Current President Glenn Morris originally founded BuildingDNA as “Pro Plans, Inc.”, a nod to the proactive empowerment his platform’s digital, visual building plans lent facility managers and first responders. And as with all great ideas, this one comes with a story.
As a sampling of his career, at NASA Glenn led the development of the world’s first space-based robotics facility, as well as a data system for unmanned space craft. At CyberCash, an internet credit card transaction processing pioneer, he envisioned, defined and led the world’s first credit card integration with a web shopping cart. He served in leadership roles with such luminaries as Hewlett Packard, Digital Equipment Corp and Texas Instruments. So of course, his logical next step was to become… an Industrial Hygienist (this is very different from a Dental Hygienist – we looked it up).
Glenn set about leading the restoration and rehabilitation of commercial buildings that had suffered catastrophic trauma, be it from fire, flood, mold, etc. In all, Glenn has brought more than 1,000 properties back to life. But it was one in particular that changed his life, and the very future of facilities management and public safety.
A prominent suburban Denver hotel had suffered substantial water damage. Scores of workers swarmed the building, but progress was slow and painful. Anxious to turn a corner, Glenn pulled an all-nighter creating exhaustively detailed task spreadsheets. He proudly presented them to the crew the next morning. Within a single day, it became clear that the workers could not translate the flat data of the spreadsheets to their physical working environment – and to the trashcan the spreadsheets went.
Now desperate, Glenn had a thought. He grabbed the crude “Run this Way” map from the back of the hotel room door, orienting the tasks necessary to their visual, physical locations and attempted to reengage the crew. Again within a day – but this time with very different results – the outcome of the experiment was clear. Glenn’s workers returned their maps with all tasks completed, eagerly requesting updated maps for the next day. This was the epiphany. Skilled workers (or first responders) who live their day in the physical space have sharp spatial intelligence; reams of data and detailed reports do not help make them more effective – visual awareness does. Thus… BuildingDNA was born.