As the world around us is digitalising, we are surrounded by an ever increasing amount of smart products and solutions. That trend is also apparent in the construction industry, as we see more and more smart solutions integrated into the built environment. Smart solutions is a broad term though, defining anything from an elaborate and fully integrated home automation system to a single lightbulb that is controlled through an app on your phone.
To fully and truly understand the development and trends of smart solution usage in the construction sector, we cover the whole spectrum of smart products used in building construction in USP Marketing Consultancy’s Q2 2022 European Electrical Installation Monitor. We asked electrical installers from seven European countries about their experiences with smart solutions.
The share of installation companies installing smart products increased rapidly
Initially, the growth in usage of smart building products was rather slow, and smart products were almost exclusively used in non-residential new-build projects. Nevertheless, usage kept growing slowly but steadily, and over time smart building products appeared also in new-build residential buildings and are now even being installed more during renovations.
That is reflected by the significant increase of electrical installers who install smart building products over the past three years, resulting in three-quarters of European installation companies being involved in the installation of smart building products in 2022.
This share is the highest in the Netherlands, where 90% of installers are involved in the installation of smart building products in 2022, compared to only 65% in 2019. Even in Poland, the country with the lowest penetration of smart building products, nearly seven out of ten installation companies are now involved in installing smart building products.
Smart lighting and video surveillance are installed the most
As mentioned, smart building products is a rather broad term encompassing a broad array of smart solutions and systems. Looking at the type of smart product, smart lighting and video surveillance equipment and cameras are still the smart building products that electrical installers install the most, which has been the case since we started monitoring.
However, smart building access control systems, smart wall boxes and all sorts of smart sensors measuring the indoor environment are now also reported to be installed by over half of the installers involved in installing smart building products. The fact that more various and elaborate smart solutions and systems are now also being installed more often is yet more evidence of the long-expected growth of smart building products usage.
One way or the other, smart building products usage will continue to increase
Given the increasing amount of smart versions of products appearing on the market, it stands to reason that electrical installers’ involvement in installing these smart building products will continue to increase. On the other hand, there is an increasing development of smart products that consumers can install themselves.
The market for smart building products will be characterised by the tension between simple home installation products consumers can install themselves and more complex, elaborate and integrated systems that need to be installed by professionals. Both segments will continue to grow, but the growth of simple plug-and-play solutions consumers can install themselves will likely be faster than large, more elaborate smart home systems.
For a full overview of the status quo and recent trends and developments of smart building products in the electrical installation market in seven European countries, we refer you to the Q2 2022 report USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Electrical Installation Monitor.