Until the mid-1990s, modern building automation consisted of little more than individual systems with simple control panels for switches, timers, and alarms, noted Pike Research. Today, the market for commercial building automation systems is in the midst of revolutionary change in terms of technology and utility. In the last several years, the focus has shifted from an individual system view to a more holistic view so that the “building system” can be defined to include virtually any device or data source within the building. The amount of data created by automation systems can be overwhelming, but real competitive and economic value exists in using the data to monitor performance and uncover trends.
“Automation systems have long provided the core technologies to ensure that buildings are safe and energy efficient,” said research analyst Eric Bloom. “Recent advances in automation technology, particularly relating to their integration with information and communication technologies, are dramatically increasing system capabilities and enabling deeper levels of energy management than ever before, thereby generating a surge in demand.”
This surge is being driven by two important trends that are transforming the building industry. The first is aggressive energy efficiency goals within the building stock. Second is the fact that building automation controls and field devices, which communicate via a range of protocols such as BACnet and LonWorks, are starting to be fitted with Internet Protocol capability so as to utilize the same protocols and infrastructure equipment as the IT network. As a result, the individual silos that IT, property management, software, and traditional building automation systems occupied within companies are disappearing.
Publication date: 02/20/2012