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Survey reveals increased investment in healthy building technologies

Improvements in energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart building technology are becoming more critical each year.

That’s according to a survey of more than 800 building “decision-makers” by Johnson Controls.

In which 76% of facility executives stated that energy cost-savings are a top driver for investment. The company noted that the investment also influences corporate sustainability rankings, an important metric for attracting and retaining investors, employees and customers. 

The survey also found that businesses are increasing investments toward wellness, clean air and peace of mind. Eight-percent of respondents stated that protecting the health and safety of building occupants during the COVID pandemic and afterward is very or extremely important. New factors are being included in this mix include temperature control, disinfection, ventilation and air filtration, all of which require well-maintained systems and equipment that can be enhanced through intelligent sensors and control software.   

In most cases, despite lower occupancy, building operating costs did not decrease during the pandemic, highlighting the need for technologies to deliver flexibility, according to Johnson controls.

“Energy use should be dramatically lower when occupancy is low, but surprisingly less than one in ten building operators were able to reduce energy use more than 20%," said Michael Ellis, executive VP and chief customer & digital officer at Johnson Controls. "At a time when companies are aggressively pursuing energy and cost savings, customers need and want solutions that help them do better, while increasing the health profile of those buildings. Johnson Controls OpenBlue technologies deliver a unique, game-changing capability to solve for healthy places, while simultaneously serving sustainability goals."

Other survey findings are below.
•    Ninety-percent of responding firms have dedicated resources to healthy buildings initiatives.

•    Buildings are responsible for about 40% of the planet's total energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, but only 1% of buildings undergo energy-efficient renovation annually.

“Effective action is crucial in aligning to increased regulation, decreasing energy consumption and increasing sustainability,” Johnson Controls stated. 

•    Eighty-percent of facility executives stated that increasing flexibility to quickly respond to emergencies is a top driver for investment in technologies such as flexible facility monitoring and healthy air strategies.

•    For the health of the planet, 57% of organizations plan to achieve net-zero carbon or positive energy status in at least one facility in the next 10 years.

"At the center of a vision for a healthy world must be healthy buildings, and that means delivering on the most critical elements to serve people, places and planet," said George Oliver, CEO of Johnson Controls. "Our OpenBlue technologies reinvent the building landscape, creating dynamic smart facilities that help businesses meet their sustainability commitments, while delivering healthy places, enriched experiences and cost savings. “

Through ongoing efforts to create more healthy buildings, Johnson Controls said it has implemented more than 3,000 energy-savings performance contracting projects in North America alone. The result has been reductions of more than 29 million metric tons of carbon emissions from customer facilities and savings of $6 billion in energy and operating costs driven by a comprehensive suite of product and technology solutions.

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