BOULDER, Colo. — Efforts to make buildings smarter and more energy-efficient have given rise to a new class of advanced sensors, allowing building systems to better anticipate and respond to changing conditions, according to a new report from Navigant Research. These devices can create environments that are both more comfortable and productive for occupants, and more operationally efficient for owners. The research firm forecasts that advanced sensors for smart buildings will grow from 1.8 million units in 2013 to 28.4 million by 2020.

Annual revenue for these devices is expected to reach nearly $3.7 billion by 2020, says the report.

“For a building to be truly considered smart, it must be able to automate the operation of its various subsystems with minimal human interference,” said Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. “Although this is still a nascent market, sensor technology has advanced rapidly, and companies such as Melexis, ULIS, and Panasonic have brought sophisticated products to market to meet rapidly growing demand in the coming years.”

New sensing technologies that draw little power are making it possible to deploy sensors deeper into buildings than ever before, according to the report. These more autonomous sensors represent a less expensive route to flexible deployment than hardwired devices, as they obviate the need to run wiring for power supply. Sensors that can be spread throughout more of the building in this way provide much more data for a more complete picture of the building environment, thereby enabling greater efficiency in terms of energy consumption.

An executive summary of the report is available here.

Publication date: 12/30/2013

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