Johnson Controls officially opened its state-of-the-art Rooftop Center of Excellence in Norman, Okla., during a grand opening event on April 17 which included a ribbon-cutting led by Gov. Kevin Stitt. The 900,000-square-foot facility will serve as the flagship location for the design, manufacturing and testing of HVAC rooftop units. The Norman facility has been a part of the community for nearly 50 years and was recently named one of 2018 Industry Week “Best Plants” for its safety and commitment to employee empowerment and growth.
“We are proud to mark a half-century in Norman by opening this newly expanded facility,” said Vicki Davis, ducted systems plant manager, Norman plant commercial operations, Johnson Controls. “This expansion not only serves as an investment in the local economy, but a commitment to creating job opportunities and professional development for area residents.”
“In Oklahoma, we have some of the best natural resources … We have some of the lowest utility rates, when you compare us to other states,” said Gov. Stitt. “… So, from a manufacturing standpoint, there are so many advantages to being located in Oklahoma, and, of course, our greatest resource is our people … We have the hardest working, the best people here. I’m just out telling the story to make sure everybody knows that Oklahoma is the place to grow your business.”
The expansion includes almost 400,000 square-feet of incremental laboratory and manufacturing space and renovations to 150,000 square-feet of office and meeting space. Among the most innovative enhancements is the two-story, 52-foot high testing lab roughly the size of one-and-a-half football fields.
The extensive laboratory offers an environment that allows Johnson Controls to conduct on-site, complex development, regulatory compliance, performance, safety and reliability testing, including the ability to test a 150-ton rooftop unit in climates ranging from -30ºF to 130ºF.
“What we see on the horizon is a growing need for HVAC rooftop units that are both energy efficient and sustainable,” said Philip Smyth, director of product management, applied DX, Johnson Controls. “This facility allows us to bring innovation, technology and expertise to one location – allowing us to develop industry-leading solutions while increasing speed to market.”