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Enhancing Smart Buildings With AI
Enhancing Smart Buildings With AI

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a smart buildings’ biggest ally. Without it, a building could hardly be classed as smart. For building owners and managers, AI is imperative to create a secure and comfortable experience for their occupants every day. What a building platform should do is gather data from various sources from the building management system and other smart technologies, to gather it all in one place. The data should then be fed into a flexible, scalable cloud-based platform that stores it securely and standardizes the data. However, that still doesn’t make it a smart building. Building platforms integration with built-in AI Truly smart buildings are made, when building platforms are integrated with built-in AI. These technologies facilitate integration and enhanced intelligence, across a building or estate, all the while improving building operation for its occupants. They can also monitor building and equipment performance, and factor in building system data, and external input, including weather and traffic. Ultimately, this allows for Machine Learning to constantly monitor building spaces and when systems need to be optimized. This allows for increased building efficiency and lowered costs, with limited human intervention. AI offers predictive analysis in HVAC AI can also apply predictive analysis in HVAC, lighting and appliances, as well as fault detection and diagnosis AI can also apply predictive analysis in HVAC, lighting and appliances, as well as fault detection and diagnosis. Any potential issues can then be addressed, prior to something serious happening and an engineer can be sent out to fix it, with the right part, the first time itself. For rooms that aren’t in use, energy-efficiency savings can be made easily and effectively, by reducing energy consumption in those areas. AI uses sensors to monitor room occupancy and makes real-time decisions, based on the insights. Occupants can then have the optimal levels of ventilation, temperature and light for the rooms they are in, but precious resources can be saved in the rooms that aren’t. All in all, this helps both the buildings bottom line and the planet. The Personal Benefits of AI When it comes to smart building technologies, the most important aspect is that the technologies work exactly how they need to. This is why AI is such a useful tool, as every Building Manager, Operations Executive, or Health and Safety Officer can plug into the platform, and make decisions based on real-time data. This comes from creating a scalable platform in the Cloud, helping monitor and action everything from HVAC to access control, to occupant experience to fire detection. However, it’s not just those people who are responsible for the building’s operations, can get hands-on experience with AI. Many smart buildings now put their technology in the hands of each occupant, including office workers, teachers, CEOs, or nurses. Smartphone apps, unique to your building or estate, can help guide visitors from A to B, book meeting rooms or operating suites, or inform maintenance, when something goes wrong, all from the palm of their hand. AI-enabled security cameras To access buildings, users can present their access control credentials, in the form of a card or pin To access buildings, users can present their access control credentials, in the form of a card or pin, as they traditionally have, but then face a camera to further verify their identity. These cameras use AI algorithms to identify users with very high confidence and the combination of facial recognition, and traditional card access provides a higher level of assurance for secure access, while minimizing disruption for the users. Importance of utilizing the right AI technologies Buildings that utilize the right AI technologies in the right ways can be truly transformed. For building management businesses, it can closely align them to a tenant organization’s business and deliver the experiences occupants need and want. In turn, they benefit their own business, both financially and operationally. Making buildings smarter – or smart in general – will help overcome some of our most prevalent challenges. In particular, the aggressive net-zero and sustainability targets that businesses have promised to reach. For most, the issue isn’t with having the data, but rather with actioning the insights to see real change. With AI, it becomes possible, and we can start to see real changes in our buildings.

Importance Of Preventative Maintenance For Commercial Property Owners And Managers
Importance Of Preventative Maintenance For Commercial Property Owners And Managers

