Johnson Controls Smart Ready Panel at Fenway Park

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How do venues, buildings and cities become smarter and more sustainable?

What does it mean to become Smart Ready? Top Boston thought leaders came together in July 2018 to participate in a Johnson Controls Smart Ready Panel discussion at historic Fenway Park to have a conversation about how venues, buildings and cities can become smarter and more sustainable as they plan for the future.

Clay Nesler, vice president, global sustainability and industry initiatives, Johnson Controls, kicked off the conversation to introduce the findings of Johnson Controls 2017 Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey and tease upcoming 2018 results. Nesler was joined by fellow panelists Sam Kennedy, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, Elinor Klavens, senior analyst at the Sports Innovation Lab, Catherine Carlock, real estate editor at Boston Business Journal, and Kyle Gross, general manager at BostInno.

Panelists shared best practices for organizations seeking guidance in getting started on the Smart Ready journey, as well as for those interested in optimizing and better connecting technologies already in place. For example, Kennedy spoke to how the 106-year-old ballpark is tackling its most difficult challenge of providing a smart, safe and secure venue while also enhancing the fan experience for its 3.5 million visitors each year.

“Johnson Controls has been a huge part of our preservation and protection efforts, because as we go forward, probably our biggest business threat and to the sports industry in general, is some type of massive security breach or failure to execute,” said Kennedy. “We work very closely with community partners, like Boston City Hall and the Boston Police Department, and the regional intelligence center to make sure we're doing everything we possibly can, but Johnson Controls has been a huge part of our effort to make sure that Fenway Park is safe, and that it’s treasured as a jewel in Major League Baseball.”
"Johnson Controls has been a huge part of our effort to make sure that Fenway Park is safe, and that it’s treasured as a jewel in Major League Baseball.” -- Sam Kennedy, president and CEO, Boston Red Sox
Alongside sports venues, all buildings and cities will become increasingly smarter in the future. There is great economic, operational and environmental value in the application of smart technologies at a building and city scale, and it’s critical for organizations to make Smart Ready investments to future proof their buildings.

“One hundred percent of the cities surveyed in the United States have smart city initiatives underway, however smart cities is a strange term as everybody hears the words, but they think something different,” said Nesler. “What our research says is that the same themes we talk about around buildings – sustainability, public safety, communications – apply not to just high-performance facilities, but to the community at large.”

Whether planning to implement smart functionalities in a commercial building or a sports venue like Fenway Park, it’s most beneficial to consider building solutions that are easily integrated such as building management, security and life-safety systems. When connected, these technology systems can improve the safety and sustainability of the facility, but most importantly they can amplify the customer or fan experience. Careful investment in technology platforms and their integration can allow venues, buildings and cities to become Smart Ready and keep pace with advancing technology for years to come.

Learn more about how Johnson Controls can help your organization become Smart Ready.
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