Paul Ehrlich, P.E. has been pushing the edges of the controls industry for two decades. In the last couple of years, he has founded Building Intelligence Group (, received a Buildy Vision Award for his ongoing work, and joined theESadvisory board. Ehrlich is also the co-chair of the oBIX committee and is a past chairman of the ASHRAE Guideline 13 committee on how to specify DDC controls. Consulting engineers and owners interested in the benefits of intelligent buildings can attend a seminar on the Building Intelligence Tour ( in various cities in the coming months.

So, what was for lunch?

I have been trying to eat healthy. So a salad and bagel.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A fireman.

What's playing in your car stereo?

A mix ranging from Gwen Stefani to Classical.

What's the most memorable piece of engineering advice you ever received?

Measure twice, cut once.

What habit could the design and/or facility maintenance community change or adopt right now that would make a real difference in the final product?

We need to be advocates for intelligent buildings that are more efficient and comfortable. As a community we know how to design, build and operate buildings that are efficient and comfortable. Unfortunately we don't do a good job explaining the value and working to change scope and budget.

Project or assignment you were particularly proud of, and why?

Working on standards that have resulted in open systems including BACnet, LonTalk and now oBIX. While acceptance has been slow it is now transforming the industry and enabling Intelligent Buildings.

The most important development in HVAC over the last ten years.

The ability to readily connect systems together and tie them into the business of the building. It has removed the information from the HVAC system and allowed owners to make better decisions.

The most important development in HVAC over the next ten years.

I think we will see some critical developments in system efficiencies. New ways to heat or cool a building and a way to achieve personal comfort.

You can have one dinner with any four people, living or dead. Who do you invite?

Leonardo Da Vinci, Jacques Cousteau, John Kennedy, Bill Gates. Should make for a lively conversation!

Parting tips for a new engineer?

Make sure that you really understand systems as well as your clients business needs. If you can design systems that help the business, you will be invaluable. If you don't do this, then there is a serious risk of your skills being outsourced!

To view other Engineer Snapshots, click on the link(s) below.

Engineer Snapshot -- #1 -- Wayne Dunn, P.E., IAQCP .

Engineer Snapshot -- #2 -- Lee Burgett, P.E.

Engineer Snapshot -- #3 -- Kevin Dickens, P.E.