Terry Sharp was announced as vice-president of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) in January 2019. His depth of experience and expertise helps the BCIA bridge the gap between manufacturers and installers.
Terry has worked in the controls industry for over 35 years and is an associate at NDA Consulting, the specialist BEMS and energy consultancy practice. Previous experience includes UK and European leadership roles for Johnson Controls, sales and marketing director for Sontay and product marketing manager for Satchwell Control Systems.
How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
It was a natural progression from my career in the controls and building energy management systems industry, which I have been in since my apprenticeship with Honeywell. Over the years I have enjoyed technical and commercial roles with manufacturers and contractors and my recent work in consultancy brings a client’s perspective to the trade.
What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
I believe we are on the cusp of breakthrough technologies driven by reducing costs and increasing user expectations. Interestingly, our homes have overtaken commercial buildings as we all dabble with smart devices like Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Assistant, smart heating controls and lighting solutions. I see commercial buildings attracting tenants and premium rental because occupants want to offer their staff the proper tools and resources to work smartly. Energy efficient smart work environments are now seen as a way to attract and retain the best workforce.
Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be talked about as the solution to low cost communication of devices as we see the continued convergence of IT and building technologies. The IT majors are moving into the controls and smart building arena with their enterprise level solutions platforms. But we need to be careful – the devil is in the detail. Integration still relies on the fundamental understanding of building services plant.
What services does your company offer?
NDA Consulting Ltd. offer specialist BeMS expertise to ensure clients’ needs are adequately and properly met. From one-off audits and the preparation of standards to full specification and project supervision of new installations are offered to ensure the optimum selection, configuration and use of appropriate smart building technology.
Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
I don’t think the man in the street cares for building regulations but I do think he will be driving the uptake of energy efficient technology because of his expectations of ‘only on when I need it’ and the green issues around global warming that we are all familiar with.
What are the benefits of a smart building?
What is a smart building? – that depends upon the building and its use. Is it the appropriate use of technology to enable only those building services that are required?
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
No single influence springs to mind; there are many for different reasons.
What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
How much? Because we all focus too much on the installation cost and don’t consider the life costing of running, maintenance, energy and disposal. The contractual chain and isolated procurement responsibilities can prevent sensible choices and allow value engineering, which is often really feature stripping of features and user benefits.
What are the best/worst things about your job?
The best bit is undoubtedly being allowed to influence the delivery of a great job with appropriate controls technology to meet the building occupant’s needs. The worst bit is when decisions are made in silos and building features get cut in favour of short term savings to the detriment of longer term costs.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
The controls industry has brought me great opportunities to travel and work in the most diverse buildings including palaces, museums, factories and stadiums. We’re too quick to focus on the plant room and less on the fascinating process and spaces we control.
What living person do you admire and why?
There are lots of people I admire. They usually have the common traits of overcoming challenges to make a difference, however small, and conquer their own mountain.
Where would you most like to live?
I’m very happy at home in the South West of England.
What is your favourite book?
‘This Time Next Week’ by Leslie Thomas. His autobiography of a tough childhood in Dr Barnardo’s care and how obstacles can be overcome with tenacity, frame of mind, tolerance and good humour.
How do you relax?
My wife and I enjoy spending time on motorboats as a means of escape.
What sports team do you support?
I enjoy rugby (watching, not playing these days) and follow my local side, Exeter Chiefs.
What is your desert island disk?
‘You To Me Are Everything’ by the Real Thing; a blast from my youth.
What is your ideal holiday?
A chartered yacht to explore tropical islands with turquoise seas and gentle breezes.