Johnson Controls is a Milwaukee-based company providing products, services, and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings, automotive batteries, electronics, and interior systems for automobiles.
Incorporated in 1885, Johnson Controls has 170,000 employees globally and has served customers in more than 150 countries. It ranked 67th among the 2013 Fortune 500. The corporation’s philosophy is that “energy efficiency helps control rising energy costs, reduce environmental footprints, and increase the value and competitiveness of buildings.”
In 2008 and 2009, Johnson Controls renovated or built-new four buildings on its Glendale campus. For all of these energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable designs, the Glendale campus received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification in September 2010 from the US Green Building Council; the campus boasts the largest concentration of LEED Platinum buildings ever awarded on one site.
Precise Design for Optimal Performance
The use of 3-D modeling software and a global positioning system helped to determine siting for the 272 geothermal heat-pump wells and to make the measurements so that the 180,000 feet of piping that connect the wells could be manufactured to precise specifications, a simpler and more cost-effective process than fabricating each one by hand. The wells and their network of pipes utilize the constant temperature of the Earth to help heat or cool the buildings, reducing winter heating costs by about 29 percent compared to natural gas boilers.
Other technologies and solutions used by Johnson Controls to promote corporate office energy conservation and minimize the carbon footprint of their new and renovated buildings include:
- Solar photovoltaic panels capable of producing 250 KW of electricity on site.
- Solar thermal systems that supply more than 30 percent of the hot water for two campus buildings; the 1,330-square-foot rooftop installation saves 2,837 therms of energy annually.
- Skylights and increased window space to naturally light indoor spaces.
- A 30,000-gallon rooftop cistern to capture rainwater for reuse, along with low-flow plumbing fixtures and dual-flush toilets that contribute to a 77 percent reduction in city water use.
- An energy-efficient security system that integrates access control with lighting and heating/air conditioning systems.
- On-site recycling that collected almost 90 percent of new construction waste and more than 75 percent of demolition waste from existing buildings.
- “Metasys,” a building management system for maximum comfort, efficiency, and safety in buildings—and one of Johnson Controls’ own products—can operate as a wireless control system or be used as a Web-based monitoring and control system.
Energy Efficiency Outcomes
Even after doubling its campus space, the company’s energy use declined by 21 percent. Water usage has been reduced by 595,000 gallons a year. Annual greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 857,200 million pounds of CO2 equivalent.
“All this was done—not by entirely building a brand new facility from scratch—but by restoring the more than 44 year-old architecture to not only look appealing but to function in an environmentally friendly manner,” says Ward Komorowski, director of facilities and building services for the Glendale headquarters.
Johnson Controls expects the campus’s savings on energy efficiency to offset its cost within eight years. The company also uses many other sustainability practices that reduce its environmental footprint and those of its clients.