We visit the doctor for yearly check-ups and take our vehicles to a mechanic for maintenance and oil changes. The same idea applies to an HVAC system. An HVAC system can run around 2,000 hours per year and is a building system that is constantly expending energy. Without preventative maintenance, it is much more likely that a building owner could be overlooking silent issues that could cause a system to break down long before it should. Preventative maintenance is catching on for a reason. A 2021 survey from The Colling Media Snapshot asked homeowners across the US about preventative maintenance. The survey stated that during the last time they had an HVAC service, 41% of homeowners had a preventative maintenance inspection of their HVAC system. The importance of preventative maintenance is resonating with homeowners and commercial property owners are no exception. Below are three reasons why commercial property owners and managers should keep preventative maintenance top of mind: Tenant Satisfaction Preventative maintenance can affect the satisfaction and the length of stay of residents For commercial property owners, tenant satisfaction is a top priority. Preventative maintenance can affect the satisfaction and the length of stay of residents. The Rental Protection Agency states that repair problems are the third most common complaint in residents nationwide, which includes heating and cooling. Busy season for contractors occurs during the hot summers when outside temperatures are extreme and homeowners are excessively running their units. The typical HVAC contractor carries a backlog of 2-3 weeks’ worth of work during the busy season. Summers without air conditioning can be miserable for residents and detrimental to a building’s reputation and retention if system failures are not fixed quickly enough. Staying on top of preventative maintenance is a proactive strategy to mitigate emergencies. Capital Planning Planning for routine services is important for all HVAC owners and operators as neglecting preventative maintenance can devastate a budget. This is especially true if you are a commercial property owner or manager as overlooking preventive maintenance could cause failure to multiple HVAC systems and exponentially increase the cost of repair and throw a property owner even further out of budget. In addition to reducing last-minute emergencies, keeping the maintenance and replacement history of a building’s HVAC systems is important when it is time to sell a commercial property. How well a system is maintained can affect the sale price of a property, especially as buyers from the coasts expect up-to-date HVAC systems. Data-Driven Decision Making  IoT coupled with sensors and wireless networks provide perspective into both predictive and prescriptive analytics In commercial properties, HVAC systems consume more than 30 percent of the total energy use of a building. The Internet of Things (IoT) coupled with sensors and wireless networks provide perspective into both predictive and prescriptive analytics that can assist in decision making. With this data, building owners and maintenance techs can understand which systems are consuming the most energy, which ones are the most energy-efficient, and can identify when systems are breaking down. These actions provide a runway of time to proactively fix system failures before the cost to repair is greater than the cost of replacement.

HVAC Efficiency Enabled By The Smart Buildings Of The Future
HVAC Efficiency Enabled By The Smart Buildings Of The Future

In today’s world, we spend almost 90 per cent of our time indoors, in our workplaces, leisure areas and our homes. It is no secret that the built environment has been relatively slow in its embrace of information technology and automation. According to KPMG’s ‘Building a Technology Advantage’ report, fewer than 20 percent of construction and engineering executives, and major-project owners said they are re-thinking their business models, so as to incorporate new technology. Yet, it has now become a necessity, as energy efficiency becomes a more prominent topic discussion, which is leading to sweeping changes across all aspects of our lives and none more so than in the built environment. Commitment to net-zero emissions Governments are beginning to impose tighter restrictions on building use, energy consumption and emissions. Policymakers around the world are committing to net-zero emissions targets, with more than 60 countries pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. For example, the European Union (EU) is committed to become a carbon-neutral economy, with net-zero emissions by 2050 and all new buildings within the EU must be constructed as near-zero energy buildings. Meanwhile, China has legislated that at least 30 per cent of all new buildings must be ‘green’. Smart technology to better manage HVAC Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings Given this new trend towards energy efficiency in the real estate sector, smart technology is needed to better manage HVAC and energy consumption. Buildings currently contribute 40 per cent of global carbon emissions, a problem exacerbated by extreme weather conditions across the globe, which increases demand for electricity, as more people rely on air conditioning for cooling. Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings, alleviating many of the problems that we have today. Technology enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) can optimize comfort and safety, while providing remote operability and access to everything from HVAC systems to security cameras. At the same time, data collection and integration with cloud-based services allow for powerful energy efficiency measures. Designing and operating Smart buildings The concept and operation of smart buildings is not new. Architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control lighting and HVAC for decades. Later systems have evolved and helped building managers control access to different areas of a site, mitigate fire risk and protect against power surges. What is new is the addition of web-based platforms, in order to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other. The building of tomorrow is achievable today, using the latest in automation intelligence to control lighting, air-conditioning and heating. With these digital solutions, everything can be controlled remotely and allow for complete control, whenever it is needed most. Increased use of smart technology The first step in managing HVAC energy is to understand exactly how much is being used and where it is used. With this information at hand, managers can highlight areas for improvement, which in turn will help a building become more efficient and ultimately, save money. Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system, as it can minimize maintenance costs. Predictive fault-finding can save maintenance time and labor, as well as minimizing downtime for expensive equipment or services. It is estimated that smart-enabled predictive maintenance is three to nine times cheaper than a traditional reactive approach. Tenant and occupant satisfaction are often also higher, as systems that experience failure can be identified, repaired and re-booted quickly. Smart building systems Smart building systems, such as ABB i-bus KNX ClimaECO and ABB Cylon BACnet solutions, can combine HVAC in one holistic solution, from central control and management of heating and cooling systems, down to room-level automation. Smart systems simplify the implementation of intelligent automation in modern buildings and using pre-installed algorithms, can make autonomous decisions on things, such as adjusting lighting and HVAC levels, to reflect time of day, external environment, occupancy levels or other variables. Additionally, data collection and data analysis enabled by IoT allows for increased knowledge and better predictions of use. Working with a smart building, which is interconnected, can act and learn on this data, while providing remote access to data and analytics for human oversight. The ROI of smart technology implementation In addition to legislation driving change, being ‘smart’ provides other real benefits for developers and owners. As a building adapts to the demands of its users or the goals of its managers, it can save energy, cut emissions and reduce energy costs. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure Comparing energy savings to the falling cost of installing a basic smart management system, smart buildings immediately prove their worth. According to HSBC, if a smart system delivered an energy cost saving of 25 per cent, on an installation cost of US$ 37,500, for a 50,000 sq. ft building, the annual savings could be as much as US$ 23,000, giving a payback period of less than two years. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure. HVAC and lighting alone can account for about 50 per cent of energy use in an average commercial building, but by incorporating smart automation, managers may see decreased energy costs of up to 30 to 50 per cent. Leading the fight against climate change Technologies, such as IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are crucial to help us in the fight against climate change. These technologies help users, owners, operators and facility managers interact with the buildings of the future effortlessly, with personalized comfort and maximum efficiency. Artificial Intelligence and IoT is constantly in a state of evolution, as more applications for the technology are discovered. Given the ever-changing nature of technology, the possibilities for smart buildings in the future are endless.

