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May 10, 2022

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Smart buildings

How smart building technology contributes to the achievement of sustainability goals

Achieving zero carbon emission and green development has become an important goal of the government and private sector globally. More and more countries began to release policies and regulations to promote the adoption of renewable energy and reduce the carbon emissions from energy intensive industries.

Here, Ivy Sun, Senior Analyst from Omdia’s Government & Manufacturing team, underlines the role that “sustainability” will play on smart building technology investment. Upgrading major energy-consuming equipment such as lighting and HVAC equipment can reduce the overall energy intensity of buildings, thus helping achieve the goal of sustainable development.

Reducing energy consumption and saving cost ─ new directions for smart building construction during the epidemic

COVID-19 has a huge impact on every industry in all regions. However, most suppliers interviewed by Omdia said that the impact on smart building projects was diversified based on different situations. The main negative effect is the delay or cancellation of some projects, but the influences also vary among different verticals, while cancellations and delays enabled time for retrofit works to take place.

Energy consumption is a major operating expense in every end-user sector, meanwhile saving energy and operating costs is also a main driving force for property owners and property management companies to adopt smart building technology. According to Omdia’s survey on end-users and integrators, up-front cost, long-term savings and cutting energy usage are the top three ‘influential’ factors when customers choose to adopt smart building technology.

COVID-19 has greatly increased the cost of building construction and operation, and this has driven owners and property companies to further invest in new technologies in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment. Omdia 2021 Smart Building System Integrators Survey showed that 46% of respondents said the epidemic had a positive impact on the deployment of smart building technology, while end-users such as facilities, security and safety managers expressed the same opinion. In Omdia’s 2021 Smart Building End-Users Survey, 45% of respondents believed that the pandemic had a positive impact on the deployment strategy of smart buildings.

Connected equipment used in energy domain accounts for more than half of the global smart building hardware market

As an important source of global greenhouse gas emission, buildings accounted for about 40% of annual emissions and around 40% of total global energy demand. Generally, the real-time monitoring capability and analysis potential provided by the communication module of connected equipment and Building Energy Management System (BEMS) can better optimise the allocation of resources, as well as promote the efficient use of energy. These systems not only provide executive management with visibility into energy consumption patterns, but also help buildings save more than 30% annually on energy every year.

As a basis of building energy optimisation and an important part of smart connected equipment, connected equipment used in energy domain has attracted more and more attention. According to Omdia’s report, the overall global market for connected equipment in smart buildings has reached US $12.1 billion in 2020, of which connected equipment used in the energy field accounted for more than half. Omdia expects the global market of connected equipment used within energy will continue to grow, with a CAGR of more than 10% in the next five years.

Figure 1:  Global market of connected equipment in smart buildings by type, 2020


BEMS is the key for cost reducing and efficiency enhancing

Connected equipment used in the energy domain is usually integrated into the Building Energy Management System (BEMS). BEMS allows end-users to better understand and analyse the use of building energy equipment and automatically provide suggestions, and even optimise resource allocation through direct connected equipment, so as to achieve the purpose of reducing cost and increasing efficiency. For example, it could help end-users determine charges at peak demand to reduce energy use during peak periods. The continuous development and application of BEMS in the market is also key for energy saving.

The impact of COVID-19 had little impact on centralised management and remote access feature suppliers of Building Management System (BMS). Most suppliers interviewed by Omdia said there was no significant negative impact on their revenue during the pandemic and there was even a slight year-on-year increase.

Besides that, influenced by the fact that virus is known to remain airborne for an extended period and has a long-range aerosol-based transmission, BEMS is expected to experience higher growth potential because it can help monitor and regulate air circulation inside buildings. According to Omdia’s report, the global market scale of BEMS exceeded $800 million in 2020 and will continue to increase steadily at the CAGR of 6%.

Figure 2: Global market revenue of BEMS, $ million, 2020-2026


In the context of sustainable development, global building owners and facility managers will gradually improve the comfort and well-being of building users by continuously deploying smart building technologies, improving energy efficiency and cutting spending. However, to truly achieve the goal of zero-carbon emission in buildings, it also requires universal recognition, accurate understanding, and genuine acceptance of sustainability goals across the industry chain.

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