Commercial buildings move to IoT adoption phase

The number of internet of things (IoT) connected devices installed in commercial smart buildings reached more than 1.5 billion in 2022, according to smart building research specialist Memoori.

This represents around 11.8 per cent of the total installed base of connected devices worldwide. It forecasts that the number used in commercial smart buildings will grow at a 13.7 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2023 and 2028, reaching an estimated 3.25 billion devices by 2028.

IoT adoption phase

Memoori reports that growth in the total installed base is driven by several factors. A greater proportion of organisations are now moving beyond the conceptualisation and planning phases into the adoption phase for their IoT deployments.

In addition, surveys indicate a notable recent rise in the average number of IoT devices being deployed per project, with many device rollouts now including thousands or even tens of thousands of devices.

As of 2021, a third (33 per cent) of commercial real estate assets were still managed manually. The transition to higher levels of building IoT maturity is slowed by challenges such as legacy systems, cost, technical expertise, data privacy and security, interoperability, vendor lock-in, regulatory compliance, change management, and scalability.

To facilitate this transition, Memoori advises organisations to adopt a gradual and phased approach to smart building development, prioritising a roadmap that delivers tangible benefits to stakeholders.

The commercial real estate sector faces numerous challenges and uncertainties as it contends with the long-term shift towards remote and hybrid working practices and macro factors such as inflationary pressures on energy, labour, and materials.

The slow and uneven recovery in global office markets is creating a divide between prime and secondary office buildings. Landlords that invest in sustainability credentials, amenities, and digital connectivity will gain a competitive advantage and improve future returns, while outdated buildings risk becoming obsolete.

By smart building application, connected devices related to security and access control (including video surveillance) already make up the largest portion of connected devices, and will continue to grow at a steady 11.9 per cent CAGR rising to 646 million devices installed by 2028.

But Memoori’s analysis suggests that sensors and devices used to monitor various forms of occupancy and space utilisation will experience the highest rates of growth for any application in the coming years.

In the context of smart building systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are increasingly serving as innovative tools empowering building operators to collect, process, and utilise data within the building.

Generative AI models, like GPT-4 offer potential benefits for BIoT systems in terms of natural language processing (NLP) and improved human-AI interactions. Integrating NLP with BIoT systems and data can provide simplified user interfaces, increased adoption, enhanced data analysis, and improved scalability.