LEONIA, N.J. - According to BCS/2010, the latest market analysis from BCS Partners, cautious optimism prevails in the building automation market for the near future. According to the report, the building automation market took a serious hit in 2009 but modest growth is expected in 2010-2011. However, it is not forecast to regain its pre-recession level until 2012.

New building construction, particularly in the office building segment, is not expected to provide growth. Existing building retrofits, while still the source of 70-75 percent of the market, are not growing as fast as they should, primarily, the authors argue, because owners of smaller buildings are still not sufficiently aware of the benefits available. Larger buildings and campuses as well as national franchises tend to have on staff engineers and analysts with the knowledge and resources to use available technology to reduce costs, but not the great number of smaller buildings which still have little or no advanced building automation in place or even planned. In several previous reports, the authors have suggested that building automation system manufacturers should spend more of their marketing communication investment on building owner education rather than on competitive technical advantages, which are not a prime concern of these owners.

On the side of positive growth are the many technological advances, primarily wireless data sensors and transmitters, which are rapidly moving from skepticism to accepted reliable solutions, noted the report. The installation savings and flexibility provided are expected to dramatically increase the numbers and types of system improvements that can and will be instituted to provide greater savings in comfort, productivity, and preventive maintenance in addition to more efficient energy management. Integrating the building automation system into overall enterprise management is expected to further justify additional investment.

BCS Partners see building control systems as the driver for a much larger enterprise, which totals over $8 billion in 2010.

• The Building Controls Enterprise ($8+ billion)

• The Building Controls Market ($4.0 billion)

• Building Controls Product ($1.0 billion)

• Building Control Systems ($0.5 billion)

The Enterprise includes all revenues associated with the building control function including performance contracting and facilities management. The Market includes all products and services related to the building control function. Product includes all products types associated with building control including actuators, valves, sensors/transmitters, controllers, and other types. Systems include all DDC products and associated software. The dollar figure is the approximate value to North American customers in 2010.

BCS/2010 details the network supplying the building owner with building controls products. The largest piece (36 percent) flows through mechanical and general contractors. Another 34 percent flows through control contractors, which includes dealers and systems integrators. Controls manufacturer branch offices supply 18 percent, with the balance (12 percent) coming from embedded controls and wholesalers.

Publication date:03/15/2010