The need for greener workplaces is set to drive exponential growth in the smart building market, according to new research published by Polaris Market Research.
In North America alone, the intelligent building automation technologies (IBAT) market is projected to be worth $18bn by 2026, up from $8bn a decade earlier. Globally, says Polaris, the figure will be nearer $120bn.
In a world increasingly regulated by the need to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, the desirability of system monitoring and controlling building environments will rise accordingly. Besides security and safety systems, IBAT is used to control such features as lighting, electricity, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
The gains in efficiency from integrating IoT platforms should also substantially reduce operational costs, claims Polaris.
Alongside such companies as General Electric, Ingersoll Rand and Schneider Electric, one of the leading players in the market is Siemens.
“Smart buildings interact with the people, systems and external elements around them,” says the German multinational.
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“They learn from past experiences and real-time inputs,” it adds. “They adapt to the needs of the people and the businesses within them by increasing comfort, efficiency, resiliency and safety.
“In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, smart buildings around the world prepare to reopen. What can technology do to support companies and their employees to return to workplaces with confidence?”
Besides helping with such old school measures as controlling the circulation of air, Siemens lists some of the distinctly 21st century ways in which a smart building can be harnessed amid the pandemic.
Body temperature detection, for example, or contact tracing, with systems able to inform people who have been in the proximity of a person who has developed coronavirus symptoms.
Moreover, says Siemens, “when integrated with IoT sensors, physical distancing measures can also be managed by building operators through insights provided by data on the utilisation of rooms or common office spaces”.