The intelligent building market, also known as the smart building market, is a field that is rapidly growing and developing as innovations in data and power transfer push the boundaries of what is possible.
Smart buildings are integrated with technology and energy systems, and their possibilities are endless. With the right equipment, security, lighting, energy consumption, and temperature can be monitored and improved, among other things.
The opportunities for improvement are not just limited to commercial enterprises, however. Already consumers are upgrading their houses with smart thermostats, home assistants, and voice-activated lights.
In the future, smart buildings will only become more and more commonplace as technology is integrated into everything we interact with.
That’s not to say that the smart building market comes without challenges. Although this market is poised to expand rapidly, there are obstacles to adoption.
Smart Building Trends
As buildings become more interconnected through the Internet of Things (IoT), certain trends have become apparent in smart buildings.
One of these trends is the monitoring of indoor air quality. Current non-intelligent methods of monitoring air quality are less comprehensive and less automated.
Studies have shown that high concentrations of CO2 in the air correlate to decreased cognitive performance. Businesses concerned with increasing worker safety and productivity will want to monitor air quality to make sure it is at optimal levels.
With IoT, the air quality of a building can be automatically monitored in real time for increased efficiency.
Another trend on the uptick is increasing energy efficiency. Most buildings today only have manual meters to gauge energy efficiency. This lack of information can cause various oversights and inefficiencies in energy usage.
Smart buildings can allow for the real-time monitoring of water, gas, and electric meters. Not only can the entire building be evaluated, but individual spaces and rooms can be assessed too.
This in-depth monitoring and data collection will allow buildings to effectively appraise their energy consumption, giving businesses the information they need to increase energy efficiency and lower costs.
Besides the addition of sensors, another major trend is the usage of Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE uses a single cable to provide a device with both data and power. This functionality provides many advantages over traditional wiring options.
First and foremost, PoE is more efficient, as it allows networks to be wired with just half the cabling. This integrates very well with IoT devices, as they all require power and internet connections.
With PoE Type 4, each PoE port can provide up to 100W of power, and 70W per device. This increase in power has allowed a much wider variety of devices to be connected, increasing the utility and flexibility of PoE solutions.
PoE has commonly been used with lights, monitors, laptops, and a variety of other devices.
Growth in the Smart Building Market
As the applications for IoT and smart buildings grow, the market for smart buildings has been growing as well. In 2018, the global smart building market size was 58.1 billion dollars.
While this is already an impressive figure, the market is predicted to reach a size of 198 billion dollars by the end of 2025. This amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1%.
To put that number into perspective, the forecasted revenue growth rate of the technology sector as a whole is just 1.9%.
Clearly, the smart building market is booming. But what is causing such massive growth? There are a variety of factors that affect this expansion.
One of the biggest reasons is the increased demand for energy efficiency. As energy conservation has become more important recently, demand for smart buildings has increased.
Eco-friendly and green buildings have become increasingly common, and these buildings contain a variety of smart features.
Another reason for the increased growth is industry standards and regulations becoming more supportive. As governments worldwide take steps towards bolstering sustainability and energy efficiency regulations, more opportunities are available to the smart building market.
Besides the growth in individual smart buildings, the demand for smart cities has also increased. Governments worldwide are realizing the benefits of incorporating IoT into their cities. As more smart infrastructure is added to cities, the smart building market will only continue to grow.
Already, cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Chicago, and New York are adding smart city programs.
Smart Building Challenges
Despite the fact the smart building trends and the market, in general, are growing, there are still difficulties involved with implementing smart technologies in buildings.
One problem that may not seem so obvious is the problem of choice. With so many different technologies available to utilize, it can be easy to fall victim to paralysis by analysis.
Obviously, it would be cost-prohibitive to attempt to install every single type of smart technology into a building. It is important for businesses to focus on selecting the services they are most in need of.
A more obvious problem is the issue of implementation. Building services are not designed to be automated.
Installing various sensors, networks, power cables, and other internet-connected devices will be a costly process, especially since most buildings were not designed with the idea of automation in mind.
While in the long run, IoT-enabled buildings will save money and increase productivity, short-run costs can dissuade businesses from making the switch.
To summarize, the intelligent building market is a field that is currently experiencing massive growth. IoT-connected devices are becoming more commonplace in businesses as well as homes.
Smart buildings can be equipped with a wide variety of technology to automate and increase efficiency, such as air quality monitors, temperature sensors, and energy efficiency monitors. Other technologies like PoE are helpful for providing power and data to IoT devices more effectively.
The rise of smart cities and updated standards and regulations have helped to drive the growth of the smart building market. Of course, as with any technology, there are obstacles to implementation, such as installation costs.