Smart building company Johnson Controls said it plans to launch a comprehensive suite of digital solutions, called OpenBlue Healthy Buildings, to make shared spaces safer as people begin to return to offices.
The company claims that these solutions will “protect and instill confidence” in building occupants and visitors, minimize disruption should employees test positive for COVID-19, and accelerate building re-occupancy by automating and streamlining safety protocols.
Additionally, Johnson Controls said, customers will be able to maximize occupancy targets while maintaining safety, understand how their spaces are used and repurposed easily based on data, and help employees be more productive when they are in the office.
OpenBlue Healthy Building solutions, which are integrated but can also be deployed modularly, include a combination of hardware and software – such as smart equipment, digital sensors, security systems, cameras, monitors, analytics and dashboards, infection control and other connected devices – as well as a mobile app to manage spaces and occupant experiences.
Johnson Controls’ new suite of products include:
-Contact tracing. Automated contact tracing capabilities are the foundational element of this suite of solutions and enable other technologies. Overall, these solutions allow building management and employers to understand risks of exposure for building occupants. In the event of an occupanct testing positive, the system can retroactively trace person-to-person and person-to-space contact to provide nearly immediate support to Human Resources and Facility teams in reaching out to at risk workers, addressing potentially impacted areas, and taking preventive measures to minimize spread.
-Social distancing monitoring. OpenBlue Healthy Buildings will monitor social distancing in real-time, sending violation alerts should occupants be too close together or spaces become over occupied, enabling extensive compliance reporting and real-time behavior changes to prevent infection spread.
-Thermal cameras. The suite includes temperature screening technology that takes measurements while an individual is walking to allow for frictionless entry and exits, and prevent infection spread.
-Infection control. OpenBlue Healthy Buildings creates a layered approach to connectivity between various systems integral to infection control. These include systems that reduce indoor and airborne pathogens by increasing outdoor air ventilation, disinfecting ultraviolet C (UV-C) lighting, and remote monitoring of room pressurization, air change rates, humidity, and temperature to create healthier air.
-Mapping and monitoring space utilization. The OpenBlue mobile app provides live map views of sanitization status, occupancy data and recommendations for navigating the building safely in order to maximize and monitor how spaces are being used. The company said that the system is platform agnostic and works with existing building management systems.
The suite also features a mobile app that helps engage employees and occupants in real-time by providing updates about shared spaces and new policies, preferred wayfinding to avoid crowded areas, space availability and safety details, phone as badge access, SOS response, rotational schedule support, health attestation and self-reporting options.
“As more buildings welcome back their employees, it’s critical we deploy cutting edge technology coupled with our building expertise to create the smartest, safest spaces and places for occupants and visitors,” said Mike Ellis, executive vice president and chief digital & customer officer at Johnson Controls. “We are innovating with partners and customers to create technology that will transform buildings and spaces, from thermal cameras to contact tracing capabilities, OpenBlue is an end-to-end solution.”