Building Automation Market to See Uptick

LEONIA, N.J. - According to one analysis, the building automation market took a serious hit in 2009, but things are looking up. A report from BCS/2010, the latest market analysis from BCS Partners, predicts modest growth in 2010-11, reaching its pre-slump levels in 2012.

New building construction, particularly in the office building segment, is not expected to contribute to that growth. Even existing building retrofits, while still the source of up to 75 percent of the market, are not growing as fast as they might, said the authors of BCS/2010, because smaller building owners are not sufficiently aware of the benefits available. Not only do they not have much building automation in place in the first place, but they also don’t have staff engineers who could advise them.

The growth in technological advances is primarily in wireless data sensors and transmitters, which are becoming accepted, reliable solutions. The installation savings and flexibility they provide can dramatically increase the numbers and types of system improvements that can be instituted. These can provide greater improvements in comfort, productivity, and preventive maintenance, in addition to more efficient energy management. Integrating the BAS into overall enterprise management would further justify additional investments.

CONTRACTOR OPPORTUNITIES

According to the report, mechanical and general contractors are supplying building owners with the lion’s share (36 percent) of building controls products. Another 34 percent flows through control contractors, which includes dealers and systems integrators. Controls manufacturer branch offices supply 18 percent, and the balance (12 percent) comes from embedded controls and wholesalers.

And there is more good news for contractors who provide building operation and maintenance. The focus on total building operation and maintenance, which until recently was only in the business plans of the largest manufacturers, is moving into the plans of some of the smaller manufacturers. Whether or not this is coupled with total air conditioning equipment, the additional total potential for the industry is great - and with it comes the opportunity to sell more BAS.

The authors reminded the readers that the U.S. government’s directions and budget decisions also could provide substantial growth for the industry. Manufacturers agree that this can be a substantial factor, but its timing is uncertain. The fastest growth in 2010 is expected in health care and educational buildings, with commercial buildings not far behind. Office buildings are bringing up the rear.

In short, the authors see the building control market as the driver for a much larger enterprise, which totals over $8 billion in 2010. The building controls market is anticipated to hit $4 billion this year; the product market should reach $1 billion; and the systems market should reach $500 million.

The “enterprise” includes all revenues associated with the building control function including performance contracting and facilities management. “Product” includes all product types associated with building control, including actuators, valves, sensors/transmitters, controllers, and other types. “Systems” include all ddc products and associated software. The dollar amount is the approximate value to North American customers in 2010.

For more information, contact BCS Partners at 201-585-2050; mcmahontec135@aol.com; or visit www.bcspartners.net.

Publication date: 03/22/2010

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