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Monitoring ESG and Wellness in Buildings with AI

A new all-in-one solution from Johnson Controls allows building operators to track key metrics relating to sustainability, occupier health and wellness, and energy and water consumption.

The new OpenBlue Performance Advisor application expands on the rich capabilities of Johnson Controls OpenBlue Enterprise Manager solution, supporting organisations seeking to achieve clean air and sustainability targets through data tracking software, artificial intelligence and intuitive dashboards that follow indoor air quality and energy consumption and deliver clean air and decarbonisation recommendations in one clear, comprehensive view. The intelligent software also supports the management of employee health, productivity and tenant experiences while helping to improve indoor air quality and comfort.

Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue Enterprise Manager solution helps facilities managers optimise building portfolio performance through advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence. The solution is a comprehensive suite of applications from Johnson Controls used to monitor and improve indoor air quality, energy efficiency, tenant satisfaction, asset performance, maintenance operations, space performance and the comfort of all occupants. OpenBlue Enterprise Manager supports smart building capabilities for property portfolios ranging across commercial offices, healthcare, mixed use high-end, transportation, retail and K-12 school systems.

The OpenBlue Enterprise Manager Performance Advisor application adopts the copmany’s “single pane of glass” approach, which brings together various sources of data into a single view that makes it simple to monitor and act on a variety of factors at the same time. Analytics and AI solutions have historically focused on solving for one goal at a time – clean air, energy/carbon, wellness, asset health, comfort, experience, space utilisation, etc. However, the OpenBlue Enterprise Manager Performance Advisor application gives users control over making integrated choices traversing data silos, rather than following static standard operating procedures.

A proprietary algorithm measures a variety of parameters such as zone size, occupancy, mask usage and weather forecasts and predicts chances of infection spread. It provides recommendations to facilities managers that improve the building performance, ranging from maximum disinfection to energy minimisation, depending on the given needs of a space at a specific moment in time. A key element of this solution is the OpenBlue Infection Risk Score, providing additional information to enable best decision making.

Mike Ellis, executive vice president and chief customer & digital officer at Johnson Controls, comments: “Supporting healthy and sustainable buildings is at the core of Johnson Controls priorities and the solutions and services we bring to market. Helping our planet heal and reducing the impact of climate change is part of being a good global citizen and a key moral imperative that drives our business.

“Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors continue to grow in importance for building owners and facilities managers in attracting additional investment and tenants. An all-in-one solution that supports elevation of ESG goals while also ensuring occupant safety and comfort addresses the priority needs of our customers in a single, elegant solution.”

One example of customer value is in right-sizing automated energy efficiency. The solution’s algorithms use historical operating data and space characteristics to build a dynamic model of each room in a structure, to predict future temperature, air quality and airflow. Models are then used to optimise the desired performance criteria such as energy cost or infection risk.

The Performance Advisor application also optimises space utilisation. The application leverages occupancy tracking data and recommends movement of people to alternate spaces. This approach supports the movement of people and resources from over-utilised spaces to under-utilised spaces while also suggesting adjustments to HVAC and lighting systems.

To validate the effectiveness of the Performance Advisor application, Johnson Controls collaborated with Martin Z. Bazant, professor of Chemical Engineering and Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on the accuracy of infection transmission and air flow models, which are core underlying mathematical models for the Performance Advisor solution. “These models are the first to predict the risk of airborne disease transmission in realistic building simulations, thus allowing HVAC systems to be optimised for public health, as well as comfort and energy efficiency,” said Bazant.

To learn more about OpenBlue Enterprise Manager, visit https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/openblue/openblue-enterprise-manager.

To download supporting technical papers published in journals related to this product, visit: Energy and Buildings. Modelling and Multiobjective Optimisation of Indoor Airborne Disease Transmission Risk and Associated Energy Consumption for Building HVAC Systems at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2021.111497.111497.

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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