Industry News Display
2012-04-11 Consulting Specifying Engineer
Building automation equipment in institutional buildings like schools and hospitals is expected to grow as owners look to cut down on energy costs and make operations more efficient in buildings that require a lot of energy for a variety of uses.
By: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc.) forecasts the market for building automation equipment in institutional users, such as education and hospitals, will see double digit growth over the coming three years.
William Rhodes, market analyst at IMS Research, comments, “Schools and hospitals are large consumers of energy, with the occupants of the building often not paying the bill. Institutional facilities are also long term users of their buildings and infrastructure, which enables them to install equipment that has a longer payback period. Building automation is one way in which these types of facilities can maximize energy efficiency and save money in a time of budget cuts and austerity measures.”
To take advantage of this growth, integrators and manufacturers alike need to understand the individual requirements of these user markets.
Hospital buildings are open 24/7 and tend to be large complex buildings with nurse call, infant abduction, and other low-voltage systems running in tandem or separate to the automation solution. Education facilities tend to be more simplistic buildings in terms of HVAC control and automation. However, increasingly there has been an emphasis on ensuring sufficient ventilation within classrooms with studies showing high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) can make children drowsy and tired.
Rhodes continues, “To ensure hospital projects are successful, integrators need to understand the complexities of the hospital building to take advantage of the energy savings and efficient operations that can be achieved. Additionally, one of the largest applications for CO2 sensors is education facilities. CO2 sensors are increasingly installed in classrooms as part of a wider building automation system to ensure sufficient ventilation and reduce the build-up of CO2.”
Institutional users are in a prime position to take advantage of the movement to intelligent buildings because they are large consumers of energy, use many operational systems, and are long-term users of a facility. The management of the buildings environment, physical security and other systems in a single unified solution can save energy and ensure the building runs as efficiently as possible.