Live from the AHR Expo 2020, associate editor Sarah Kloepple sits down with Donald Decker, director of owner sales for LG Air Conditioning Technologies. He discusses the ways in which LG solutions and controls can help create a full building ecosystem for FMs and building owners. He also unveils an exciting new case study of LG's work with The Sinclair Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Listen now >>
*Podcast was created in partnership with LG Electronics USA.
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Sarah Kloepple: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this BUILDINGS podcast created in partnership with LG Electronics. I’m Associate Editor Sarah Kloepple, coming to you live from the 2020 AHR conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida. Right now I’m joined by Donald Decker, director of owner sales for LG Air Conditioning Technologies. Hi, Donald, thanks for joining me.
Donald Decker: Hey, thank you for having me.
Sarah: LG products can help building owners and facilities managers create a full-building ecosystem with its solutions and controls. Can you kind of explain how it’s doing that and why it’s beneficial?
Donald: One of the things that we like to do is curate custom product combinations for customers. LG has such a wide range of products, from mobile, air conditioning, solar, appliances, etc.—so taking all of that available product and business mix and combine them in a way that helps an owner solve a business issue. As we put that together, it becomes the LG ecosystem, and then we want to make sure that all of those products enable operational efficiency. And we do that through data management, data optimization. We want to make sure that all of those products communicate through either Wi-Fi or their own LG ThinQ, as well as we take a very open approach with other third-party platforms that might be combining all IoT devices in a building. We try to pass that information on so it can be used by the owner.
Sarah: Very good. I know LG this year is unveiling an exciting new case study. Can you tell me a bit about the project and how LG is involved, and maybe what was most challenging or surprising during the project?
Donald: A very exciting project. It’s called The Sinclair hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, and it is a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel. And in that building, we were able to use LG air conditioning, LG TVs, LG commercial displays, LG energy storage and even some LG lighting to solve the owner’s request to take a 1920s historic building and turn it into a high-end luxury hotel with all of the technology he could put in there.
Sarah: That’s amazing. You said it’s like a 1920s building, right? Yeah?
Donald: Yeah, the building was built in 1929. We like to say, “The Roaring ‘20s is meeting high-tech 2020.”
Sarah: Yeah. What was maybe most challenging about using all this great technology in a building, though, that was built then?
Donald: Actually, I think one of the unique things about that building and for that hotel; they ended up with 50 different room types because of the historic bones of the building. Making sure that we had the right product for each individual room and making sure it all worked together, coordinated down front and in the main office.
Sarah: Must be easy for hotel staff to have all that technology under one umbrella and one operating system.
Donald: Yeah, they’re very excited about it, and you can actually go to LG.com and see the video. We just filmed a project profile on The Sinclair. You can actually hear them referencing the ease-of-use of the system and how they’re able to control all of the rooms right at check-in and it doesn’t take a facility engineer; they’re using the check-in staff and they are able to control the rooms.
Sarah: Oh yeah, that’s amazing. I think I remember last year at the press breakfast, you guys were kind of hinting to this project. And it’s so great that it’s finally able to be talked about. That’s awesome.
Donald: Yeah, it is exciting. We really wanted to talk about it last year, right? You could tell I was dying to talk about it. But it’s incredible to have a partner, like Sinclair Holdings, who built the building and work with them. They actually helped push us. Their desire to combine more and more LG, and create this high-tech building; they pushed us to the limits and it was awesome. We’re better because of partners like Sinclair Holdings.
Sarah: That’s amazing. Well, congrats on that project. So moving on, sustainable and renewable energy continues to be kind of top-of-mind for facilities managers. Can you talk about the solar solutions that LG offers?
Donald: LG offers a very efficient solar design. For facility managers that are limited with space, so rooftop or parking deck; we can get more power per square foot a solar panel then kind of your average solar panel out there. Right now, with some of the government incentives, it’s a great time to look at solar and look at LG Solar.
Sarah: Awesome. Great. Anything else you think is new or notable or that you think facilities managers or building owners should know right now, or any other trends you’re seeing in HVAC, or just anything else you think it’s good to know?
Donald: I think one of the things that we’re seeing a lot of is communities across the United States are putting bans on fossil fuels for heating. LG Inverter heat pumps, with the RED technology, heating all the way down to negative 13 degrees, is really coming on because people are deciding to not use fossil fuels for heating. Also, I think you can take the LG Inverter technology and start to create domestic hot water with that, which is a great product, and I think we’re seeing more acceptance of both of those.
Sarah: Great. Well, thank you so much for joining me today, Donald. I appreciate it.
Donald: Yeah. Thank you for having me. Have a great day.
Sarah: Thanks. You, too.
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