Johnson Controls views AI, sensors at center of smart building push

Johnson Controls CTO Vijay Sankaran works at the heart of the smart building movement, relying on AI and GenAI alongside sophisticated sensors to help customers reduce energy use and cut carbon production.

Energy efficiency and net zero loom large in the minds of customers, many who manage commercial buildings around the globe and have set targets to meet those goals, he told Fierce Electronics in a preview to delivering a keynote at Sensors Converge, June 24-26.  A video introduces his keynote, “The AI revolution in smart buildings.”

 “There’s actually an interesting interplay between energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions,” he said. “If you reduce energy consumption and you change the mix of the type of energy you use, you can also reduce your carbon emissions…All around the world, there’s an interest in driving energy efficiency, especially as energy prices continue to rise.”

Chillers, boilers and air handling can sap up to 25%-30% of energy needed in buildings. Johnson Controls studies the utilization patterns using sensors placed all around buildings with AI to prescribe efficiencies that can generate 10% to 20% in energy savings. That amount nearly offsets the cost of Johnson Controls’ software, he said.

GenAI also has a “tremendous role” in the company’s offerings, he said.  GenAI is used to recommend specific conservation measures on how a building is optimized or even how to comply with local laws. GenAI is “taking the mystery of trouble shooting and triaging and serving up real English examples to improve efficiency.”

Johnson Controls CTO Vijay Sankaran delivers the keynote address on Tuesday June 25 at Sensors Converge, being held at Santa Clara Convention Center from June 24-26. Early Bird registration ends May 10.