10 trends for smarter buildings

For years buildings — from large commercial office space to factories to homes — have delivered loads of real time data on everything from energy use, to internal temperature, to water use. But in the past there haven’t been that many tools to capture, and crunch all that data into useful information. All that’s starting to change with better big data tools and connectivity and the researchers at Pike Research predict that the market for building energy management systems, and the associated software, hardware and services, will grow from $1.9 billion in 2011 to $6 billion in 2020.

Pike Research predicts that there will be 10 trends that shape this growing market over the next decade, like that they think building automation systems will shift over to using Internet Protocol as their basic standard, away from more conflicting and proprietary communication standards. Here’s Pike’s 10 predictions for the smart building market:
1). Cloud: These building energy management systems will largely live in the cloud. It might sound obvious, but for the older-school building industry it’s been revolutionary.
2). Partnerships: The vendors that offer building energy management systems right now are pretty fragmented. Some of the larger players are trying to provide end-to-end systems, and then there’s the startups that have new, novel ideas. Partnerships are emerging as a key way to grow the market.
3). M&A: On that note, large companies buying small ones is a major trend. See the list at the bottom.
4). China: Yeah we know China always seems to land on any of these lists, but it’s going to be a massive driver of growth. It’s building a lot of new commercial and factory building space and will provide itself on including the latest smart building tech.
5). Federal friends: The U.S federal government has emerged as a major customer and partner for companies offering energy services.
6). Standards shake out: The multitude of protocols are converging, but eventually everything will go to IP.
7). No more manual demand response: Demand response — the act of shifting energy consumption at a certain time when more energy is needed — is going all automatic. Previously much of this was done manually, but finally the service is entering the modern digital world.
8). Submeters! If you don’t know what submeters are, check ’em out. Pike says they’ll be big one day.
9). Design from the ground up: Building information systems aren’t just shaping how buildings run, but they’re remaking how buildings are designed, too.
10). We are all one: The smart building is the smart grid, and vice versa.