Building Systems Integration Offers Greater Benefits to Airports, Datacenters, and Retail

Lux Research

While commercial offices are often the main target for BSI, Lux Research analysis finds that other types of facilities will provide better return on investment for central control of building systems

BOSTON, MA – June 5, 2013 – Airports and healthcare facilities, rather than commercial offices, stand to gain the most from adoption of building systems integration (BSI) – the centralized monitoring and control of primary building systems – according to Lux Research’s BSI Suitability Ranking.

Airports scored nearly nine out of 10 on the Suitability Index, followed by healthcare facilities at nearly seven. While commercial offices are often a target for BSI developers, their suitability for BSI is much lower – just a four on the Suitability ranking, trailing retail, datacenters, and others.

“Modern buildings represent over a century of innovation in systems design. Still, systems such as lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and security often operate in silos,” said Alex Herceg, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Spinning the Web: The Case for Building Systems Integration.” “Tying them all together can provide increased functionality, simplicity and cost savings,” he added.

Lux Research rated nine building types on a set of criteria – transactional value, energy density, occupancy fluctuation factor, building systems cost, occupant density and construction cost – to identify the best bets for BSI. Among its findings:

  • Airports lead the pack. Airports earn a high suitability index score – leading the pack by a wide margin – because they combine extreme occupant density (90 persons/1,000 ft. 2) with near constant fluctuation (190%) and a transactional value of nearly $3,500/ft2/year.

  • Datacenters’ benefits are driven by energy usage. Due to server and cooling loads, and 24/7 operation, this class of building has the third-highest energy density of 35kWh/ft2/year. When the associated infrastructure is considered, datacenters also have the second-highest transactional value of $1,250/ ft2/year, behind only airports.

  • Retail rated more than commercial office. Industry favors commercial offices but in reality retail presents a superior opportunity. High occupant density (15 persons/1,000 ft2) and fluctuation, combined with a transactional cost of $630/ ft.2/year, make retail an attractive prospect for BSI.

The report, titled “Spinning the Web: The Case for Building Systems Integration,” is part of the Lux Research Efficient Building Systems Intelligence service.