Tighter integration of building automation, lighting control systems forecasted

A new report from IMS Research forecasts the increased integration of building automation and lighting control systems.

A new report from IMS Research forecasts the increased integration of building automation and lighting control systems. According to recent market analysis conducted by the firm, in 2011, an average of 25% of the installed building automation systems in the Americas and EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] were integrated with lighting control systems. The firm forecasts that this number will increase to an average of 35% in both the Americas and EMEA by 2016.

Regarding building automation installations, the research notes that such deployments almost always start with environmental or HVAC-R [heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration] control as the first priority. For many buildings, HVAC-R is one of the largest consumers of energy and is often seen as one of the simplest systems to control and automate, says the report.

“Lighting control and building automation use similar control logic and have similar control system architectures," explains William Rhodes, senior market analyst at IMS Research. "Both systems can use the same sensors to measure room or building occupancy. The combination of the two systems can often lead to increased energy efficiencies and the benefits of integrating the two systems can be easily explained to customers.”

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However, the report notes that not all installers have the knowledge and expertise to install these more complex integrated solutions. Despite the benefits from integrating building automation and lighting control systems; traditionally, integrating more complex systems has been the specialty of "super integrators," claims IMS. Such integrators have a robust understanding of multiple system types and strong IT networking knowledge. Conversely, "traditional integrators" often have a good understanding of one building system, but may lack wider IT knowledge, speculates the firm.

Rhodes continues, “As more complex systems gain increasing mainstream appreciation in the industry, some observers argue ‘traditional integrators’ are starting to lose business to ‘super integrators’, when a building owner or management company wants to integrate across building systems. It is likely that if interest in integrated and intelligent buildings continuous to grow, ‘traditional integrators’ will have to overcome their knowledge gaps to remain in business.”

The new IMS Research report is entitled, The EMEA and Americas Markets for Integrating Smart Building Systems – A Quantitative Market Analysis – 2012 Edition.More information can be found here.

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