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Five Trends Converge to Create Unprecedented Economic Opportunity in the Building Technology Industry

April 22, 2012 at 03:00 PM | from Gord Echlin, Triacta Power Technologies

Five trends are converging to create an unprecedented economic opportunity for those involved in the building technology industry. Property managers and owners are looking for a path to easily, quickly, and cost effectively transition their buildings to become more competitive in an increasingly difficult market, comply with emerging energy management regulations, and to take full advantage of the money making opportunities presented by Automated Demand Response programs and the Smart Grid.

1. Differentiation

In tough economic times, the organizations that thrive are the ones who can differentiate themselves from the pack. In the building industry, tenants are demanding green building and energy conservation programs. If building owners and property managers aren’t moving their properties forward in this regard, they’ll find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage.

According to a recent survey by GE Capital Real Estate, 50% of 2200 office tenants surveyed said that green building programs were a key deciding factor when considering a lease. Other top decision influencers were energy and water conservation programs.

2. Regulation

Regulation is happening, and it’s happening fast. At the foundation of this movement is measurement and verification — the ability to quantify a building’s operation so future expenditures can be focused on areas that return the most value.

Mandatory benchmarking programs are underway in Washington State, California, New York City, Austin, and Washington DC. Other municipalities and states will soon follow suit.

3. OpenADR and the Smart Grid

As Open Automatic Demand Response (OpenADR) becomes entrenched as the industry standard, energy saving and money making opportunities in the Automated Demand Response (ADR) space for owners and property managers will rapidly increase — IF their buildings and equipment can speak the new language of the Smart Grid.

4. Open Systems

The new buzzwords in the Building Automation System (BAS) industry are open standards. Technology and requirements are moving far too rapidly for customers to lock themselves into a single vendor or proprietary standards.

In the BAS world, open systems means BACnet. Further up the curve, Internet Protocol (IP) based systems are key for integrating building automation with IT systems and business applications.

5. Retrofits

One third of the buildings in the US are eligible for retrofits. It’s a $400 Billion market. Existing Building Automation Systems in these retrofits are either antiquated, statically programmed with no reporting, or non-existent.