HVAC Breaking News / Building Automation Systems

June 10, 2013: Building Systems Integration Benefits Variety of Facilities

Commercial Offices Are Main Target, but Other Facilities Provide Better Return on Investment

BOSTON — Although commercial offices are typically targeted, airports and health care facilities stand to gain the most from adoption of building systems integration (BSI) — the centralized monitoring and control of primary building systems — according to Lux Research’s BSI Suitability Ranking.

Airports scored nearly nine out of 10 on the Suitability Index, followed by health care facilities at nearly seven. While commercial offices are often a target for BSI developers, their suitability for BSI is much lower — just a four on the Suitability ranking, also trailing retail, data centers, and others.

“Modern buildings represent over a century of innovation in systems design. Still, systems such as lighting; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); and security often operate in silos,” said Alex Herceg, Lux Research analyst and the lead author of the report titled Spinning the Web: The Case for Building Systems Integration. “Tying them all together can provide increased functionality, simplicity, and cost savings.”

Lux Research rated nine building types on a set of criteria — transactional value, energy density, occupancy fluctuation factor, building systems cost, occupant density, and construction cost — to identify the best bets for BSI. Findings include:

• Airports lead the pack.

Airports earn a high suitability index score — leading the pack by a wide margin — because they combine extreme occupant density (90 persons/1,000 ft.2) with near constant fluctuation (190 percent) and a transactional value of nearly $3,500/ft2/year.

• Data centers’ benefits are driven by energy usage.

Due to server and cooling loads, and 24/7 operation, this class of building has the third-highest energy density of 35kWh/ft2/year. When the associated infrastructure is considered, data centers also have the second-highest transactional value of $1,250/ ft2/year, behind only airports.

• Retail rated more than commercial office.

Commercial offices may be favored but in reality retail presents a better opportunity. High occupant density (15 persons/1,000 ft2) and fluctuation, combined with a transactional cost of $630/ ft.2/year, make retail an attractive prospect for building systems integration.

Publication date: 6/10/2013

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