Q&A: Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls on its latest smart offering: Panoptix
The GCC became the second in the world to receive Johnson Controls latest offering, Panoptix. Laura Farnham, vice president, building efficiency and David Clark, vice president, advantage program, talk to fmME about how the product will transform the lives of FMs and building owners
What’s the offering?
Johnson Controls: Panoptix has been designed to help building owners better manage building performance and energy consumption, in a bid to comply with new mandates for green buildings. In the UAE, approximately 60% of energy is consumed by buildings.
The Panoptix solution helps building owners and operators reduce energy consumption through better visibility and analysis of systems, providing information, tools and support to manage building performance more effectively.
As an open-platform, cloud hosted application suite, the system collects data from disparate building systems and creates a single, integrated view of building and system performance. This is then combined to give customers the ability to achieve energy savings and building performance optimisation.
The Panoptix solution includes four key components: an open technology platform that makes it easy to collect and manage data from various building systems and other data sources, such as meter and weather data; a suite of cloud-hosted building efficiency applications that work with any building management system; on-line and by Live Guide phone support, as well as on-site building and energy services to help customers implement operational improvements and energy-saving measures; an online Panoptix connected community of peers and experts committed to sharing best practice, news and resources.
It also allows third party applications to be built on and run on an open platform. These may include water to water control; energy to energy control and other building management and control applications.
Why has it been launched?
JC: In this region you find complex, tall and mixed-use structures. For the many people that require core issues to be addressed, which require a lot of and the expertise and cost, it is important that is made easy, which is what we wanted to do. The software allows identification of abnormal energy consumption and equipment faults which may otherwise be overlooked, in turn maximising the efficient running of the building.
Who is it for?
JC: It targets a commercial audience, from a single building to an enterprise of buildings and owners that have facility directors or staff on site that run the buildings.
At our head offices in Milwaukee, we believe we have the best facilities management team in the world. When the test for Panoptix was going to be carried out, the engineers wanted to do it on this building, which surprised me because we have the best-run buildings in the world.
Shortly after the applications had been running, the FM stated that he picked up “all kinds of problems” he didn’t know existed. So even for the best run buildings, nobody, until now, has had access to the data to understand some of the issues that are causing performance problems or that are consuming energy at a level beyond what is acceptable. It is providing a whole new level of insight to the inner workings of the building that has never been available before.
Do you foresee any challenges of the launch?
JC: While cost is always a challenge, we absolutely believe that the return on investment will be less than two years.
Because every building is unique, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact figure in terms of energy savings. We think it’s in the 15%-20% region of savings, and so is reasonable.
Do you think it will take off in this region?
JC: Studies show 70% of b2b software will be delivered via cloud by 2015 and hosted remotely. This offering allows us to turn data into actionable information, making sense of it and allowing the user to identify trends and follow those patterns.
Being able to deliver a predictable environment for the occupants of a building is very important, whether it’s a hospital, a school or even a boardroom.
The reason we are here in terms of our second region in the world is that we truly believe this market is ready for this offering. It will help to carry foward the green economy strategy being established in the region.