Johnson Controls’ recently expanded Rooftop Center of Excellence in Norman, Okla., reflects the company’s optimism about the future and growing prominence of RTUs.

“Investing in the future of rooftop unit innovation in design and manufacturing is an investment in our customers,” said Steve Maddox, Vice President of Engineering, Commercial Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls. 

Includes two-story testing lab

The Rooftop Center of Excellence includes a two-story, 52-foot-high testing lab – roughly the size of one-and-a-half football fields. The extensive laboratory offers an environment for Johnson Controls to conduct on-site complex development, regulatory compliance, performance, safety and reliability testing. They can test a 150-ton rooftop unit in climates ranging from -30° to 130°F.The laboratory offers an environment to conduct on-site complex development, regulatory compliance, performance, safety and reliability testing

“The expertise of the people leading this facility increases our speed to market, provides quality assurance and supports the development of energy-efficient technology,” said Maddox.

Grand opening on April 17

Johnson Controls officially opened the state-of-the-art Rooftop Center of Excellence design, manufacturing and testing facility at a grand opening event April 17, 2019. The facility has been located in Norman, Okla., for nearly 50 years and will now serve as the flagship location for industry research, manufacturing and testing of Johnson Controls HVAC rooftop units.

It’s a 900,000-square-foot facility that includes almost 400,000 square feet of incremental laboratory and manufacturing space and renovations to more than 150,000 square feet of office and meeting space.

“The need for high-efficiency rooftop units has grown as customers demand simplified solutions to achieving sustainability,” said Philip Smyth, Director of Product Management, Applied DX, Johnson Controls. “The combining testing and manufacturing location allows us to better serve our customers while enhancing HVAC technology through collaboration and innovation.”

A ribbon cutting was held when Johnson Controls' Rooftop Center of Excellence opened April 17, 2019

$1.75 million in funding from Oklahoma

The Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC) helped Johnson Controls secure $1.75 million in funding from the Oklahoma Economic Development Pooled Finance Program to fund the new construction and renovation. For its role in expanding the Rooftop Center of Excellence, the NEDC won a Project of the Year Award for Excellence in Economic Development in the category of cities with population over 40,000. The award was presented by the Oklahoma Economic Development Council.Having this state-of-the-art facility has made a considerable positive impact on our local economy"

Having this state-of-the-art facility has created new jobs for our citizens and made a considerable positive impact on our local economy,” said Maureen Hammond, NEDC Interim President.

Two new commercial rooftop units

Over the past year, Johnson Controls has developed new products for existing lines and launched two new series of commercial rooftop units that were designed, engineered and assembled at the Rooftop Center of Excellence. The new series include the 25-50 ton Premier rooftop units, launched in December 2018.

Most recently, the 15-27 ton Choice rooftop units were launched in August 2019. They exceed Department of Energy (DOE) 2018 guidelines by up to 25% and already surpass future DOE 2023 part-load standards by almost 10%. An optional four-stage IntelliSpeed fan control further enhances efficiency by delivering 15% higher IEER ratings.

 “Choice rooftop units deliver powerful solutions for reduced energy consumption within an economical price point to truly redefine the meaning of ‘standard’ efficiency,” said Matthew Shaub, Vice President & General Manager, Commercial Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls.

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