Johnson Controls is paving the way to better buildings

Firm is transforming how businesses and organisations worldwide operate their buildings so they can become integral components of their environmental strategy, while offering an improved experience for users

Elly Yates-Roberts
Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts on 12 January 2023
Johnson Controls is paving the way to better buildings

Johnson Controls is transforming how businesses and organisations worldwide operate their buildings so they can become integral components of their environmental strategy, while offering an improved experience for users. Among its customers are Derwent London, Fiserv Forum and Intaleq.  

Derwent London, UK
Real-estate investment trust (REIT) Derwent London has long been known for its design and innovation prowess. In 2020, it pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, becoming the first UK-based REIT to provide a detailed pathway for doing so. The roadmap includes reducing its energy consumption, increasing its use of renewable energy and auditing its activities.   

Derwent London reached out to Johnson Controls to help it achieve these goals. “The company is truly an expert in driving smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, and offered value at every opportunity,” says Michael Simons, a digital and innovation manager at Derwent London. 

As part of the partnership, Derwent London began using Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Enterprise Manager (OBEM) suite of applications to consolidate data about energy usage, asset performance, indoor air quality, maintenance and space use from a selection of its major buildings.

Derwent London team members set baselines for the data, incorporating energy-use intensity benchmarks, London’s historical weather patterns and estimates of expected demand and consumption. Johnson Controls then installed OBEM, linking all of Derwent London’s sensors, meters and systems to the cloud. Now, Derwent London’s facilities teams can track, manage and analyse energy use in their buildings.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning as part of the Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Central Utility Plant allows them to pinpoint inefficiencies and quickly improve performance, reduce costs, diagnose plant equipment problems and take corrective action to improve efficiencies.

Fiserv Forum, USA
When the Milwaukee Bucks needed a larger arena with more amenities befitting a National Basketball Association (NBA) team, its owners and a collective of visionaries acted. They set forth with the goal to create a world-class sports and entertainment district that could also drive the city’s rebirth.

Johnson Controls was able to reduce risk, prioritise current and future technology requirements, and deliver an environment that augments the in-arena fan experience without sacrificing sustainability.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Milwaukee Bucks wanted the venue to safely return to normal by ensuring the delivery of clean air, frictionless access, temperature monitoring and contact tracing. Johnson Controls helped the arena and entertainment district meet these needs via its OpenBlue Healthy Buildings solutions and the Metasys building automation system. With these digital solutions in place, Fiserv Forum is better equipped to provide a healthy, safe and secure fan experience.

The Metasys solution also links together the stadium’s most vital systems – including security, heating and ventilation, fire protection, lighting control and energy management – to help facility managers make more informed decisions and real-time adjustments based on the predictive analysis Metasys provides. These technologies also equipped Fiserv Forum to safely accommodate over 65,000 fans in the entertainment district for the NBA playoffs.

In addition to the health and safety measures and operational efficiencies achieved, Johnson Controls has helped to deliver more immersive fan experiences in the stadium. It implemented audio and video infrastructure that supports an in-house video production studio, which offers new ways to engage fans and support the arena experience.

Intaleq, Qatar 
A successful World Cup depends on the quality of the 64 matches, as well as the collective experience of the millions of football fans who travel to watch the games. To deliver this, sports venue and event management company Intaleq – which is overseeing preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – sought out Johnson Controls.

During the tournament, Intaleq will be harnessing the digital capabilities of Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue suite to help eliminate safety risks such as unauthorised access and overcrowding, ensure that fans are cool and comfortable, and minimise the consumption of power and water during the event. The foundational OpenBlue Platform harnesses data across thousands of sources to bring information to life.  It powers data such as fan entry rates, air temperature, building equipment performance, and security alerts across the eight stadiums that will be hosting the tournament.

The Platform underpins the event’s signature Command Center application, featured on a high-definition screen that displays interactive digital twins designed to enable insight and action. The screen is a configurable wall, giving technicians adjustable views of the buildings, operational systems, video and collaboration tools as they oversee multiple games.

“We had a grand vision of connecting all eight stadiums on a single management platform,” says Niyas Abdulrahiman, chief technology officer at Intaleq. “People see our Command Center and they’re speechless.”

Intaleq tested the system platform at the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup, a prelude to the World Cup. “That helped us improve many things, and identify other areas for improvement,” says Abdulrahiman. “But it also gave us a very high level of confidence that we’re ready.” 

This article was originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription

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