The global smart building market has grown exponentially in the last few years…and it doesn’t look like stopping any time soon. Experts expect its valuation to reach a whopping $105.8 billion come 2024; which is a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 11.7% from 2019, when it was valued at $60.7 billion.
The historical and forecasted rise make sense. With over-utilization of energy and excess carbon emissions becoming a concern worldwide, building owners have started investing in smart building technologies. All this has also opened the door for new developments and trends in the smart building industry. Let’s have a look at few:
1. Real-time Energy Monitoring and Forecasting:
Gone are the days when you had to look at the bill to know exactly how much energy you spent. Today, modern building management software (BMS) give you access to your energy usage statistics in real-time. Not only that, they also prompt you in case you have utilized energy past set thresholds, or in case they detect a potential avenue to save energy. You can also use these software to forecast energy usage for the future and make any budgetary adjustments.
2. Occupancy based HVAC Control in a Smart Building
One of the primary reasons for old buildings overconsuming energy is manual HVAC systems. These HVAC systems have no way to toggle their settings based on the building occupancy. So, it doesn’t matter if the building is completely empty; if the operator sets the HVAC to maximum settings in the morning, it will continue to run on full throttle until it’s manually changed.
Smart buildings have helped change that with occupancy based HVAC control. Smart sensors communicate with the HVAC controller module to provide real-time occupancy data. The HVAC controller then changes the HVAC settings, automatically, in real-time, and in accordance with the received occupancy data.
Learn more about building automation in our guide
3. Air Quality Control in a Smart Building
Smart HVAC control also makes it possible to monitor and improve air quality. Intelligent sensors can detect humidity and heat in the indoor climate, along with the presence of certain gases (Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon dioxide), which enables the HVAC controller to monitor the quality of air without any need for manual intervention. For example, if a sensor detects a lot of heat coming out from the conference room (or excess of CO2), it can quickly increase the air flow into that particular room.
4. Energy Utilization Optimization
In addition to providing a moderate, healthy indoor climate, smart building management systems also allow for efficient usage of energy. A smart HVAC controller will completely turn off the ventilation when the building is empty, and only let it run on full throttle when absolutely necessary. In addition to this, modern systems can also detect underperforming/malfunctioning hardware/gadgets that could be replaced to save energy.
5. Remote Management of a Smart Building
Another excellent smart building characteristic is remote management. The ability to control the lighting, ventilation, security of your building remotely is a very convenient and desirable feature of smart buildings. Expecting a huge influx of customers in a few hours? Just press a few buttons on the management dashboard to let your building/HVAC know. Want to close all entrances instantly? Once again, just a few button clicks will do the job.
6. Software over Hardware
Traditionally, whenever you talked about converting an old building into a smart one, you’d envision a huge hardware overhaul, to go with a lot of spending. In the last few years, this has changed considerably. To support swift smart building conversion, without any significant operational disruption, smart building systems have become more software-centric. Modern solutions don’t require you to buy a lot of new hardware; in fact, they integrate with your existing gadgets and machines, programming and reconfiguring a few of them. The central control system is also often a cloud-based interface which makes it easier to monitor and control your building from anywhere.
The rising prevalence of smart buildings is great for both people and the planet. A healthy, regulated indoor climate makes for a convenient user experience; whereas a decreased utilization of energy ensures reduced carbon emissions. The process of retrofitting old buildings into smart ones has also been simplified by the implementation of the aforementioned trends in modern BMS solutions like ClevAir.