Balancing business and sustainability goals with Johnson Controls


Building owners and operators looking for an edge to retain and attract tenants and employees must balance three factors: health, comfort and sustainability.

This daily challenge is to make tradeoffs between competing goals and changing business needs. But managing indoor air quality (IAQ), sustainability and comfort does not have to be a one-off decision.

OpenBlue Enterprise Manager empowers facilities teams to make data-driven operational decisions and balance all three goals at once—whether they run healthcare, education, commercial real estate, or industrial facilities.

Built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, OpenBlue Enterprise Manager acts as a recommendation engine that continually scans facility operations to uncover opportunities to save energy, improve indoor air quality and maintain occupant comfort. The system relies on site-specific system data, pulls data from external vendor silos, and uses proprietary algorithms to simultaneously project the impact of operational decisions across all three areas. Facility teams can then decide what actions to take, or let OpenBlue Enterprise Manager make the decisions automatically.

OpenBlue Enterprise Manager delivers measurable value and empowers organizations to drive the results that matter most. For example, users can create healthy, comfortable spaces while balancing energy consumption with IAQ. You can streamline operations to gain a competitive advantage by reducing maintenance costs by up to 20 percent. In addition, OpenBlue Enterprise Manager can help users meet sustainability goals and make their buildings more attractive to tenants by reducing their energy costs by up to 30 percent and reducing their carbon footprint.

Businesses can stack OpenBlue Enterprise Manager on top of any existing energy management or building automation system (BAS) such as Johnson Controls’ Metasys. It can be used out-of-the-box to complement a BAS, or combined with OpenBlue Enterprise Manager sensors and gateways for additional functionality. Artificial intelligence analysis can also be fine-tuned based on individual space requirements and typical occupancy.

Our experts work with clients to determine how to structure data and ensure seamless communication. And with the ever-expanding selection of OpenBlue apps and partner integrations, users can be confident their system is future-proof.

Many of our customers have achieved great success through their partnership with Johnson Controls. For example, Samford University in Alabama, USA worked with us on a $31 million campus-wide performance infrastructure project. The initiative is expected to save $51 million over 20 years while reducing the school’s carbon footprint, energy use and water usage.

The two-year project included new intelligent building automation systems, an advanced automation chilled water system; indoor and outdoor LED lighting retrofits and lighting control upgrades; high-quality windows; use of rainwater for irrigation; and other heating, ventilation and air conditioning, electrical and mechanical work. Utility and operational savings are guaranteed to cover the cost of the job with no additional financing or capital expenditure required.

We have also worked with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in partnership with Microsoft to make their new headquarters the tallest, largest and smartest net-zero energy building in the world. OpenBlue solutions, including OpenBlue Enterprise Manager, ensure that the building’s annual energy consumption is less than or equal to the energy generated on-site and that water consumption is half that of comparable buildings.

As a result of these partnerships and the work we do, Verdantix, an independent research and advisory firm based in London, has named Johnson Controls a leader in Smart Building Internet of Things (IoT) platforms. Its Green Quadrant: IoT Platforms for Smart Buildings 2022, published in January 2022, compares 17 platforms from the world’s leading vendors and commends OpenBlue Enterprise Manager for its asset management, fault detection and diagnostics, and IAQ tools with several recommendations.

Wherever your organization is on the sustainability journey, our OpenBlue solutions can help you balance sustainability and business goals to make measurable progress. Reduce energy consumption, optimize facility performance, improve occupant well-being and protect our planet.

Vijay Sankaran is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Johnson Controls

This article was originally published in Technology Record’s Summer 2022 issue. Sign up for a free subscription to receive future issues straight to your inbox.


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