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IHS Finds Building Automation Integrators and Consumers Find More Value in Maintenance

Consumers in the building automation industry are increasingly only interested in more intelligent services which offer a more targeted approach to maintaining their system. According to the IHS report The World Market for Building Automation Systems Integration and Aftermarket Services, integrators who support automated HVAC controls are expanding their offerings to accommodate this shift in the market.

IHS has estimated the world service and maintenance market for automated HVAC control systems to be worth $26.5 billion in 2013.

Integrators in the industry have long had to fight the perception that service and maintenance was a black hole of value for end-users. However, as energy standards become stricter in some parts of the world, routine maintenance is switching from an optional line item in a budget to essential as end-users must maintain increased energy efficiencies to meet regulatory requirements. For example, buildings in Singapore must maintain certain energy efficiencies of their chiller plants by 2020 or face stiff financial penalties. Nevertheless, end-users have maintained a cynical view on the amount of value they actually reap when integrators tour a building looking for issues which may or may not be present.

To combat this view, integrators are offering more intelligent services based on the principle that maintaining and improving the efficiency of a system can be done with diagnostics and data analysis, thus reducing the time spent in a facility providing routine maintenance. This trust has developed as intelligent services are better able to show inefficiencies which need to be corrected in a system. For example, as these inefficiencies are corrected, integrators can provide reports which show the progress being made from fine tuning the programs of the HVAC controllers through data analysis. Additionally, service with this depth of analysis requires a specialized skill set which is not typically found with facility managers.

Another key feature of intelligence services is efficiency. Through intelligent services, integrators can examine only the equipment causing inefficiencies, which is far less time consuming than addressing all BA-related equipment in a building. For instance, all sensors in a building used to have to be checked manually to make sure they were properly calibrated. Now, integrators can target sensors using data analysis to determine which sensors are in need of calibration and which ones are working correctly. Additionally, this level of analysis allows integrators to know what equipment needs maintenance, prior to arriving, so the correct tools can be brought to the site. This results in fewer trips, reducing overhead costs and time.

As these intelligent services improve, they will not only benefit end-users by helping increase the efficiency of their buildings but will also help integrators in their quest to continually increase profits in two separate ways. Firstly, integrators will be more decisive on a jobsite which will save time, this will allow their maintenance network to service more buildings over the same period. Secondly, as end-users start seeing the increased value of analysis, IHS anticipates that integrators will be able to sign up more customers for maintenance. Due to this, IHS has forecast that the automated HVAC controls service and maintenance market will grow at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2013 to 2018.

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