Smarten Up Security in Green Buildings

Smarten Up Security in Green Buildings

Smart or green buildings are multilayered integration projects, with security playing a vital part in building management for safety. These building projects worldwide offer the security industry new business opportunities while driving technological advancements for energy efficient and intelligent products.

With a growing awareness of environmental issues and the availability of advanced technologies, smart or green buildings have become a fast growing trend, leading to a booming vertical. “Generally there is more awareness of green initiatives and the threats posed by environmental degradation,” observed Terence Lee, Regional Director for APAC System Integration Business, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. “We see a growing trend that end users are becoming more active in driving the effort to help sustain the environment. Everyone is talking about environmental sustainability and it has become a core value for many contemporary organizations.”

A reliable physical security system, comprised of energy efficient surveillance and access control products, is an important component of a successful building management system in smart and green building projects. Industry experts contribute the average budget for security in intelligent buildings to a maximum of 5 percent of the total construction cost, said Theodore Bier, President of T.M. Bier & Associates. “The average budget is still relatively small compared to the total construction cost,” said Vincentius Liong, Director of Integrated Security System Solutions, Elektrodata Sistem Integrasi. “The cost of security systems is on average 1 to 2 percent or even smaller of the total construction cost.” Despite this observation, the importance of a resilient security system within a smart/green building should not be taken lightly, as business opportunities abound.

A recent report published by McGraw-Hill Construction, titled “Green Outlook 2011: Green Trends Driving Growth,” states the US green building market increased 50 percent in value from 2008 to 2010 — despite the effects of the recession. This translates to growth from US$42 billion to potentially $71 billion, comprising around 25 percent of all new construction activities in 2010. According to projections, the green building market is expected to reach $135 billion by 2015. “Smart and green building requirements are coming from multiple locations, with the most from North America and Europe, based on what we have observed,” said Ryan Hughson, PM at Delta Controls.

In “Energy Efficient Buildings in Europe,” published by Pike Research, ongoing greening efforts in Europe were mandated for all new building construction. Major renovations must meet nearly-zero energy standards by the end of 2020 — 2018 is the earlier deadline for public buildings. Pike Research found the largest European markets for green buildings are Germany and France; in fact, the combined market of the rest of Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia, is comparable to the market of either Germany or France. When looking at Europe's long-term plans, the green building market is moving from gestation to the growth phase.

In APAC, awareness for smart/ green buildings is picking up faster than before, triggered by global warming. “Large companies and corporations in Indonesia have taken the lead in promoting the trend of smart/green buildings and energy efficiency/energy saving in sustainable buildings to cut energy costs, optimize building efficiency and improve holistic company image,” Liong said. “It is hard to get exact numbers at this point on the market size, but we estimate that it will be large enough in the next 10 years and offer growth potential above average when compared to other industries, achieving as high as 20 to 30 percent growth annually.”

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