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Johnson Controls Celebrates 50 Years Of Innovation Of Commercial HVAC Manufacturing Facility At Norman, Oklahoma
Johnson Controls Celebrates 50 Years Of Innovation Of Commercial HVAC Manufacturing Facility At Norman, Oklahoma

Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company in smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the company’s commercial HVAC manufacturing plant in Norman, Oklahoma, USA. The 900,000 square-feet facility, known as Johnson Controls Rooftop Center of Excellence, serves as the company’s flagship location for industry research, manufacturing and testing of commercial rooftop units. Johnson Controls Rooftop Center of Excellence  In 1971, the facility shipped its first HVAC system, which was a pivotal milestone for the plant and the beginning of its long history of HVAC manufacturing and innovation. It was originally owned by Westinghouse, from 1971-1981 and subsequently purchased by YORK in 1981, which was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2005. “Over the last 50 years, there has been continuous improvement at the Norman facility to modernize and expand the plant, automate the manufacturing process, improve safety and ensure our products are built to the highest quality standards possible for our customers,” said Vicki Davis, Program Management Director, West region, at Johnson Controls. commercial rooftop units switch to refrigerant R-454B The most notable expansion that the Norman facility underwent was in April 2019 Vicki Davis adds, “These improvements will make it possible for us to ensure all commercial rooftop units meet and exceed DOE 2023 energy efficiency requirements, and will utilize the low-GWP refrigerant R-454B by 2025, to minimize our customers’ environmental impact and energy use.” The most notable expansion that the Norman facility underwent was in April 2019. The facility now features nearly 400,000 square-feet of incremental laboratory and manufacturing space, which includes a two-story, 52-foot high testing lab, which is roughly the size of one-and-a-half football fields. Extensive laboratory to conduct on-site development The extensive laboratory allows Johnson Controls to conduct on-site development, regulatory compliance, performance, safety, and reliability testing, including the ability to test a 150-ton rooftop unit, in climates ranging from -30ºF to 130ºF. The 2019 expansion also included renovations to more than 150,000 square-feet of office and meeting space. Since the facility has been operated by Johnson Controls, approximately 650,000 HVAC systems have been manufactured for Johnson Controls, under its brands of YORK, TempMaster, Luxaire, Coleman, Champion and Fraser Johnston brands. Today, approximately 1,100 people are employed at the facility. Pioneer in decarbonization of buildings With a history of making buildings more sustainable for 135 years, Johnson Controls is a worldwide company in the effort to decarbonize buildings. This includes developing solutions to facilitate the transition to electric-based heating and the development of OpenBlue, a suite of connected solutions that help drive building system efficiencies.

