Earth Day 2019 on couldn’t have been a more fitting occasion for Carrier to announce that its world headquarters, the UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings, is the first commercial building in Florida to earn a Platinum LEED v4 certification.    

The Platinum rating — the highest designation — was awarded under the stringent version 4 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building program for building design and construction from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

“We designed the UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings to push the boundaries of sustainable building design and provide our employees and customers with a model of what’s possible when Carrier’s best technologies are deployed in green buildings,” says Bob McDonough, president of Carrier about the achievement.

Luke Dorna, staff engineer at Carrier Building Solutions Group, played an integral role in the design and construction of the Center for Intelligent Buildings. He ensured all Carrier products installed in the building contributed to LEED Platinum certification, and he also managed the review process with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and the USGBC.

Luke Dorna

Luke Dorna

Here he shares an insider’s perspective of the building's construction, unique product integrations and how they can be applied for Carrier HVAC systems customers.

The UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings was designed to COGfx standards, what are some of the benefits of these standards and what Carrier technologies should contractors employ to meet such requirements? 

The COGfx Study was conducted by research teams from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and SUNY Upstate Medical University with funding from United Technologies Corporation. In the study, office workers were first tested for cognitive function in simulated green building environments with enhanced ventilation with lower CO2 (carbon dioxide) and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and second in real-world green-certified buildings in 5 U.S. cities. In both cases, the COGfx Study demonstrated that improved indoor environmental quality improved cognitive function test scores. In addition to statistically significant findings, the study also found that employees reported 30 percent fewer sick building symptoms and 6 percent higher sleep quality scores. This indicates green building benefits may extend beyond the office.

In the case of the UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings, HVAC system design leading to enhanced ventilation is one of the key ways we improved the indoor environmental quality – as we are able to bring in 100 percent fresh air, which is higher than the COGfx recommendations. In fact, LEED requirements are to go 30 percent above the design standard, and we are actually doubling this. Specifically in the conference center of the building, we are utilizing CO2 sensors and a demand-control ventilation scheme that ramps the outdoor air up or down depending on conditions. This saves energy in low occupancy and maintains high levels of indoor environmental quality during the peaks. Finally, we selected low VOC-emitting materials during construction, so the building is already working from a better baseline.

How many Carrier systems/technologies are integrated into the building?

The UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings is a first-of-its-kind building where for the first time Carrier commercial products and solutions from across its portfolio of HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation businesses, have been integrated in one place, and is a model that can be commercialized and implemented anywhere around the world. Some of the marquee Carrier products that are integrated into the building include:

  • Two Carrier AquaEdge 23XRV chillers installed in a series counter flow arrangement to further increase the units’ efficiency by an additional 10-15 percent while reducing the work done by each compressor.
  • Six Carrier Aero 39M air handlers, where chilled water from the chiller is pumped up through the air handler’s coil so it can be converted to cold air. Carrier’s air handling units can be configured to meet specific footprint requirements as well as specific space and operating challenges.
  • LenelS2 Blue Diamond Mobile which is a Cloud–hosted eco-system that empowers authorized users to request access to doors through the convenience of their mobile phone rather than a physical card. The intuitive App leverages highly secure mobile credential technology to tap into the power of OnGuard.
  • Automated Logic WebCTRL Building Automation System: This building automation system monitors the performance of our environmental, energy, security and safety systems to help ensure that the building is running as efficiently as possible.
  • LenelS2 Onguard Integrated Platform: The platform enables us to integrate a full suite of tailored security management technologies including video and access control to provide a high level of security throughout the campus.
  • Interlogix Truvision IP Cameras: The cameras enable round-the-clock, high-quality surveillance and recording of the building and its surroundings for seamless security.
  • Edwards Fireworks Graphical Interface: This software-based solution enables remote management of EST3 platform features, helping our operators gain a clearer picture of safety events, and understand how to best respond.
  • Edwards EST3 Life Safety Control Platform: This platform provides centralized management of all fire system components installed in the building, including detectors, alarms and mass notification devices.

The building also features a state-of-the-art customer experience center, as the building reveals the unseen from across the company’s portfolio of brands, putting the most advanced integrations of our products and services, and the building systems of tomorrow, in action – and on display.

How does Carrier view the future of LEED? Do you anticipate every building will be measuring by these standards?

Carrier's sustainability leadership began in 1993, when it helped launch the U.S. Green Building Council as the first company to join the organization. Carrier was the first company to license the USGBC’s LEED curriculum as it is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings and Carrier recognizes the importance of this to its customers. Carrier has continued to work closely with the USGBC to deliver best-in-class education that is driving the transformation to healthier, more sustainable places to live, work and play. The LEED Platinum certification of its global headquarters is a reflection of its continued commitment to sustainability.