Event sees future of Smart Buildings outlined

AV integrators who want a slice of the ever increasing revenue opportunities presented by Smart Buildings will have to get into these projects early in the planning stage and realise that it won't be a route into fast profit.

This was the message from the speakers at the London segment of the Smart Building Conference 2013 which featured 14 sessions split into two streams to cater for both Commercial and Residential installations.

There was mixed predictions for Europe’s pro AV integration community given that the market for Building Energy Systems Management revenue is expected to double in the next five years to almost €2.25bn. However, the arena will also become quite crowded with the providers of utilities, enterprise, facility management and building management systems all expected to converge in this area.

Energy efficiency, a topic universally regarded as “boring” according to keynote speaker Dr Steven Fawkes from Day One Energy Solutions, can lead to big savings for companies. It is these savings that are a key factor in the drive toward Smart Buildings, combined with impending Government regulations across Europe. The expectations of individuals to be able to use control and automation products at work as they are increasingly doing in their homes was also cited as a factor.

Another keynote speaker, BSRIA Senior Manager of Energy and Smart Technology Jeremy Towler, said that obstacles to integrators trying to work in this area were contractual procedures that favoured the lowest cost suppliers.

“There will be rewards for companies that can add the most intelligence and value to this process,” he added.

While there was some debate on the differences in the meaning of Smart Buildings between the USA and the UK, Graham Naylor-Smith warned against making any such definition at all at the moment. Explaining the emerging trends in Smart Building design, the associate director of Arup Communcations said: “There’s no such thing as a standard Smart Building – every one is unique. And if you think this will be a route to fast profit, think again.”

For the full report see the November issue of InAVate magazine.