– William Rhodes and Ken
William Rhodes, Market Analyst, Building Technologies, Security & Fire
Integrating Smart Building Systems
In the Americas, the two most highly integrated markets in 2011 for
integrated and intelligent building solutions were education and
Research (recently acquired by IHS (NYSE:IHS)) published a new report
on integrating smart building systems in June. We interviewed senior
analyst and report author William Rhodes to discuss the research and
Sinclair: In the new study, what does IMS Research classify as an integrated smart building system?
Rhodes: IMS Research adopted the following definition for intelligent
and integrated building systems – the integration of building
automation systems, lighting control systems and physical security
equipment. IMS Research identified a scale of integrated systems from
the basic installed base of equipment through to the use of an
integrated solution for business process optimisation.
Sinclair: What is current market size for smart building systems?
Rhodes: We forecast the Americas market for integrated and intelligent
building systems will be worth more than $24 billion in 2012. However,
only $1.1 billion of this is forecast to be for the highest level of
integration of building systems where more than two building systems
Sinclair: What are some of the benefits of integrated and intelligent buildings?
Rhodes: One of the key drivers for integrating building systems and
making buildings more intelligent is the energy efficiency savings that
can be achieved, particularly from the integration and installation of
building automation systems and lighting control systems.
Another benefit is the operational efficiencies that can be achieved
through installing integrated and intelligent solutions within
buildings. For example, the human resources departments can use access
control information to track billable hours.
Sinclair: Are there any downsides to integrating across different building systems?
Rhodes: During the research for this report it become apparent that
some end-users had adopted technologies early to enable them, in
theory, to operate a more cost-effective and efficient building.
However, many early adopters did not get the efficient building they
were hoping for. In some cases, equipment was only partly integrated.
In other situations, the equipment was in beta testing and required
many bug fixes.
Over the past two-to-three years, the technology used to integrate
building systems has now proven its capabilities. However, the early
experiences of some early users and others will shape the market
potential in the short term at least.
Sinclair: What are the most common building systems to be integrated?
Rhodes: The most common integration across building systems is
currently between building automation and lighting control. Building
automation installations almost always start with environmental or
HVAC-R control as the first priority. For many buildings, HVAC-R is the
largest consumer of energy and is seen as one of the simplest systems
to control and automate. In 2011, nearly 30% of building automation
systems were integrated with lighting control.
From the perspective of the security integrator and installer, the
priority, and often the first challenge, is just to integrate physical
security equipment. Security integrators knowledge of other building
systems, such as building automation, can be limited. The movement to
integrate the two systems is being pushed mainly from the building
automation side rather than the physical security side.
Sinclair: Which types of buildings are using the highest levels of integrated building systems?
Rhodes: In the Americas, the two most highly integrated markets in 2011
for integrated and intelligent building solutions were education and
IMS Research forecasts increased adoption of integrated network
equipment in the education sector over the next five years. Since 1996,
the E-Rate in the US has allowed public and private K-12 schools and
libraries to purchase discounted telecommunication services, internet
access and closely associated wiring (networking). This widespread IT
infrastructure means that as schools upgrade or purchase new systems,
they are choosing IP systems as much of the infrastructure they require
is already in place. Furthermore, the campus layout of schools,
colleges and universities lends itself to the installation of network
Integrated and intelligent building systems is one way in which
healthcare facilities can maximise energy efficiency, saving money in a
time of budget cuts and austerity measures. Furthermore, hospitals are
long-term users of their buildings and infrastructure; this enables
them to install equipment that has longer payback periods. Many new
healthcare projects integrate other systems such as: nurse call, infant
abduction and paging systems.
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