Wireless sensor networks for smart buildings


San Diego, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 2, 2007 – Green initiatives are driving wireless sensor networking (WSN) into commercial buildings and these deployments will result in more buildings using less energy, needing less maintenance, and producing lower carbon emissions, according to a recent survey by ON World.

Rising end user awareness and demand, a strengthening value system, and hardening standards are increasing WSN adoption worldwide. Today at least two-thirds of commercial building floor space lacks centralized energy management, but by 2011 global revenues for WSN commercial building solutions are projected to reach $2.6 billion, and by 2013, 25 percent of commercial building energy reduction will be attributed to WSN, worth $7.4 billion in global energy savings.  

Mareca Hatler, director of research for ON World, explains that WSN enables “smart building” solutions by lowering installation costs, reducing the environmental impact from the installation, providing advanced networking, and extending sensor networks into inaccessible environments. “Building control systems can save building operators 30 to 60 percent of the yearly energy budget and WSN solutions can save up to 80 percent of the deployment costs,” she says.

The survey, “WSN for Smart Buildings” is based on 190 phone interviews with building executives and technology companies. Of the commercial properties interviewed 61 percent planned to adopt an energy management solution and 49 percent planned a metering solution within the next 18 months.

Compared to only a handful of WSN developers two years ago, there are currently over one hundred WSN developers, integrators, and manufacturers targeting building controls solutions.

To date HVAC is the most commonly targeted solution. However, there are several emerging market opportunities for WSN such as lighting control systems, metering, and condition monitoring. Markets such as lodging, manufacturing, warehousing, and data centers often lack traditional building control systems and currently have the highest demand for WSN. In 2011, non-traditional markets will make up more than a quarter of the WSN commercial building revenues.

In terms of standards IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee are the clear leading technologies for WSN solutions in commercial buildings. This year, nearly two-thirds of all deployed WSN nodes in commercial buildings will be based on IEEE802.15.4 and four out of five of the building control market leaders have ZigBee-based WSN products.

“Energy management has always been the major driver for commercial buildings to adopt building control technologies, but now achieving green status is becoming the primary driving force,” says Hatler.