BOULDER, Colo. — HVAC in commercial buildings typically accounts for about 40 percent of total building energy consumption. While advancements have been made in the efficiency of HVAC equipment, the actual energy consumption of HVAC systems depends largely on their operation, which can be made much more efficient and less energy-intensive through the application of advanced HVAC controls, says Navigant Research. According to a report from the research firm, worldwide revenue from advanced HVAC controls is expected to grow from $7 billion annually in 2014 to $11.7 billion in 2023.

“Although advanced controls technology for HVAC systems has been available for some time, adoption remains relatively low,” said Benjamin Freas, research analyst with Navigant Research. “The drive to reduce energy use in commercial buildings has put a spotlight on improving the efficiency of HVAC systems, and HVAC controls retrofits offer a compelling value proposition through reduced energy consumption in existing buildings.”

No standard definition of advanced HVAC controls currently exists, and the sophistication of controls varies with equipment type, application, and geography. New building certification and benchmarking regulations are driving faster retrofits of controls in existing buildings, according to the report, and changing how automation is designed into new buildings. The wider adoption of open standards for controls functions (such as BACnet), and of communications based on the Internet Protocol (IP) suite and Ethernet connectivity, is expected to help bring advanced HVAC technology to a wider market.

An executive summary of the report is available here.

Publication date: 9/15/2014

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