In 2023, intelligent automated heating, ventilation, lighting and water supply technologies came to the forefront of the electronics manufacturing industry.
These cutting-edge solutions, known as smart building controls, allow for the remote monitoring of various key building systems with the touch of a button or spoken request and were implemented in countless residential and commercial properties throughout the year.
In fact, these products have proved so popular that the building automation systems market is expected to expand at an 11.2% compound annual growth rate from 2023 to 2032.
Interestingly, we need not look far to understand the reasons for this rise in uptake. Changing energy efficiency standards explain the value of these controls in helping ensure buildings meet government requirements, improve their sustainability and operate more effectively…
Keeping up with energy efficiency expectations
Hoping to remove obstacles that might stop it from reaching net-zero by 2050, the UK proposed significant changes would be made to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in 2023.
Originally, the government announced that all privately rented buildings in England and Wales would require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above to renew existing rental contracts or take on new tenants.
Up until September when Rishi Sunak scrapped the changes, arguing it would be unreasonable to request efficiency improvements be made amidst the country’s ongoing economic difficulties, the minimum EPC rating requirement was due to be raised even higher — from E to C — by 2025.
Still, despite the change in plans, Sunak still expects buildings to be made more energy efficient where possible and will provide further clarification regarding EPC rating requirements following a MEES consultation in 2024.
As such, many of those who own, let or manage buildings were prompted to search for ways to tackle energy inefficiencies in 2023 — whether to meet previously announced regulations to prepare for the inevitable changes on the horizon. And smart building controls promised to provide the perfect solution…
Improving sustainability, cost effectiveness and comfort
Like traditional controls, such as thermostats that can be programmed to keep rooms at a set temperature and prevent radiators running unnecessarily, smart building controls ensure energy is only consumed when needed — with the added benefit of internet-based communication capabilities.
Say someone is returning home later than planned or hybrid employees cannot make it into the office due to train strikes. Rather than letting rooms be heated whilst unoccupied, a smart thermostat can use motion sensors to notify building managers of the drop in occupancy levels and adjust the heating accordingly — resulting in a more energy-efficient space.
Similarly, smart lighting systems can use motion sensors to switch lights on and off when someone enters a room, as well as ambient light sensors to make bulbs brighter or dimmer depending on natural light levels. Thus, these smart building controls help buildings consume less energy and reduce their impact on the planet.
Plus, not only do these systems lead to substantial savings on utility bills, helping people shoulder the cost-of-living crisis and businesses invest in packages and facilities to keep staff happy, but they also play a crucial part in ensuring comfort for occupants, where heat, light and other variables remain just right with minimal maintenance.
So, how do building managers reap these benefits?
Leveraging electronics manufacturing solutions
Given the complications that impacted the electronics manufacturing industry in 2023, such as supply chain disruption, it is not easy to implement reliable smart building control products right now.
But trusted electronics manufacturing solution providers like can help…
At EC Electronics, we have spent decades producing a wide range of components for digital and analogue smart building controls, including printed circuit board (PCB) and cable assemblies.
We pride ourselves on using state-of-the-art equipment and following a comprehensive quality management system, which is certified to EN ISO/IEC 80079-34:2018 — ensuring our products are safe and compliant for use in potentially explosive environments.
So, whether it is a single smart control product or an entire system, building managers can trust our teams to deliver exceptional results.