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Demand for smart buildings is on the rise, and so too is the market for wireless control systems for structures. According to Navigant Research, the number of wireless nodes found in smart buildings worldwide will likely total 36 million by 2020, with the global wireless control systems market reaching approximately $295 million.
“While wireless controls are generally more expensive than their wired counterparts, they offer building owners and managers a number of economic benefits,” said Bob Gohn, Navigant’s senior research director. “The labor costs for installing wireless systems are much lower compared with wired, and wireless systems often provide networked control in buildings or areas where wired controls are simply too challenging or expensive to install.”
According to researchers, this growing market represents a new maturation level for smart buildings. Eco-friendly initiatives are increasingly becoming the norm, with green efforts no longer undertaken solely by a small number of niche firms. As part of this shift, companies are looking for smarter and more effective ways to control their infrastructure and make sure their buildings yield the highest possible return on investment.
Why smart buildings are becoming more popular
Increasingly, companies are seeing green initiatives as more than just a way to boost their public image, as such efforts are becoming more critical to ensuring continued profitability. For one, consumers are far more likely to spend money with businesses that support the environment. According to a 2012 Nielsen survey of more than 28,000 people living in 56 different countries, 66 percent of respondents said that companies should support environmental initiatives, and 46 percent indicated that they would be willing to spend more with businesses that have implemented these kinds of programs.
Not only can smart buildings help boost overall revenue, but this kind of infrastructure can also dramatically reduce annual spending. In a recent Cisco blog post, IT architect Douglas Alger noted that energy bills are a constant concern for any business, and this is an especially acute problem for those operating an in-house data center or technology lab.
However, these costs are dramatically lower in smart buildings because these structures enable businesses to more intelligently allocate energy and other finite resources. For instance, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently found that a system which controls ventilation and airflow in an office based on the number of people occupying the space could reduce energy bills by approximately 18 percent without making employees feel uncomfortable in the workspace.
“Smart building solutions generate energy and operational efficiency improvements that support the goals of city governments, building owners and utilities while driving new business for technology providers,” said Ruthbea Clarke, research director for IDC Government Insights.
As is often the case, while the business benefits of a new solution are readily apparent, ensuring that it is implemented properly is typically easier said than done. In order to make sure that the right tools and infrastructure are put into place to make a building smarter, companies should turn to FlexITy. As one of Canada’s largest IT consulting services firms, FlexITy has extensive experience installing smart building solutions, ensuring that any organization can immediately reap the benefits provided by intelligent digitized infrastructure.