Report: Sensors and controls for building management demand to increase sharply

May 30, 2012

The U.S. market for sensors and controls for building energy management systems (BEMs) is expected to rise at a rate of 17 percent annual growth in the years leading up to 2020, according to a recent report from Lux Research.

The organizations outlined the results in a release, noting that the total market in the U.S. for the specific sector should eclipse $4 billion by 2020. The European industry is expected to experience the same level of growth during the same period.

According to the release, the market growth is likely to be fueled by the strength of advanced technologies, a decrease in the prices of these systems and government incentives for the adoption of energy efficient buildings and practices.

Lux Research noted that a number of non-invasive, cost-effective and easy-to-install sensor and control technologies could help to stimulate this growth and overcome the capital barriers for installing BEMs that currently exist. There are an estimated 5.8 million commercial buildings in the U.S. under 50,000 square feet that could be chosen for installing these systems.

"Advanced sensors and controls promise to significantly reduce the payback period of building energy management system investments for the small building market — the highest hanging but plumpest fruit in the global building stock," said Ryan Castilloux, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, "Sensors and Controls for BEMS: Providing the Neural Network to Net-Zero Energy."

Policy is shifting toward the green energy market, as the U.S. government is promoting the use of energy efficient buildings and technologies, both in terms of environmental and cost benefits.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the U.S. Department of Energy are working with the private sector to bridge this gap. The USGBC blog outlined how many cities in the U.S. are passing benchmarking bills and ordinances to promote the use of green building technology.

The DOE has already designated an effort to lead innovation and promote progress within the green buildings sector, as the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been charged with this task by the government agency.

The EEB Hub is headquartered at the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard and will be relying on the city's substantial building stock to test and implement discoveries made at the site.