Communicating the benefits of smart building systems vital for wide-spread adoption
The transition to smart buildings is progressively gaining momentum as a burgeoning global population strains aging infrastructures. Market growth will also be fuelled by greater demand for, and improved affordability of, building level sensors. The evolution towards a connected world will further spur the adoption of smart building systems. Companies that invest early will be best placed to reap rewards in emerging markets, especially as the Internet of Things becomes a reality.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, The Smart Building Systems Market in North America, finds that the market earned revenue of $2.5 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $4.29 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent.
The need for energy efficiency drives the smart building systems market as the landscape is increasingly competitive and organizations look to save capital wherever possible. When compared to legacy alternatives, smart buildings can save 40 percent or more of energy used.
“Increased focus on operational cost savings, occupancy efficiencies and environmental sustainability will open up new, as well as retrofit, opportunities for smart systems,” said Frost & Sullivan Visionary Innovation Consultant Pramod Dibble. “Advanced capabilities such as remote monitoring, automated fault detection and diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and data governance will also facilitate the shift to smart platforms.”
However, lack of understanding about these benefits on the part of building owners and facility managers is a key issue. The perceived high-cost of acquiring a system also deters many clients, holding this market back from its true potential. Most organizations compare building systems based on solely the first-cost or by using simple payback analysis tools, neither of which give a true economic estimate of total cost nor expected value of the product.
“A concerted educational effort will be vital to effectively communicate the value proposition of smart building solutions and provide prospective customers with the tools to perform a thorough cost-benefit analysis of competing systems,” noted Dibble. “These tools must be developed by an expert third-party organization with demonstrated excellence in economic modelling and exhaustive industry knowledge.”
Additionally, support must exist for open source protocols to drive costs of smart building systems down, which will subsequently increase adoption rates.