The ´intelligent building´ market is growing but is more inclined towards the commercial sector, says ANURAG MATHUR, CEO-Project Development Services & Emerging Businesses, JLL India.
The concept of intelligent buildings started evolving in the 1980s and gained popularity in the late 1990s. However, in India, the concept is relatively newer and has started gaining momentum only in the past five to seven years. Potential energy savings, intelligent building security and building automation are the key features of an intelligent building and the key drivers for commercial users, mainly MNCs, to invest in this technology.
In the past, buildings have been designed considering climatic aspects and have incorporated passive design features such as building orientation, sun shading, etc, thus making them capable of responding to the external climate. However, the systems in older buildings might not be automated or responsive, so they cannot be called intelligent buildings as they are understood today. The idea is to make the building responsive through design and automation in order to:
The fact that a building is genuinely ´intelligent´ in the contemporary and currently accepted sense of the term can be a major attraction and USP for commercial projects aimed at MNCs. The energy-efficiency and building automation features are much preferred by many of these companies.
Residential buildings can be intelligent as well, and the smart homes movement in the country bears mute testimony to their increasing popularity. However, smart homes are still largely considered a high-end luxury concept - there is still a general lack of awareness about this concept among mid-range home buyers.
As of today, the ´intelligent building´ market is growing but is more inclined towards the commercial sector. According to a report, this market is expected to grow 25-28 per cent by 2016.