Smart Buildings Are Key Players in the Fight Against Climate Change

Smart buildings are key players in the fight against climate change

Buildings are huge energy consumers. According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), buildings account for 36% of global energy consumption and are responsible for 37% of total CO2 emissions.

According to the study ‘Smart Buildings: Key Opportunities, Competitor Leaderboard & Market Forecasts 2022-2026‘, prepared by Juniper Research, the number of buildings that will implement smart building technologies worldwide will reach 115 million in 2026, 150% more than in 2022, which is estimated to end with 45 million smart buildings. The consultancy explains that this growth reflects the increasing demand for energy efficiency from businesses and residents as energy costs rise.

Therefore, any innovation that helps to improve the energy efficiency of buildings is a huge step forward in the fight against climate change. And in this context, smart buildings are set to play a leading role.

Juniper Research defines smart buildings as buildings that use connectivity to enable economical use of resources and create a safe and comfortable environment for occupants. In this regard, the research shows that enabling buildings to monitor and automate common functions allows for significant efficiency gains, while improving the environment for workers and residents. As such, the report recommends that vendors focus on creating analytics platforms to get the most value from these implementations.

The consultancy says that growth will be particularly strong in the non-residential domain, with non-residential buildings accounting for 90% of smart building spending by 2026, in line with this year’s figures. This dominance is explained by the greater economies of scale in non-residential buildings, as well as the commercial focus of most smart building technologies.

“Smart building platform providers will understandably focus on non-residential use cases, as they provide a higher return on investment; but they should not neglect the importance of residential deployments, as environmental concerns intensify,” says Dawnetta Grant, co-author of the research.

The smart buildings boom will significantly impact the technology sector. The study says that global shipments of sensors used in smart buildings will exceed 1 billion per year by 2026, up from 360 million by the end of 2022, a growth of 204%.

These sensors, combined with smart management platforms, will enable smart buildings to adapt to conditions, coordinating elements such as lighting, heating and ventilation with living requirements. In addition, the report recommends that smart building designers partner with artificial intelligence providers, with the aim of maximising the benefits of automation, such as reduced energy costs and improved working environments.