SAN DIEGO - Wireless sensor network technology's inexpensive system deployments will result in more buildings using less energy, needing less maintenance, and producing lower carbon emissions, according to research firm ON World Inc. By 2011, global revenues for wireless commercial building solutions are projected to be $2.6 billion.

Rising end user awareness and demand, and hardening standards are reported to be increasing wireless sensor network adoption in green buildings worldwide. Twenty-five percent of commercial building energy reduction is expected to be attributed to wireless sensor networks in 2013, worth $7.4 billion in global energy savings.

"Energy management has always been a major driver for commercial buildings to adopt building control technologies, but now achieving green status is becoming the primary driving force," said Mareca Hatler, director of research for ON World. Driven by social and economic forces, building owners worldwide are adopting green solutions in order to increase efficiency, lower costs, reduce operational risks, and satisfy the demands of customers, employees, and shareholders.

In a recent survey by ON World with 115 building operations executives, nearly two-thirds are familiar with wireless sensor networks and one out of five are current wireless sensor users. Within the next 18 months, 61 percent plan to adopt an energy management solution.

Compared to only a handful of wireless developers two years ago, there are currently over 100 wireless sensor network developers, integrators, and manufacturers targeting building controls solutions. Some of the largest global OEMs such as Hitachi, Ingersoll-Rand, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Trane all have commercial products shipping today.

IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee are the clear winning technologies for wireless solutions in commercial buildings, according to ON World. This year, nearly two thirds of all deployed wireless nodes in commercial buildings will be based on IEEE802.15.4 and four out of five of the building control market leaders have ZigBee-based products shipping today.

While HVAC is the most commonly targeted solution, there are several emerging market opportunities for wireless sensor networks such as lighting control systems, metering, and condition monitoring. Markets such as lodging, manufacturing, warehousing, and data centers often lack traditional building control systems and have the highest demand for wireless today. In 2011, non-traditional markets are expected to make up more than a quarter of the wireless commercial building revenues.

ON World's report, "WSN for Smart Buildings," is available at

Publication date:06/25/2007