February 2013


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William Rhodes

EMAIL INTERVIEW William Rhodes and Ken Sinclair

William Rhodes, Senior Market Analyst at IHS/IMS Research

Trends in Intelligent Buildings 2013

IMS Research’s (part of IHS (NYSE:IHS)) overview of the market in 2012 and the trends to watch in 2013.

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Sinclair: Looking back how was the intelligent buildings market in 2012?

Rhodes: 2012 was a strong year for the intelligent building systems market. While we did not see a major shift in the market, it was certainly a year where innovative solutions started to become main stream. In January 2012, IHS / IMS Research forecast cloud based building analytic services would gain traction. In May 2012, we saw the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announce it would be retrofitting 50 of its highest energy consuming buildings with cloud based integrated and intelligent technologies.

Sinclair: Will cloud continue to be a hot topic in 2013?

Rhodes: The market for building analytics is still in the very early stages of development.  However, the increasing use of cloud computing in conjunction with big data could change the tide for building analytics vendors in 2013. Buildings produce a lot of data; by using cloud computing the building data across an entire portfolio of buildings can be aggregated. This enables the initial install and on-going management of the building analytics to be centrally managed. The roll out of building analytics over a portfolio can be as fast as it takes to install the software into a server in a single building. This would also represent a further step towards the IT industry becoming more integrated with the building automation industry.

Sinclair: Historically, large buildings have always been the cornerstone of the intelligent buildings market. Will 2013 be a turning point for intelligent systems in small buildings?

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Rhodes: A key barrier for smaller buildings using intelligent building systems, controls, and value added services such as building analytics and remote monitoring, has been the cost relative to the potential return on investment. Cloud solutions could hold the answer. A cloud based control solution allows the user to integrate separate systems within the building including: air-conditioning units, lighting control, video surveillance, and access control; for minimal upfront cost. An on-going fee is charged but allows smaller building owners to pick and choose the services they require and can afford. We anticipate cloud solutions (amongst other drivers such as carbon taxes, rising cost of energy and reducing operational overheads) will facilitate an increase in installations of intelligent solutions in small building in 2013.

Sinclair: Any other trends we should be looking out for in 2013?

Rhodes: We predict improving the end user experience will be a priority for the building automation industry in 2013. This trend is being driven by end user expectation. End users now expect the same quality of graphics and user interface they have in their smart phones and tablets. The gamification and photorealism of graphics used in building automation systems is the industry’s response. This development in graphics enhances the feature set of the building automation system, and is aimed to better address the requirements of end users.



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