Unlocking the potential of Building Technologies

by CXOtoday Staff    Oct 15, 2008

India remains a global hot spot for building automation, fire safety and security due to the thrust given by the economic and business environment and is expected to offer a potential of $3 billion by 2012.

Economic growth induced demand, changing attitudes and perceptions about comfort, central monitoring and control, energy conservation, carbon emissions, safety, security, etc. have increased adoption of Integrated Building Management Systems (IBMS), leading to a Y-O-Y market growth of over 27 percent. Moreover, advancements in building technology such as IP systems, web-enabled systems, M2M, XML, web services enabled anywhere-anytime monitoring and converged building systems are creating paradigms.

The Indian building automation, fire safety and security market continues to evolve on a fast track. The market has evolved steadily from simple integration of disparate systems such as fire safety, security, HVAC and other utilities, to fully integrated and intelligent systems that incorporate the latest technology, applications and features. The industry is ad infinitum being shaped by changing needs, the competitive and performance-focused business environment and the advent of innovative technologies whose catalytic
effects offer new growth opportunities.

It is true that these systems and technologies offer great advantages and high levels of functionality to meet the dynamic needs of end users. However, there are quite a few challenges and issues that need to be addressed to enable end users and industry to unlock the true potential of such systems.

Addressing such issues will help realize the true potential not just in terms of system functionality and benefits but also cost effectiveness and of course emerging growth opportunities for the industry, F&S analyst said.

According to Mushtaq M Khan, deputy director, Environment and Building Technologies Practice, South Asia and Middle East, Frost & Sullivan, It is important that stakeholders — end users, industry, consultants, and facilities management companies — accord priority to achieving operational excellence in buildings in order to bring down life cycle costs. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of the life cycle cost is spent on operations and maintenance of buildings and measures to reduce this huge cost brings the focus on building management systems, energy management systems, and facilities

Key issues such as shift to open systems, lack of awareness regarding
measuring ROI, TCO, methods to measure and verify ROI, energy savings, lack of skilled manpower to install and operate such systems, and integration challenges, etc. continue to plague the industry.

While end users need to be made aware about multi-level benefits of investing in building solutions and selecting the right building management solutions, technologies and Products, the industry too needs to follow best practices such as providing open systems and customized solutions rather than cookie-cutter building solutions.

Khan said, Energy costs have gone on from becoming a mere cost
item on a company’s profit and loss account to becoming a strategic item to manage, not only from a perspective of cost but also from that of availability, quality and utilization. Hitherto confined to high-end performance contracting or mid-sized retrofits, we see the energy optimization market becoming more structured through organized players expanding across the value chain. Furthermore, this change will significantly leverage remote monitoring and finally link operations and maintenance and energy optimization
under one umbrella, leveraging common technologies.