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Building Automation Trends in Large Buildings
IMS Research has made the
following predictions for
2012 and beyond, to provide some guidance on the key trends and
opportunities in each of these areas.
Security & Fire
IMS Research has made the following predictions for 2012 and beyond, to provide some guidance on the key trends and opportunities in each of these areas. We hope you find them useful in planning for the year ahead.
Skies the Limit for Building Automation in the Cloud
Cloud computing is a major buzzword in IT circles. Hosted services are
becoming a widely used part of everyday life, with individuals
regularly using services such as Facebook, Gmail and Twitter, without
realising they are doing so through the cloud. With this level of hype,
it is not surprising that hosted building automation solutions are also
IMS Research predicts the two main forms of cloud based building
automation solutions will be hosted building management software (BMS)
and cloud based active management analytics.
Hosted BMS allows users to remotely administer and manage their system through an internet browser. Facilities managers and other users can access the features and functionality of their system from anywhere in the world, from any device with an internet connection. The building automation software as a service (SaaS) model is likely to have the greatest pick up for users with a portfolio of buildings spread over a wide geographic area. From a central location, the energy performance of each building in the portfolio can be compared.
Active management analytics allows building owners, facilities managers
and others to continuously commission their buildings. Active
management compares real-time data against the potential performance of
the building given the weather conditions around the building and the
orientation of the building. Rather than wait to the end of a quarter
or month to receive a bill; owners, facility managers and other users
can actively impact their energy consumption on an hourly or daily
2012 could likely be the year many of these types of solutions turn from hype in the industry to real revenue growth. 2012 could also be the year where continuous commissioning of building automation systems gain support by regulations such as ISO 50001.
Dashboards and Certification Promotes Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency remains a priority for many companies, governments and individuals. In September 2011, an S&P 500 report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) suggested that most large US companies recognise the opportunity to gain a strategic advantage from acting to address climate change. Part of the commitment to energy efficiency is reducing energy consumption within buildings. Building automation solutions are an important tool in this process.
With greater emphasis on improving energy efficiency, 2012 could see
energy savings becoming a standard key performance indicator for
facility management service companies. Rather than pay a management
company purely on the size of the property, payments based on energy
consumption performance could become more common. Analysing real time
data on the building can highlight energy waste and ensure efforts are
made towards a more efficient performance. At the recent AHR Expo in
Chicago, IL, a number of vendors demonstrated visualisation and
advanced dashboard technologies including companies such as DG Logik,
Iconics, J2 Innovations and Activelogik. This software can be used by
facilities mangers or management service companies to view real time
information on the building, enabling them to make key decisions
towards improving energy efficiency.
Awards and certifications are also gaining traction in the market. In
2011, many building owners and managers made improvements to the indoor
environment of their buildings to gain Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) or other certifications. Additionally, the
Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) hosted the first
Building Intelligence Quotient (BiQ) awards at its Intelligent and
Integrated Buildings Council (IIBC) meeting in Chicago, on the 24th
January. These awards celebrated a number of buildings that scored
highly on its BiQ tool.
Building owners have an incentive to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings to save money. However, many owners also have an incentive to demonstrate the energy efficiency of their building to become more attractive to potential renters, or charge a higher rent. The trend towards obtaining building certification is likely to continue well into 2012 and beyond.
Video Surveillance Gives Eyes to the Building Automation System
Integrating video surveillance with building automation is nothing new,
made evident by an ASHRAE published article in 2004 about the two
systems being integrated. Historically, this integration has centred on
the video surveillance being used in conjunction with HVAC systems to
aid with maintenance or detection of water leaks. However, a new
application of video surveillance integration is beginning to gain mind
share, if not quite market share, in 2012.
So far, the most simplistic systems have used motion detection within security cameras to identify if the room is occupied or not. The room can then be heated or cooled dependent on occupancy. However, more complex systems are now using video analytics, either embedded on the security cameras or centrally on a server, to count the number of occupants in the room. This information is then fed back into the building automation system which can either heat or cool the room. Furthermore, by knowing the number of people in a room, the building automation system can ventilate appropriately and efficiently, rather than ventilate for the maximum capacity of the space.
When security cameras are used to determine occupancy, they would be used as a replacement for PIR, occupancy or CO2 sensors which are traditionally used in buildings to determine occupancy. One of the inhibitors to this new application for both security cameras and video analytics is that, generally speaking, a PIR or CO2 sensor solution is less expensive. However, if the security camera is already installed in the building, or is being installed as part of a wider surveillance solution, using this sunk cost to also determine occupancy could be more cost effective than installing additional sensors.
IMS Research estimated that there was over 2.1 million air quality and
occupation sensors sold in building automation systems in 2011.
Although this number is forecast to grow, there will likely be an
increased use of security cameras in building automation systems over
the next 12 months, capturing share from traditional sensor
technologies. Although the cost of traditional building automation
sensors is less, there will certainly be applications where using the
existing security cameras has its benefits. However, for security
cameras integrated with building automation systems to gain significant
traction, integrators and installers will need to understand both
solutions and the separate communication systems and this will take
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