Industry analysis

Johnson Controls AI-enhanced OpenBlue Platform Cuts Microsoft’s Beijing Campus Energy Footprint


Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), OpenBlue suite of connected solutions plays a key role in achieving lean campus management with higher energy efficiency and better user experience.

Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, has partnered with Microsoft Beijing Campus for its ongoing retrofit and optimization of building operations, achieving 27.9% energy savings and ensuring key equipment uptime to 98%. As a result, the campus has been granted an energy saving endorsement and financial subsidy by the Beijing Municipal Government and the Haidian District Government.

Anu Rathninde, president, Asia Pacific, Johnson Controls said, “China’s pledge to ensure carbon emissions peak by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 places a huge responsibility on its buildings sector to dive deeply into the latest sustainable engineering technology.In this project, we joined hands with Microsoft to raise the bar on what is possible for energy-efficient buildings, and their faith in Johnson Control AI-enabled OpenBlue Net Zero Buildings solution has been proven out. The energy and emissions savings on their Beijing Campus project help Microsoft and us highlight what is now possible sustainability-wise for retrofit buildings programs in China.”

The Microsoft Beijing Campus consists of two buildings with a total building area of 148,000 square meters. The campus has now successfully passed an energy audit conducted by Haidian District, Beijing, with new annual energy savings of 27.9%. That includes work to upgrade existing chiller systems, achieving 30% better energy efficiency.

Technology Collaboration in Action

A key strategy in reducing carbon emissions was to enable energy-efficient operations management. The Microsoft real estate and facilities team migrated the applications and data storage of the different systems – power supply, building controls, energy management and smart management to Azure platform, creating a central, integrated “digital brain” for the Campus. This was coupled with Johnson Controls AI-enhanced OpenBlue Enterprise Manager (OBEM), with the combination resulting in far more efficient building management, improved user experience and a significant reduction in the energy consumption of daily operations.

Microsoft Beijing Campus also uses Johnson Controls Metasys Building Automation System (BAS). By monitoring the cooling and heating equipment, Metasys system feeds large amounts of data into OBEM for analysis. During the retrofit, Metasys was upgraded and integrated with legacy BAS. With more sub-systems connected into Metasys, field operations risk was reduced, and human resource use was optimized.

As well as providing the technology, Johnson Controls service team for controls systems are now able to use the additional insights being generated to achieve more than 98% uptime of key equipment and increase the level of operational automation. The improvements add to the sustainability work that Johnson Controls has been supporting Microsoft Beijing Campus with since 2010. That earlier collaboration saw the campus reducing power consumption by more than 30 million kilowatt-hours from 2011-2020.

This long-term project with Microsoft adds to a growing portfolio of projects demonstrating the potential to cost-effectively use advanced technology to reduce emissions using Johnson Control OpenBlue platform.

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