Emerson Climate Technologies, provider of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial, and commercial applications, broke ground for a $35 million innovation center on the campus of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, Oct. 17.
Scheduled to open in late 2015, the Emerson Innovation Center, also referred to as “The Helix,” is intended to serve as a real-world proving ground for solutions to HVACR challenges.
“The needs of the markets we serve are changing dramatically, and the requirements for our business to innovate in the ‘new’ world of information technology and connectivity are much greater and much more challenging than ever,” Ed Purvis, executive vice president, Emerson Climate Technologies, said. “And we see The Helix as a hub where academic researchers and industry professionals can jointly test ideas and concepts at the system level in our real-world environments.”
When completed, the Emerson Innovation Center will employ 30 to 50 people and focus on five markets:
- Supermarket refrigeration.
- Food-service operations.
- Residential connected homes.
- Data-center cooling.
- Light-commercial buildings.
To support research on supermarket refrigeration, including alternative refrigerants and controls, Emerson will build a 2,500-sq-ft model supermarket complete with refrigerated cases, dry-goods shelving, and integrated controls.
A fully operational 1,500-sq-ft commercial kitchen will help Emerson and its collaborators tackle challenges in the food-service industry, including connected-kitchen concepts, new refrigerants, and food safety.
The facility also will include a fully functional two-story, three-bedroom home with ambient-temperature control to simulate seasons and climates.
An approximately 1,000-sq-ft data-center space will be used by Emerson engineers working to develop intelligent and versatile technologies for controlling data-center environments and managing heat.
Emerson will leverage the entire building to research innovations in commercial-building heating, ventilation, cooling, and automation.
Emerson plans to host industry meetings and hold forums for HVACR professionals on site. Additionally, it is working with the University of Dayton on plans to leverage the facility for classes and hands-on student experiences.
“The University of Dayton is proud to be Emerson’s partner in this endeavor,” Daniel J. Curran, university president, said. “This will be a place where new ideas will be explored, a place where our students, faculty, and researchers will engage with Emerson in the kind of product innovation that will make a difference in our world.”
Emerson says the innovation center will meet criteria for LEED certification.
For more information on the facility, see the video below.