Asia could lead in ‘intelligent’ as well as ‘green’ building development

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Asia’s bustling commercial activities, rising population and rapid urbanisation are driving the need for new and enhanced infrastructures to be built.  Building and construction pace in emerging countries in ASEAN, China and India is unprecedented and estimated to represent half of the world’s total market today. From a property owner perspective, resources, space utilisation, and long-term operational costs are increasingly factored in during planning. With buildings responsible for about half of all energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, regulators play their part in ensuring the property owners mitigate environmental impact of buildings. Increasing awareness and support for green growth and sustainability holds a promising future for Asia to lead the world in developing buildings that are both intelligent and green. 

Intelligent and Green Buildings Defined

Putting varied definitions together, “intelligent buildings” refer to buildings that have the infrastructure and systems capable of supporting convergence of IT and facilities, and supports employee mobility and trends such as BYOD. The needs of the people inside an intelligent building, from lighting, heating and cooling, cellular coverage to automated systems, are continuously addressed and the building should “occupant responsive”.

“Green buildings,” on the other hand, take into account the entire life cycle of the building from the design, construction and operation of the building. Considerations include sustainable sites with access to daylight and water, materials used to construct, and policies and systems to be put in place in order to use the least resources possible throughout the operation.

Adoption of Intelligent + Green Buildings in Asia

On the whole, Asian countries are in varying stages of adopting intelligent and green buildings. The demand for intelligent buildings that are green is diverse.

The confluence of forward thinking governments that are formulating policies and strategies to promote intelligent technologies, rising cost of energy, scarce real estate, particularly in developed economies, are all driving the development of intelligent and green buildings.

The increased influence and expansion of multinational companies that are coming to Asia and are taking with them from Europe or US their green building standards is another reason for this rising trend.

In the region, there is thought leadership in countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, among others. Said countries are representative of IDC report which states that the demand for intelligent building will be tripling in Asia from US$6 billion to US$20 billion a year from late 2012 to 2020.The adoption of specific technologies, such as building controls, is consistently growing at a rate of 30-40% annually in Asia.

Compared to the rest of the world, America and Europe have large, entrenched old buildings that cannot be easily touched or intelligently renovated.  In a lot of the markets in Asia, especially outside of the mega cities, there is currently a lot of space, providing a chance to leap frog development and putting the latest, greatest technologies for intelligent, green buildings at very attractive price points.

Case studies

The Singapore Government announced as early as 2005 their green mark certification initiative. In 2014, less than 10 years later,  a quarter of Singapore’s commercial building stock have already been marked green with the goal of making 80% of the island green by 2030. That is a remarkable achievement. Singapore also recently announced provision of S$50 million in incentives in green building technologies and another S$50 million to target clustering of energy efficiency in the country.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is leading the charge in developing intelligent, green buildings and using intelligent building solutions in Singapore. In their Zero Energy Building, a three story building retrofitted with solar panels, BCA implemented an intelligent lighting solution that brought energy usage down by more than 40% against an already very impressive baseline. Said installation and experience planted the seeds of confidence to the industry, enabling it to see how intelligent solutions use a high-density sensor network to collect occupancy data and deliver fine-grain control of the environment.

Inside the enterprise space, large IT companies like SAP, as well as large financial institutions, and educational institutions are now using intelligent solutions while some are doing proof of concept of the technology, as part of the overall greening initiative.  With the annual cost of an average employee workspace now exceeding US$13,000 in many parts of the world, it is critical for customers to deploy technologies that help them understand when, where, and how their spaces are being used.

Conclusion

As Asia continues its growth trajectory, the need to build intelligent and green buildings becomes fundamental rather than optional. The practical answer to the rising cost of energy and space is simple: it is better, smarter utilisation of the same. The future looks bright for the region that exhibits a strong commitment to creating a future that is both smart and sustainable. Regulators will have a defining role in levelling the playing field and influencing adoption through policy making and setting examples. Thanks to innovative companies that offer a broad range of intelligent and green solutions, the realisation of this future is made very workable.

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About the author :

This article is an exclusive guest post contribution by Brent Boekestein, the Director for global markets for Redwood at CommScope. He looks after markets including Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Visit the company website, www.commscope.com.

For more details to get better exposure for your brand through Exclusive Article Contributions, send your inquiries to sales@asiagreenbuildings.com.

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