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Building Automation

At Johnson Heating and Cooling, we have a proud history of being on the cutting edge of the latest technologies in our industry. We value knowledge and are constantly seeking to better ourselves as individuals and as a whole. Because of our attitudes, ethics, and most importantly the opportunity and grace given to us by God, we are fantastic at designing, programming, and installing some of the best building automation systems in the world, and doing so with a short return on investment for our customers.

The term "Building Automation System", as it is used in common English refers to a transistor based electrical system that controls a building's heating, cooling, and ventilation systems (HVAC). Often, a building automation system will also control lighting, security locks, fire alarming systems, and other electronically controlled parts of a building. Building automation systems began to become popular shortly after the invention of the transistor, some 35 years ago. Direct digital control systems had their first major leap forward in the HVAC industry when Honeywell introduced it's XL-10 family of controllers. Before transistor based technology, complex logic controls where not cost-effective because the equipment and engineering costs where far too high to warrant the energy savings that could be realized by streamlining equipment. Today, one small server about the size of a football, can replace a logic system, that utilizes relays, of about the size of a football field. Today, the people of the United States still have much to benefit by upgrading old HVAC control systems to transistor based building automation systems.

Building Automation system or DDC system in Waterford Michigan

Johnson Heating and Cooling, LLC is very good at producing cost effective and extremely high quality building automation systems. There is one school of thought, which has some merit, that says that a "jack of all trades is a master of none". While this school of thought holds a lot of weight when it comes to many professions, it is untrue in some senses. If a trade requires that one is a "jack of all trades" than that is what will make him a master of that trade. To be good at controls (as is the same with HVAC), one must understand and be skilled at many professions. A good controls contractor is a HVAC contractor, a certified air balancer, a graphics designer, an electrical engineer of sorts, and a good programmer. A person who doesn't understand refrigeration probably should not be trusted to write the code that controls a 100 ton condensing unit. Perhaps it would be better for a man to work a regular job, with regular hours, but for the men and women at Johnson Heating and Cooling, that is already water under the bridge. They are talented individuals because they have gone the extra mile in the pursuit of excellence. They have more experience, per years in the trade, than the competition, and they have always delivered high quality systems to their customers.

Building automation systems are extremely complex, and even if a person studied his whole life and lived to be 120 years old, he could not know how to build a complete system from scratch. Systems integrators (the name given to controls contractors who "engineer, program, and install" building automation systems), buy the controllers from suppliers, who in turn buy the controller from the manufacturers, who buy the components of the controllers from their suppliers, who actually manufacture the parts. Honeywell, for example, probably does not manufacture the transistors, capacitors, or even the integrated circuits (IC's), which are the "hearts" of the controllers that they sell. Honeywell, in fact, probably makes very little of the product that they sell, and the supply line to make one controller probably runs though dozens of countries. Honeywell probably designs the circuit board, possibly the IC's and writes the code that makes the whole thing work. The point to this whole paragraph is that each and every building automation system is different, however, they do all share common traits because they all use electricity, transistors, and are all subject to the same laws of physics.

Building automation systems, each using a different manufacturer's controllers typically share fundamental commonalities based on economics and best practices. For example, economics has dictated that the most cost effective way to control roof-top units, which are frequently located at the location where the air conditioning is needed, is to place a controller inside the unit that needs to be controlled rather than to simply control all equipment from a central location. Wire costs money, and running less wire is less expensive than running a lot of wire. Because of the economic pressure to control equipment locally, but still provide for centralized control, every building automation system uses a communication line between controllers, which is often a two conductor wire. Because of the laws of physics, electrical signals traveling on a communication line are all subject to electrical noise. So a Johnson Controls N2 communication line and a Honeywell LON communication line will both be effected by electrical noise (though because they are different, one will be affected differently than the other).

Building Automation System Waterford Michigan

Johnson Heating and Cooling is well versed on nearly every building automation system on the market today, and if we find that we are not able to effectively meet a customer's needs, then we will tell them up front and will usually take steps to make ourselves proficient with their system. In 2011, a customer was referred to Johnson Heating and Cooling who had an off the wall building automation system that utilized Irish controllers and software. In 2011, David Johnson and his wife went to Dublin to learn about the Irish control system so that they could better address the needs of their new customer. We are the type of people who value knowledge and education.

Check out some of our Recent Work!

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland U. C.

Clawson Manor

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Shepherd's Gate Lutheran Church in Shelby Township, Michigan

Romeo, Washington, Bruce (RWB) Parks and Recreation

E-mail: JHC@cooljohnson.com