East VS West: The Growth of Building Automation Trends in Asia

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A commitment towards the importance of green building concept has driven the growth in building automation equipment market. In Asia, where there are different levels of maturity for each country, some overarching trends encourage the market.

Peter Halliday, Head of Solutions & Service Portfolio, Middle-East/Asia-Pacific, Building Technologies Division, Infrastructure & Cities Sector from Siemens said, “First of all, ‘building automation’ is no longer just about controlling the various sub-systems in, say, an office building. End users are now demanding energy monitoring functions and higher integration capabilities so that their buildings become more intelligent and also energy-efficient.”

He added that the surge in interest for an “energy management” function or system to be included in a BAS (building automation system) has been manifold over the past two to three years and he expects this demand to rise into the future. These energy management solutions are pointed to two main topics; the greater transparency in how the building is consuming electricity and how to be able to make effective decisions that reduce energy costs.

However, the right systems and technologies are half the battle for the energy-saving efforts. The other important half is the energy expertise and skills that are embedded in the people, such as facility managers, BAS solution providers, government officials and the building owners themselves. In fact, people’s acknowledgement towards the importance of energy savings in buildings and a convergence of energy-centric building automation functions is what to expect in the future.

BAS Trends: Asia VS Western

“The buildings market in North America and Western Europe are generally more mature than those in Asia, mainly because their phase of urbanization and infrastructural modernization occurred earlier than that of Asia,” said Halliday. American and Western European societies have internalized energy savings and green building in almost all strata of society. It is driven by the stringent legislations that have been put in place over the years. Another benefit of the legislations is that they motivate to find new ways to reduce energy costs and smarter building operation techniques.

Halliday also sees that energy performance contracts and Green Building rating systems help move the building automation industry towards greater intelligence, greater control and greater energy monitoring capabilities. On the other hand, the “young age” of Asia’s buildings markets have an advantage of learning from the developmental challenges and successes of their American and European counterparts. The building automation industry is now fully prepared with a comprehensive portfolio of energy saving and intelligent building solutions that have been tried and tested.

Even more, some market research has predicted that Asian market for building automation equipment will grow by more than $400 million from 2012 to 2017. This is due to the recovery of global industry; increasing urbanization in China, India and Southeast Asia; and a general awareness of green building solutions.

Growing Sector and Government Intervention

Halliday sees that, in both Asia and the West, the commercial sector has been the fastest adopter of BAS. The number of people entering and exiting commercial buildings on a daily basis makes its essential to ensure the safety of the occupants through an intelligent BAS, which integrates the building’s security, fire safety and other sub-systems. The benefit in BAS integrative function is the ability to accommodate the various needs of every level so that the building owners could reduce the unnecessary energy wastage and reap cost savings.

Government bodies also play a big role in promoting BAS. They put in place legislations, which encourage environmentally friendly practices during the design, construction, and operation phases of commercial buildings, such as GreenMark, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and more. These legislations provide the guidelines to build sustainable buildings. “More often than not, a BAS is the foundation to any intelligent and Green building due to its integrative and monitoring functions, resulting in energy efficiency,” said Halliday.

Even so, the higher energy price and the strict regulations of building standards in Asia will lead the building automation market to the medium and smaller-sized buildings. It will increase the demand for affordable building automation systems in Asia. Hopefully, building automation system will cover all sectors, from small, medium and large-sized buildings. (AGB.com – YTA)

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