C&C Heating And Air Conditioning Installs Donated YORK® HVAC System In Home Gifted To Injured War Veteran
C&C Heating And Air Conditioning Installs Donated YORK® HVAC System In Home Gifted To Injured War Veteran

On September 29, C&C Heating and Air Conditioning and YORK® Factory Direct partnered with Building Homes for Heroes during a Welcome Home ceremony in Glenside, PA, for Army Staff Sergeant Veronica Hally. She served more than two decades of service, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she investigated hundreds of deaths and worked with the FBI to track terrorists across the globe. Her investigative experiences earned her many accolades, but also have left Staff Sergeant Hally with severe PTSD and anxiety that caused her to medically retire from the military in 2019. Donating HVAC system with touch-screen thermostat C&C Heating & Air Conditioning donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home To support Staff Sergeant Hally, Johnson Controls and YORK Factory Direct donated a YORK heating and cooling system with a Wi-Fi® enabled YORK touch-screen thermostat to better assist her with adjusting his home’s temperature without the need to get up.  Veteran-owned C&C Heating & Air Conditioning donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home, and Google Nest Pro donated a variety of smart home products. Supporting veterans Will Cordero, president & founder, C&C Heating and Air Conditioning, spoke at the Welcome Home ceremony about the honor it was to support a fellow veteran. Doug Cordero, vice president, C&C Heating and Air Conditioning, said, "We truly can’t give enough thanks and gratitude to heroes like Staff Sergeant Hally who keep our country safe. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to help her and her family be comfortable in their new home.” About Building Homes for Heroes Building Homes for Heroes strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them to injured veterans nationwide Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes those who serve in the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled veterans and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. “The customized amenities that Johnson Controls brings to these homes provide not only a foundation for these heroes but a hopeful path to a bright future with the opportunity to reach dreams they may have never thought imaginable when injured,” said Andy Pujol, founder, and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes. “We are honored to partner with Johnson Controls, C&C Heating & Air Conditioning, and YORK® Factory Direct to gift a home to Staff Sergeant Hally and her family.” Sponsor The YORK brand of Johnson Controls has been a proud sponsor of Building Homes for Heroes since 2014. The company has been recognized by US Veterans Magazine as a top veteran-friendly company. Johnson Controls is also committed to hiring veterans and military spouses. Veteran employees are honored to design, engineer, and assemble systems that help improve the lives of fellow veterans. 

YORK Partners With Google Nest Pro To Donate Smart Home Products To Veterans In Mortgage-Free Homes
YORK Partners With Google Nest Pro To Donate Smart Home Products To Veterans In Mortgage-Free Homes

The YORK® brand of Johnson Controls, the provider of smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, partners with Google Nest Pro to donate smart home products in mortgage-free homes gifted to veterans through the non-profit organization, Building Homes for Heroes. Building Homes for Heroes builds or renovates homes, and gifts them, mortgage-free, to severely wounded or disabled U.S. veterans and their families working closely with various corporate sponsors. Since 2014, YORK has partnered with the organization and local YORK contractors and distributors to donate and install heating and cooling equipment based on the individual needs of each veteran. New connected homes Through the newly established partnership with Google, YORK contractors will donate their time to install various Google Nest products into the veterans’ homes to help create a safe, connected home they can live comfortably in despite their injuries. Google will be donating a variety of equipment to different Building Homes for Heroes veterans, including the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector, Nest Hello Doorbell, Nest x Yale Locks, Nest Minis and Nest Hub Max. We’re incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to provide heating and cooling to nearly 120 injured men" “We’re incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to provide heating and cooling to nearly 120 injured men and women who have served our country over the past eight years through Building Homes for Heroes,” said Doug Schuster, Vice President and General Manager, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls. “The new partnership with Google Nest Pro will give these injured veterans and their families even more customized amenities in their new connected homes.” Veteran-Friendly organization Johnson Controls is dedicated to supporting and hiring veterans across the U.S. and has been recognized as a veteran-friendly organization. The company has created the Veterans Business Resource Group to help connect Johnson Controls military families and support them during their transition from military to civilian life. “Building Homes for Heroes is devoted to building better and brighter lives for our veterans who served and sacrificed so much for our great country,” said Andy Pujol, Founder and CEO, Building Homes for Heroes. “This is something we could not accomplish without the support of like minded, patriotic companies like Johnson Controls for the last seven years, and our newest partner in Google Nest, to provide our heroes with a home that is beautified and customized for their needs. What a beautiful way to thank our heroic servicemen and women.”

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