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Analyst: Digital service innovations to power buildings industry, post-COVID-19

June 3, 2021
"The physical and mental health and wellness of occupants and overall health performance of buildings will be the top priority for building owners and facility managers in the post-COVID world," says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Anirudh Bhaskaran.

Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis of the global homes and buildings (H&B) industry finds that, although the effect of the pandemic was severe in traditional markets such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and building automation, technology-based software markets flourished.

The analyst's latest research finds that these markets "were driven by the Internet of Things (IoT) penetration at the field level of buildings, the emerging adoption of AI-driven solutions at the management level, and cloud-based remote services." Frost & Sullivan contends that industry participants are increasingly including digital offerings to provide technology-enabled solutions that play a vital role in seamlessly integrating with existing systems and delivering building performance optimization.

Per the new study, the global H&B industry is expected to reach $1.26 trillion by the end of 2021 from $1.23 trillion in 2020, an uptick of 2.5% in a conservative growth scenario. The study analyzes seven industry segments: construction management, lighting, energy management, smart building management, facility management, fire safety and security, and smart homes. The construction management sector is expected to have the highest growth rate at 9.5%, followed by smart building management at 4.2%.

"The physical and mental health and wellness of occupants and overall health performance of buildings will be the top priority for building owners and facility managers in the post-COVID world," says Anirudh Bhaskaran, senior industry analyst, Energy & Environment Practice, at Frost & Sullivan. "This will lead to accelerated deployments of cloud-based remote services, workplace analytics, washroom innovations, AI-driven building solutions, high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters, ultraviolet-C (UV-C)-based disinfection, and building health performance benchmarking at a large scale in the next three to five years."

Bhaskaran added: "Adoption of resilient, futuristic, and innovative business models—digital transformation-as-a-service, air quality-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, pandemic response-as-a-service, and healthy buildings-as-a-service—will ensure the industry's overall growth, unlocking new revenue streams for market participants. At the same time, collaboration between architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry participants with building management companies will enable customers to unlock the full potential of digital building solutions and present lucrative growth prospects to H&B market players."

According to Frost & Sullivan, to usher growth opportunities, industry participants should focus on:

  • Government Regulations and Policies Supporting Digitalization and Sustainability: As the world recovers from the pandemic, industry participants should offer digital solutions that can sustain economic recovery and manage the larger goal of climate change.
  • Inclusive and Customized Product Offerings with Recurring Revenue: Companies need to move from standalone, physical offerings with independent transactions to comprehensive and customized offerings with recurring transactions to build a resilient business model.
  • Increasing Penetration in Critical End-user Verticals for Business Resilience: H&B participants with product and solution offerings should increase penetration in critical end-user segments for continued business operations during challenging times.
  • Combining Health and Wellness Offerings with Existing Building Solutions: Leading HVAC participants and indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring companies should have innovative offerings such as IAQ-based ventilation, air quality-as-a-service, etc., to detect particulate matter, monitor indoor CO2 levels, and more.

The new study, entitled Digital and Outcome-linked Service Innovations to Power the Global Homes and Buildings Industry, Outlook 2021, is the latest addition to Frost & Sullivan's Energy & Environment research and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organizations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.

Learn more about the study.

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