and intriguing view of the affect of technology on people and how that can affect life beyond the here and now coupled with the possibilities if two intelligent species interact.
How do you relax?
In my free time, I enjoy doing the following things to relax: hiking, motorbike riding and flying aeroplanes. What sports team do you support?
I have been fortunate enough to have spent long periods in three different countries. So I follow three sports teams. In the UK, I support Arsenal Football Club. In Australia, the rugby league club Parramatta Eels and finally the All Blacks in New Zealand.
What is your desert island disk?
The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin, which demonstrates the skills of these musicians at their peak.
What is your ideal holiday?
Any holiday that takes me to somewhere I haven’t visited before.