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In 1885, long before anyone talks about carbon footprints or climate change, Warren Johnson launches a company to explore new ways to harness and conserve precious energy resources. In doing so, he also launches a tradition of customer-focused innovation—a tradition that has inspired thousands of employees for more than 130 years and that continues to drive the success of Johnson Controls. Even before he founds the firm now known as Johnson Controls, Warren Johnson is the quintessential inventor. His pneumatic tower clocks, electric storage batteries, wireless telegraph business and steam-powered luxury cars and postal service trucks anticipate—and shape—the future.

Our Founder
Our Leaders
George Oliver, Johnson Controls Chairman and CEO
This Month in History

Johnson Controls system saves lives at the Pentagon after terrorist attack, Sept. 11, 2001

Johnson Controls system saves lives at the Pentagon after terrorist attack, Sept. 11, 2001When the Department of Defense selected Johnson Controls in 1997 to design and install a new energy management and environmental control system in the Pentagon as part of a massive renovation of the historic and symbolic building, little did they know that the system would not only save money, but lives as well.

Under the contract, Johnson Controls installed a Metasys® Energy Management and Control System to measure, monitor, and manage building functions from a central command center. Metasys' ability to communicate with the older controls systems in the building, including those made by other companies, allowed the system to control not only the renovated portions of the building, but those awaiting renovation. Thus, Pentagon building operators were able to monitor and control the entire complex with Metasys throughout all phases of the renovation project.

Johnson Controls employees finished the Pentagon's Building Operations Control Center in June 2001 – which turned out to be timelier than they could have imagined. When terrorists flew a commercial airliner into the Pentagon three months later on Sept. 11, 2001, the Metasys system helped keep an already horrible situation from becoming even worse. After the attack, Pentagon building operators were able to use Metasys to isolate the damaged portion of the building and keep deadly smoke from entering the other areas of the building. Just a day after the attack, 4.5 million square feet of the Pentagon remained open and building employees were able to continue working.

According to Steve Carter, Pentagon Assistant Building Manager at the time of the attack, "The systems we put in place were instrumental in getting smoke out and keeping the fire contained. In a matter of hours, we took systems that were installed to save energy and improve indoor environments and used them to provide air barriers. This stopped smoke infiltration, minimized the spread of damage, and most importantly, potentially saved lives."