Johnson Controls whitepaper shows future of buildings

  • December 18, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

A whitepaper from Johnson Controls outlines how technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud and cyber security can help enterprises create buildings that integrate with human and environmental ecosystems.

The pressure to meet global climate targets has never been greater and, with buildings accounting for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions, there is an urgent need to advance sustainable building technology to help enterprises meet net-zero goals while accommodating for continued growth.

The paper – The Smart Building of the Future ( – shows how smart buildings offer a harmonised environment that prioritises well-being and sustainability, using technology to adapt and unlock potential, support productivity, and drive peak performance of building occupants.

“Never has it been more important for organisations to consider advanced and efficient ways to reduce their carbon footprint, especially in the buildings industry, which is the single largest source of our planet’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Johnson Controls chief technology officer Vijay Sankaran. “The smart building of the future offers new and more effective ways to help companies meet critical climate goals, reduce costs, enhance daily operations to achieve business growth and improve personalised experiences. When a building comes alive with smart technology, all stakeholders benefit from the integrated approach that ultimately creates a healthier, safer and more productive environment.”

Several factors are converging to accelerate the development and adoption of building technology. As building owners work to respond to challenges such as rising energy costs and changes in occupancy patterns, IoT devices and the implementation of data analytics and AI have become more important.

The report also offers building managers insights into the major technology enablers of smart buildings, including:

  • Ubiquitous connectivity through cloud-based services on the edge breaks down barriers between siloed and integrated devices, enabling the flow of real-time information that busineses can analyse for insights and continuous improvement.
  • AI-enabled autonomous smart buildings will be at the core of the next smart buildings, driving efficiencies, enhancing the user experience and enabling advancements in sustainability. AI at the edge reduces privacy, compliance and cyber concerns by allowing data to be securely processed and stored within the building operator’s network.
  • Digital twins enable a continuous feedback loop between the physical and the virtual by facilitating the integration of AI, IoT and cloud technologies to generate recommendations for improving building performance and user experience.

As many of the technical foundations required to turn buildings smart already exist, organisations should take additional action to prepare for and improve their future building operations. This includes developing a strategy that includes user experience, partnering with IT and cyber-security teams, establishing partnerships with external consultants, investing in education and training, and running pilot projects.

A recent survey from Johnson Controls and Forrester Consulting shows widespread acceptance of sustainability as a business priority and a firm recognition that partners are essential to realising 2030 sustainability commitments. The survey found building operators believe smart buildings are important in helping organisations accelerate sustainability initiatives and that adding or upgrading building automation and digital technologies to optimise energy use are among the most impactful sustainability investment areas.

As a one-stop-shop for creating smart buildings, Johnson Controls has developed a three-step process to transform buildings into strategic assets – design, digitalise and deploy. The cornerstone of this smart building strategy is Johnson Controls OpenBlue, an ecosystem of connected technologies, digital technology and services. OpenBlue reads the live activity of a building and continuously adapts to optimise performance. Combining data from across the building’s systems and using digital tools such as AI can provide insights that save more energy and emissions than possible with isolated systems.

With a global team of 100,000 experts in more than 150 countries, Johnson Controls ( offers building technology and software as well as services.