Is the Global BACS Market Healthy Enough to Weather the Gathering Storm?March 2020

As of February 2020, BSRIA’s research was pointing to sustained growth of 4% CAGR for the global Building Automation Controls (BACS) market up to 2024. This was before the emergence of the coronavirus as a significant global threat.

While it is still too early to assess the social or economic impact, there is likely to be at least some short to medium term effect. Against this, growing awareness of the likely serious impact of climate change should encourage investment in BACS in the medium to longer term, especially where this is encouraged by government intervention and regulation.

The global BACS product market was valued at USD 6.3 billion in 2019 and accounts for around a third of the installed value of USD 19.4 billion. Some 14% is related to other products such as wiring and panels, while the remaining 55% was counted for by commissioning, installation, service & maintenance. Service & maintenance on its own account for approximately 25% of the installed value of USD 19.4 billion. This makes it a major industry, larger than the current GDP of about 40% of the world’s countries.

Global BACS market, installed value (products and services), 2019

Source: BSRIA Research

63% of the BACS products are sold via third party, and of the remainder,
37% are installed by the supplier’s in-house contractors. Most of the large suppliers undertake installation work as well as service & maintenance in-house, but the business models tend to be country specific.

BSRIA has found evidence that in some countries, some of the larger suppliers are placing greater emphasis on services and consultancy as a means of establishing a deeper and more strategic relationship with the end client.

Global BACS Sales by Product Category, 2018 – 2024 F

Source: BSRIA Research

The global BACS product market is expected to grow by around 4% per year up to 2024 with decent evolution across all products segments and with software growing at twice that rate. The advance of software is boosted by increasing uptake of energy efficiency and analytics software as building managers seek to understand all aspects of their buildings’ performance so that they can manage it more effectively.  As the software and systems become more intelligent, they will increasingly be able to “self-manage” which will further aid building operators. If the systems are advanced enough to manage themselves to a greater degree, then so much the better.

BACS solutions are increasingly expanding out from their traditional role in managing HVAC to embrace other areas of building technology. Lighting, blinds, access controls, intrusion, surveillance cameras, fire notification etc. are gradually being added to BACS installations. The move towards the truly smart building, which optimises comfort and wellbeing as well as energy efficiency requires that these services ‘collaborate’ which is most likely to be achieved by working as part of a common system. The most commonly seen example at present is where HVAC, lighting and blinds are managed by a common system. In this scenario, blinds can be closed, and lighting adjusted as appropriate. This saves energy while creating better conditions within the building.

Similarly, coordinating HVAC systems with room booking systems and with presence detectors can ensure that rooms have the desired temperature and ventilation when needed, while minimising unnecessary heating or cooling.

While the wellbeing agenda is still in its early stages in most markets, in the longer term the advance of AI and growing expectations of what buildings can achieve is likely to see continued global growth of BACS and its gradual evolution into a true enabler of smart buildings.

Notes to editors:

BSRIA has just released a new study on the global Building Automation and Controls market, which include 6 countries recently updated and a World Overview covering 20 countries.

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