The automation of various building systems – including HVAC, lighting, fire and life safety, and security and access controls – promises to improve energy efficiency and optimization, as well as enhance the comfort and health of occupants.

Like the broader computing and voice, video, and data communications markets in previous decades, commercial building automation systems (BASs) have reached a tipping point, where embedded computing and digital communications are driving accelerating adoption of these systems.

“Open and integrated systems, converged with modern information technologies, present both risks and rewards for industry stakeholders,” says Eric Bloom, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Because building control systems are usually changed only every few decades, much of the existing building stock is still dependent on older technologies – a reality that will change over time as digital controls replace outdated systems.”