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Changes to buildings over the next ten years

BSRIA launches whitepaper on future building trends

Posted by Stephanie Broad | December 20, 2015 | People, policy, politics, money

BSRIA’s new White Paper on ‘Future Building Trends – Impacts - Solutions’, covering the biggest, most relevant changes in buildings now and over the next 10 years, the impact on industry and what products and services will be required in the future. 

What are the biggest, most relevant changes in buildings now and over the next 10 years? 

The paper predicts that green construction and sustainability of construction will increasingly affect the planning and design of buildings within the next few years. While green design will be easiest to implement for new construction, it is the retrofit and refurbishment of 4.6 million existing buildings that represents the biggest challenge, the most pressing need and the biggest market potential.

Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said: “Buildings that adapt to people (rather than the other way around) will be a major evolution and will lead to more productive environments, a higher level of satisfaction and comfort for occupants and the ability, for example, to avoid conditioning unoccupied spaces.

The advance of the Internet of Things (IoT) is a major trend in building management. A growing abundance of data will lead to new services and solutions; however there is a risk that the speed of change may create uncertainty – which can lead to hesitation and false starts. 

“There is a trend towards home-working which will cause a reduction in the demand for commercial building space. More remote working and desk sharing to accommodate the way people will work in the future will result in the need for more flexible work space and an increase in the occupied density of commercial buildings.”

What will be the impact on the HVAC equipment and controls industry? 

New challenges will undoubtedly appear, not least the need to understand how new building designs work and to understand the challenge of more complex building systems. There is a need for smarter, integrated construction practices and the industry needs to develop new partnership ecosystems to address this.

Regarding new technologies – there will be increased uptake of building data capture, energy data analytics and an increasing proportion of applications going to the “cloud”. The trend toward equipment suppliers offering smart products is expected to increase rapidly with eventually most products connected to, or residing in, the “cloud”, but it may be akin to a “Betamax vs VHS” war between suppliers, software houses; different systems and solutions – until winners emerge and the market eventually settles down. 

There is a growing need for devices to be interconnected and converged on to common platforms and networks. This is driving demand for new skills, particularly in the area of IT and communications. Cybersecurity needs to be improved and has moved rapidly up the agenda. It represents both a threat to development of the building controls industry and a new business opportunity. 

What products and services will be required in the future?

Julia adds: “With increasingly complex buildings and the use of more technology to run them more efficiently, the whole service and maintenance of buildings could change and a new type of company evolve. The whole life cycle cost approach will become more popular. Building controls suppliers must have professional knowledge and competency in energy management, being able to predict building energy expense and remove risk.

“Smart technology, in the form of self-learning and self-diagnosing products is emerging as well software based analytics, all of which are setting the industry on the path towards increasing artificial intelligence and new business opportunities. 

“Clearly, there is a lot changing in this industry and “the players” need to be aware of this and decide how they will respond. They need to evolve, move up the value chain, embrace new technologies, develop the necessary processes, and build the necessary skills.”

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