March 2016

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Ed SullivanEMAIL INTERVIEWEd Sullivan and Ken Sinclair

Edward Sullivan is the editor of Building Operating Management. He has been covering facility management, technology, design, and operations for more than 25 years. He leads the industry’s most experienced team of editors and writers, planning coverage and industry research to deliver timely, practical information on subjects ranging from building automation to workplace design to data centers to FM salaries.

A social site specifically designed to facilitate discussions.

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SinclairIt was good to see you at AHR in Orlando. I’ve been contributing to your site for almost two years now. Recently, I’ve started getting involved with another of your sites, How would you describe the difference between the two sites?

Sullivan:  The simplest way to describe the difference is that is a portal that pulls in information from a wide range of sources, while is a social site specifically designed to facilitate discussions. On, you’ll find the home pages for Building Operating Management magazine and Facility Maintenance Decisions magazine. Both magazines post their entire print editions on, as well as a range of online exclusive content, including Quick Reads, Maintenance Alerts, new product press releases, salary information and job listings, original research, and educational webcasts. Your monthly column is one example of the online exclusive material that appears on, and we appreciate your providing that regular update. The site, like the magazines, targets its content for facility professionals.

On, by contrast, you might find a facility manager posting a question for her colleagues. Or an editor might post a question sent in by a facility manager. You’ll also find short items about major recent industry developments, or about topics that facility professionals might be interested in.  Or an editor might post a question sent in by a facility manager. For example, a reader posted a really thoughtful comment on a recent building automation article and then asked for a software suggestion. We reposted the question on and got some software recommendations for him.

SinclairWhy did you create

Sullivan:  It was really an outgrowth of the success of With that site, we have developed a very rich database of information on a wide range of topics, from building automation to security to sustainability to data centers to roofing. Facility professional can go to and find extensive coverage of those topics and many more. And they can search the site for emerging areas like the IoT and get very focused results — content specific to facilities.

With, our goal was really to encourage networking and discussion within the industry. We know that both time and money are in short supply for many facility departments. offers a way that facility professionals can get in touch with their peers without having to leave the office. And it puts them in touch with their colleagues from around the country and around the globe in some cases, as well as with experts in related fields, like engineers and consultants who may also use the site. They can post questions or make quick comments. It’s one more tool that we offer facility professionals to give them access to the information they need.

SinclairWho is allowed to use

Sullivan:  While our primary audience is facility professionals in commercial and institutional buildings, the site is open to anyone in the industry. We actually welcome comments from outside experts like you, which broaden and enrich the conversations.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]SinclairYou mentioned other tools. What other information resources do you offer for this industry?

Sullivan:  There are a lot, but I’ll give you some of the highlights. We publish a daily electronic newsletter that pulls the latest from Another e-newsletter highlights recent posts from In addition to those sites, we also have, a portal that provides timely information from across the industry on cost savings, trends, insights, news, and career content for medical facility professionals. And we have a range of live events. Our biggest event is NFMT Baltimore, which this year will offer 120 sessions for facility professionals, along with a large and diverse expo of products and services. In the fall, NFMT alternates between Las Vegas, where it will be this year, and Orlando. Last year, we launched High Performance Buildings + Workplaces, set for Austin this year. That’s a really exciting topic and the show aims to help our audience take advantage of the great advances that are increasingly making it possible to turn the ideal of high performance buildings into reality. Those shows are all free to attend. Finally, the Critical Facilities Summit serves facility managers responsible for data centers, health care facilities, and labs.

On top of those shows, we also do regular webcasts on a range of facility topics. The next one up is on one of your favorite topics: the IoT in buildings.


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