Songdo IDB and Fujisawa are two smart cities under development in South Korea and Japan. China has 36 smart cities underway. Singapore will become a smart nation by 2015 and Iskandar is the flagship smart city in Malaysia. Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor will be the smart city of the future India. China is building a RMB 250 billion low carbon model city in Tianjin.
Smart cities create vast business opportunities for ICT, software, electronic hardware and low carbon industries. ICT and software companies are growing in the smart cities market now. System and service providers form partnership with the government and become a private investor.
Net zero energy building is more a concept than a hard target in most of the Asian countries except Japan. Net zero energy buildings usually used to demonstrate low carbon technologies.
Smart grid in developing countries is more important to upgrading the basic power grid infrastructure, while in developed countries it is about the grid communication system. It is more urgent for China and India to upgrade the power grid to accommodate the growing power demand. Different countries are at different development stages in smart grid. China government promised US$150bn to upgrade power grid in various aspects. Many other Asian countries governments also inject money in smart grid development. Electricity market in Asian countries is still monopolised and state-owned, except the fully deregulated market in Australia. Manual demand side management (DSM) has been used to solve power shortage problems in developing countries. Automatic demand response (AutoDM) is just starting in Asia but the existing market on DSM creates the business opportunities for AutoDM.
Buildings need to be integrated to smart city and smart grid in ICT, energy and low carbon aspects. Government, end user and building owner have different drivers for smart and green buildings. Smart buildings are growing in smart cities; green buildings are also the major trend in Asia in new building developments.
The latest BSRIA report identified six key trends in smart building design. Industry should not focus on the additional cost in smart buildings but should aim to provide suitable products and solution for smart buildings. The research also found some building systems have a significant increase in the construction budget compare to 5 years ago.
Outlook: Asia will take 43% of the global construction market by 2020 and China, India, Japan and Indonesia will be the biggest in the region. The Asian smart building market will reach US$1,036 billion in 2020, driven by the urbanization, smart cities and government commitment on carbon reduction.