Johnson Controls Designs, Installs Net-Zero Energy System

Johnson Controls recently completed the design and installation of a unique heat pump-based HVAC system and controls for the new headquarters of Integrated Design Associates (IDeAs). This innovative solution will allow the facility to operate on a net-zero energy use basis and also contribute to its net-zero carbon emissions. The building, a refurbished bank branch, is designed to generate as much electricity as it uses.
At a grand opening ceremony held today at the IDeAs building, local officials and executives celebrated the project, which produced one of the first net-zero energy, zero carbon emission commercial office buildings in the nation.
The efficient heat-pump system circulates either warm or cool water through the concrete floor slab to create radiant heating or cooling, depending on the season. Additionally, solar panels on the roof run all systems and equipment in the building.
"The heat pump system – which has been operational since mid-August – has provided a very cool and comfortable environment during some very hot weather," according to David Kaneda, principal, IDeAs. "This energy-efficient system will help us meet our net-zero energy goals."
To further reduce electricity usage, the facility uses skylights in conjunction with energy efficient lighting systems, complemented by high-efficiency windows. On a sunny California day, sensors will switch off most of the facility’s lighting to decrease energy consumption.
"We are very excited to have contributed to one of the first net-zero energy commercial buildings," said Clay Nesler, vice president of global energy and sustainability for Johnson Controls. "This project is a shining example of what is possible when using the solutions and technologies of today to create facilities that truly set the standard for energy efficiency."
Kaneda's firm helps architects design more energy-efficient buildings. As a result, he felt that his firm should "walk-the-walk" with its new facility. "All the technologies we use are readily available today," said Kaneda. "While some of the technology is more expensive up-front, the significant reduction in energy consumption will pay for these innovations in the long term. At the end of the day, reducing our impact on the environment is the right thing to do."
To learn more about this facility, visit For more information about IDeAs, go to

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