Johnson Controls holds grand opening for new research and development complex

April 24, 2018
The 357,000-square-foot facility is the newest and most advanced engineering and testing facility for chillers in the world.

MILWAUKEE – On April 23rd, Johnson Controls held a grand opening for its new Advanced Development & Engineering Center in York County, Pennsylvania, introducing the complex to the media and federal, state and local dignitaries.

Located in the Stonebridge Business Center, 5000 Renaissance Drive, New Freedom, Pennsylvania, the complex includes a 250,000-square-foot testing lab and support facility, which consolidates testing facilities from Johnson Controls’ existing campus located 15 miles north in York, Pennsylvania. In addition, the complex features a 107,000-square-foot engineering office building.

“Our customers expect the best, and we will continue to deliver the best – industry-leading HVACR equipment, such as our new YORK® YZ chiller,” said Bill Jackson, president, Global Products, Johnson Controls. “This world-class facility enables us to advance performance levels for customers, thanks to more than 400 dedicated and driven employees, as well as business partners in the York County community.”

The grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and comments from project stakeholders, followed by guided tours of the facility.

The facility features over 20 labs, including air-cooled and water-cooled, acoustic, power electronics, compressor, air handling units and various other labs to spur innovation.

The complex represents Johnson Controls’ continued investment and leadership in the HVACR industry. The new testing lab will allow Johnson Controls to deliver the most innovative and highest quality products in the industry. In addition, it complements the R&D facility in Wuxi, China, and its newly opened world-class Asia-Pacific headquarters in Shanghai, China, featuring industry-leading green and smart buildings.

Jacobs, a global company that served as the project architect, is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the York County complex. LEED is a rating system that evaluates the environmental performance of a building and encourages market transformation toward sustainable design.

The testing lab rises to 60 feet in some areas to accommodate YORK brand chillers, including the new YZ chiller, and YORK air handling units (AHU). The facility features over 20 labs, including air-cooled and water-cooled, acoustic, power electronics, compressor, air handling units and various other labs to spur innovation. The facility also houses a training center for variable refrigerant flow (VRF), chiller and other products and technologies.

The complex is a joint venture between McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. (St. Louis), PJ Dick (Pittsburgh) and Stewart & Tate Construction (York). Seventy-five percent of the construction work was completed by Pennsylvania firms, and 1,869 workers completed safety orientation on site, resulting in zero lost-time injuries.

“As a one-of-a-kind, large-scale, advanced development and engineering lab facility, the Johnson Controls project had a number of unique construction challenges,” said Ryan Molen, LEED BD+C, Project Director-Advanced Technology & Manufacturing, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. “In addition to balancing flexibility in systems and building components for technologies that are rapidly changing and advancing in complexity, McCarthy was focused on driving efficiencies in cost and schedule.”

For more information about Johnson Controls, go to To see a video of the grand opening, visit

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