From Building Automation To Smart Buildings; Are You Making The Move?

Recent research finds that although the smart buildings market continues to suffer from a fragmented ecosystem as proprietary building automation solutions dominate, smart building global facility services revenue will grow significantly over the next five years.

In a September 2016 report, ABI Research states that although the smart buildings market continues to suffer from a fragmented ecosystem as proprietary building automation solutions dominate, it forecasts that smart buildings global facility services revenue will grow from $625 million in 2015 to more than $8 billion in 2021.

ABI Research notes that the bulk of that revenue will stem from North America and Western Europe, as large buildings in these regions implement cloud-based smart building platforms or integrate existing building management systems to smart building platforms.

ABI Research finds the lack of initiative from incumbent service providers opens opportunity for device OEMs, system integrators, security companies, telcos, and platform vendors to offer managed building services. Two main services will be smart lighting and more intuitive HVAC control systems, which ABI Research estimates to respectively account for 32% and 49% of revenue from smart buildings by 2021.

“IoT platforms, such as GE’s Predix, IBM’s Watson, and SAP’s HANA, in collaboration with facility service providers, like CBRE, ISS World, and ENGIE, are gradually creating inroads by integrating multiple building automation systems to deliver a unified facilities management solution,” says Adarsh Krishnan, senior analyst at ABI Research. “But most facility service providers are still in the early stages of evaluating smart building solutions and face the ‘make or buy’ dilemma of whether to develop the solution in-house or collaborate with a third-party technology vendor.”

ABI Research states that while North America and Western Europe will pioneer this movement toward smart building automation systems in the IoT, the Asia-Pacific region will grow quickly and account for one quarter of global facility service revenue, or $2 billion, in 2021. Smart city projects in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India and China drive the adoption of smart buildings as a critical component of sustainable urban development. Its impact will be further augmented through its integration to other smart city applications like smart parking, public transportation, smart metering, security and waste disposal systems.

“Smart building platforms are seen as a valuable tool to address growing sustainability challenges and customer demands for personalized services, reduce costs, and increase workspace flexibility,” concludes Krishnan. “Facility managers are exploring opportunities beyond enhancing building energy efficiencies and aim to improve the overall occupant experience across multiple facility services.”

Are you making the move to integrate building automation systems to smart buildings technology? If so, what strides have you made? And, if not, what challenges have you faced in determining the most effective method to implement an IoT platform? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the Comments section below.

Also, keep an eye out for the upcoming November/December 2016 issue of Facility Executive, which will include a feature article exploring the topic of building upon existing building automation to move toward a smart building platform.