Citizens expect government facilities to run efficiently while providing them with the services they require. Phillip Lowery, director of state government at Johnson Controls, shares how these facilities are meeting demands for services while addressing efficiency, security and sustainability concerns.
Q: Welcome to a world where everything is smart, safe, comfortable and sustainable. What does this vision mean for general services?
PHILLIP LOWERY: Buildings are becoming increasingly more complex. Their structures, systems and technologies are more intelligent as state agencies demand safer, more comfortable and sustainable environments. Smart buildings allow agency directors to integrate and better control lighting, security, HVAC systems and a host of emerging technologies that fall within the Internet of things (IoT). Additionally, directors are more focused on the impact of their facilities on the environment.
Q: What does a “smart” general services facility look like?
PL: A “smart” general services facility creates a performance infrastructure; it meets or exceeds the business objectives of the owner while mitigating historical barriers to goal attainment. Whether the focus is on improved security, overcoming deferred maintenance or improving water and energy efficiency, a smart general services facility connects building systems, people and technology to the agency’s bottom line. In a truly smart government building, the integration of multiple systems can significantly reduce operating costs. Johnson Controls leads the industry in our ability to optimize heating and cooling equipment, match occupant patterns to energy use and maintain equipment in a way that allows state agencies to focus on their core missions.
Q: You mentioned security in your previous response. With the Johnson Controls and Tyco merger, the new company now has one of the most comprehensive security portfolios. What most excites you around safety and security?
PL: State government facilities are comprised of complex mechanical systems, sophisticated building automation systems and a host of devices aimed at maintaining or improving the safety, comfort and productivity of state employees and the greater public that uses these facilities. Our new company offers an industry-leading and unprecedented security portfolio that can seamlessly use data from the building automation system to turn off lights and reduce cooling or heating requirements when occupants are not present.
Q: So often, safety and security are linked to comfort. Why is comfort critical for general services?
PL: General services facilities exist to provide a safe, comfortable place for occupants to work and visit. Comfort, whether it be physical comfort or the psychological comfort that comes with a sense of security, increases the well-being of all building occupants and contributes to the productivity of those who work in general services facilities.
Q: In addition to comfort and security, have sustainability and “green” become expectations in the industry?
PL: As “green” construction grows, along with a retrofit market aimed at sustainable solutions, state agencies are keenly focused on performance infrastructure. They’re seeing the impact to their bottom lines, including lower operating costs than their less efficient counterparts. These facilities also offer better indoor environmental quality and are more attractive to the private sector, which often seeks the prime real estate owned by state agencies. In the long run, state agencies like the Department of General Services or General Administration can impact the financial net position of their agencies by creating new revenue streams from leased space to the private sector.
Phillip Lowery, Director, State Government, North America
As national director of state government, Phillip is responsible for growing the state government market for SSNA, including General Services, the Department of Transportation and Department of Corrections. Phillip earned an MBA from Texas Tech University, an MS degree from Clemson University, and a BA degree from the University of North Carolina.
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