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More Investment and Collaborations Needed to Accelerate Smart City Vision for Southeast Asia

  • Johnson Controls, in collaboration with the International WELL Building Institute, CBRE and WiredScore, publishes new whitepaper providing key references and insights for Southeast Asia’s smart city initiatives.
  • The whitepaper presents a roadmap for building smart cities that create safer, healthier spaces for a growing urban population while helping the region meet its net zero goals.

SINGAPORE, Sept. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Despite their governments’ smart city ambitions, many developing cities in Southeast Asia still lack adequate smart building technologies and initiatives to transform into data-driven, sustainable cities, according to the new “Pioneering a Sustainable Future – Building Smarter Net Zero Cities” whitepaper released by Johnson Controls [NYSE:JCI], the global leader for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings. 

Written in collaboration with the International WELL Building Institute, CBRE and WiredScore, the whitepaper represents diverse expertise across the smart and healthy building industry. It provides a roadmap for the industry, calling for greater investment and collaboration to help Southeast Asian cities realise their goal of creating a sustainable, net zero environment for their citizens. With nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from buildings, smart buildings increasingly play a critical role towards helping cities realise their visions. 

Southeast Asia’s journey to transform its smart cities requires collaboration, innovation, and a holistic approach”, said Anu Rathninde, president, Asia Pacific, Johnson Controls, who was speaking at the Built Environment Leaders’ Summit in Singapore for the International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2023.

“We see the challenges facing our industry, but more importantly we see the willingness from both public and private sectors to collaborate and scale up technologies available to solve these challenges. To help achieve the aspirations of a growing population, we must work together to leverage the latest smart building innovations to enhance urban living, create sustainable environments, and ensure safe and healthy spaces for people to thrive and grow”.

To enable this, the whitepaper highlights three key areas for Southeast Asia to urgently address: first, more investment needed for deploying and maintaining smart building systems; second, maximising AI technology to monitor and optimise the built sector’s environmental impact; and third, strengthening regulatory environments to facilitate collaboration, standardisation and data sharing between the public and private sectors.

Smart Building Systems: Significant investment is needed to deploy smart city sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and analyse the smart city data collected to improve the overall efficiency of buildings and promote individuals comfort and health. Whereas before, each building system could be improved only on its own, the potential to connect all of them, enabled by smart city technologies, will open up a new dimension of holistic building performance.

Adopting AI Technology: AI-powered systems have a strong potential to help buildings reduce their environmental impact by monitoring and analysing energy consumption patterns, optimising energy usage, and managing waste and water consumption. They also can predict when maintenance is needed to prevent equipment failures and reduce downtime and costs.

Robust Regulatory Environments: Policies that encourage collaborations between the public and private sector can help leverage resources, expertise, and funding to drive smart city initiatives. This can overcome the funding and technical expertise barriers to smart city adoption and better integrate governance structures to create more cohesive, streamlined processes among agencies and jurisdictions.

The whitepaper also highlighted Singapore’s pioneering achievements in harnessing technology to create a more efficient and interconnected society while driving net-zero goals. Some of these projects that had involved Johnson Controls include:

  • Transport: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) implemented its Intelligent Transport System, which uses real-time data to optimise traffic flow and reduce congestion. By 2024, traffic controllers for Fort Canning Tunnel will be able to remotely monitor and manage in-tunnel sub-systems, such as jet fans and fire protection systems, to ensure road safety.
  • Aviation: Singapore Airlines (SIA) was able to achieve a high level of sophisticated security at its operating sites throughout Changi Airport, with a fully integrated Building Security System featuring intelligent card readers, fingerprint biometrics, and distributed intelligence at all layers of the system design.

For these to happen, more skilled talent is also needed to advance the built environment sector. Labour supply issues, particularly around a digital skills gap, continue to challenge the industry, exacerbated by an ageing workforce and the COVID-19 pandemic. The whitepaper highlighted the role that government agencies, industry players and academic institutions must perform together to nurture a digitally savvy workforce that supports their smart city initiatives.

Johnson Controls has partnered with SkillsFuture Singapore since 2022 to mentor small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the built environment sector over a 3-year period. As a SkillsFuture Queen Bee, they helped SMEs to develop their digital capabilities and transform their businesses to be more sustainable. The SkillsFuture Queen Bee programme has benefitted over 2,300 organisations to-date.

The whitepaper was launched at BEX Asia, the region’s leading built environment exhibition as part of the International Built Environment Week (IBEW) 2023. At the event, Johnson Controls also presented a panel discussion with industry leaders Lendlease, Beca, CBRE and WiredScore to discuss the evolution of sustainable smart cities in Asia, and what must be done to accelerate a smarter net zero future.

Download the whitepaper here at: https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/en_sg/events/johnson-controls-at-bex-asia-2023

Media Contacts: 
Genevieve Leong                                                            Ashley Song
Weber Shandwick (for Johnson Controls)                      Johnson Controls
Email: johnsoncontrolssg@webershandwick.com          Email: ashley.song@jci.com

About Johnson Controls:

At Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI), we transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play. As the global leader in smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, our mission is to reimagine the performance of buildings to serve people, places and the planet.

Building on a proud history of nearly 140 years of innovation, we deliver the blueprint of the future for industries such as healthcare, schools, data centers, airports, stadiums, manufacturing and beyond through OpenBlue, our comprehensive digital offering.

Today, with a global team of 100,000 experts in more than 150 countries, Johnson Controls offers the world`s largest portfolio of building technology and software as well as service solutions from some of the most trusted names in the industry.

Visit www.johnsoncontrols.com for more information and follow @JohnsonControls on social platforms.