Press Release - November 2002
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i&i – ProPlan’s latest series of studies, “Intelligent & Integrated Infrastructures in Buildings” show that in the UK in 2001 some £2.4 billion was spent on intelligent infrastructures (advanced building services) which accounted for approximately 5% of the non-domestic building construction industry. Of this some £376 million was spent on integrated solutions. These reports show that despite a forecast slow down in new construction in the commercial sector increased penetration will ensure continued growth, for heightened competition will ensure that buildings meet the full requirements of the building owner / operator. The studies shows that leading edge building owners end users are installing and demanding integrated holistic solutions that not only make the work and trading place more efficient but mesh with management information systems such as customer relationship management and the wider enterprise resource planning. Therefore to meet client demands it requires all those in the supply chain to both understand not just the interaction between the building services controls but also the business process taking place in the building 

For this reason i&i – ProPlan have produced a series of studies that focus on the needs of specific vertical markets analysing the demand for the different infrastructures such as environmental, electrical management, lighting and security etc. and the interaction they have with the business process that is taking place within it. The first of these cover the Retail and Hotel sectors where some £133 and £50 million respectively was spent on intelligent infrastructures in 2001. 

These reports show that using the latest technology and grouping and integrating areas of control that have common requirements and information needs, first time costs can be lowered, whilst at the same time reducing the buildings operating costs. However this cannot be achieved unless the supply side takes on this system integrator role and the current contractual arrangements are changed so that concepts can be conceived at the design stage. The latter has been a major barrier for integration but as the reports show it can now be achieved provided that minor modifications are made to current contractual procedures.

There is currently a high degree of integration of intelligent infrastructures but the vast majority take place at the relatively low level of joining separate islands of control systems. This adds cost to the system and limits the benefits of information interchange. Despite this the demand for integration has grown. The latest web technology has revolutionised the concept of “open systems” and allows more robust and flexible integration at a higher level which both reduces duplicity of hardware and improves the flow and relevance of information. If we can now achieve more for less cost then there must be an abundance of opportunities out there waiting to be converted. 

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