It was recently my privilege to be one of a select number of HVACR industry editors to attend two facility dedications by two leading, legacy HVACR manufacturers.
In April, I attended attend the debut of United Technologies Corporation’s “Center for Intelligent Buildings,” in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla; and the Johnson Controls Advanced Development & Engineering Center (JADEC) in York County, Penn.
Both events were well attended by contractors, local business media and dignitaries from state and local government. What we witnessed left a lasting impression, that these two giants are intent on maintaining their reputations as leaders in comfort, efficiency and security.
The UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings serves as the global headquarters for UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a leading provider of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, building controls and automation, and fire and security systems.
“The UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings is more than a world headquarters for our business – it’s the embodiment of our commitment to our customers,” said Bob McDonough, president, UTC Climate, Controls & Security. “This building was designed specifically to show our global customers exactly what is possible in the building technology space. That’s why we’ve chosen to openly display critical building technologies that are typically hidden in basements, closets and on rooftops. These solutions are vital to productive, safe and secure indoor environments, and our new building is a celebration of the modern life they enable,” McDonough said.
The Center for Intelligent Buildings is a masterpiece of construction and attractive building design. Visitors will find a tremendous amount of information related to UTC’s various building divisions, from Climate, Controls & Security — which includes Carrier, Chubb, Kidde and Edwards, Otis (elevators and escalators), and Carrier Transicold, Sensitech and Taylor, for refrigerated transport and commercial refrigeration.
The facility will employ up to 500 people, and 380 are working there now. They were watching the ribbon-cutting from high above the grand lobby area. I wanted to meet them all.
Guests were given tours to see demonstrations UTC’s technology leadership, through detailed models and displays which present this technology in action. Push a button, and you can see how fire prevention is accomplished in homes or buildings. Watch a presentation on how food is better protected “from farm to fork,” as the new saying goes, or how an oil rig is secured; witness state-of-the-art home comfort in a model living room and kitchen..
The Center will also serve as a training center for UTC customers. Beyond that, the Center will be open as a local meeting place for UTC divisions, and local groups that need a modern and ample place to meet.
The Johnson Controls JADEC is another tremendous achievement. It uses more brick than glass for its exterior, but I personally have never seen such a comprehensive R&D facility. It includes a 250,000-sq.ft. testing lab and support facility, which consolidates testing facilities from Johnson Controls’ existing campus located 15 miles north in York, Pennsylvania. In addition, the complex features a 107,000-square-foot engineering office building.
“Our customers expect the best, and we will continue to deliver the best – industry-leading HVACR equipment, such as our new YORK® YZ chiller,” said Bill Jackson, president, Global Products, Johnson Controls. Jackson was a very gracious host, and he was hard to keep up with as he took editors on a guided tour.
The point is that these two mega-corporations want to be seen and heard, both in their communities and among their customers. And don’t forget the help to each community, for which these facilities provide important jobs. They’re making America great again in their own special ways. UTC has also donated half a million dollars to build a teen center for local Boys and Girls Clubs. See page 18.
Another article you won't want to miss is our 2018 Executive Roundtable. Executives from 11 leading OEMs provide commentary on how they’re striving to improve communication with contractors, and that’s a good thing.
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