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Digitisation of building technologies: The future is within reach

Planning and managing residential buildings commercial real estate in an energy-efficient and thus sustainable manner has long since ceased to be an abstract vision. The digitisation of electrical infrastructures and innovative devices as well as downstream services in buildings, neighbourhoods and perimeters make this possible in a meaningful way.

July 2019

It all depends on the intelligent combination of available technologies based on electricity and radio – and on a competent handling of the requirements for data protection and data security. The rule of three – efficiency, convenience and security of the systems – is currently the big challenge worldwide. At all of Messe Frankfurt's 25 trade fairs for building services engineering, automation and equipment in eight countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, the markets and their industries are struggling to find the solutions of the future.

At this interface between efficiency, comfort and security, as the suppliers of lighting and building services engineering recently demonstrated at their world's leading trade fair Light + Building in Frankfurt am Main, there is now a wide range of technical solutions for every requirement, both for modern building services engineering in new buildings and especially for modernisation of existing buildings. This universe of new and optimised technical possibilities attracts more than 220,000 experts from the fields of architecture and interior design, design, planning and engineering, as well as from trade, commerce and industry, to the world's biggest trade fair for lighting and building services engineering in the metropolis on the Main. A good half of the international trade fair visitors are recruited from the building planning, construction and housing, architecture and technical building services (TGA) sectors. Günther Mertz, General Manager of the German Association of the Lighting, Building and Construction Industry (Bundesindustrieverband TGA): “For our industry, it is extremely important to be present at such a comprehensive technology fair as Light + Building: Our members, all installation companies with their own engineering expertise and market-leading developers of technical solutions for modern buildings, generate and cultivate their clientele here. But more than that, we also meet the needs of the application sector, i.e. architecture, building design, project development and urban planning”.   

Connecting of technologies fosters progress

In fact, the development of modern building services engineering along the needs of its users is an effective way to create new products and innovative applications: The idea of comfort, driven by the possibilities of the digital “everywhere” of mobile communication via smartphone and tablet, allows manufacturers and developers to develop intelligent solutions for the increasingly smart living and working environment: Under the banner of the Internet of Things (IoT), interoperable platforms for buildings are being created in which Internet-capable devices can be networked even more efficiently. For example, smoke detectors are now able to automatically call for help in an emergency, and thermostats can react to storms.

Efficiency, convenience AND security: Digitised access management

Digitally connected locking systems are already pointing the way forward for locking and access control to buildings or entire building complexes: The so-called digital key provides a range of systems with digital access services especially for the housing industry and its application in apartment buildings. They are mostly based on RFID technology. The operators of large residential units purchase the system or use the provider's platform in the sense of “access as a service”. The main areas of application are the locking and key management of front doors and cellar accesses, for example for tradesmen, waste disposal companies or other service providers, as well as the defined group of residents. Apartment doors are increasingly becoming part of such services: This is a sensitive application for security reasons, as it is used to coordinate individual services such as care, parcel delivery or food delivery.

The sensitive security aspects of modern building technology applications are the subject of the Intersec Forum, Conference for Connected Security Technology, held annually parallel to the leading trade fairs Light + Building and the ISH, the world's leading trade fair for HVAC + Water. This is where the innovation drivers from industry and development meet with the decision-makers in technical applications. Political and sector representatives, such as Arne Schönbohm, President of the Federal Office for Information Security, and Michael Ziesemer, President of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI), will enrich the podium.

Focus on mobility in buildings

In particular, the construction of apartment buildings, which is important in the housing and real estate industry as well as in the building services engineering sectors, has increased significantly in recent years and will remain at a high level according to the German Ifo Institute. The trend is towards ever higher buildings, not least due to the lack of space, especially in conurbations. The volume of modernisation work on existing buildings will also remain at a high level.

These are the coordinates within which the necessity for new construction and retrofitting of elevator systems in existing buildings will also arise. The elevator and escalator industry is one of the most innovative branches of mechanical engineering in Germany. Initiated not least by European and national standardisation, manufacturers have been bringing innovations to the market for many years, resulting in considerable cost savings for customers. These include the electrically operated lift without machine room introduced in the mid-1990s. The ropeless elevator, which moves vertically and horizontally in and between buildings at high speed, is currently causing a sensation.

Finding answers to the megatrends

Mastering the future global challenges posed by climate change, demographic change and urbanisation are topics that the industry will also be discussing at the E2 Forum Frankfurt in September 2018, especially with decision-makers from building services engineering, planning, architecture and the housing industry: “Building the future urgently requires the integration of engineering, design and sustainability in urban space. Architecture must integrate and think along with vertical and horizontal transport,” demands the renowned engineer and architect Professor Dr. Werner Sobek, opening speaker of the conference at the E2 Forum Frankfurt. The conference will also focus on a wide range of other topics: Building Information Modeling (BIM) with requirements from the client's point of view; building design, fire protection, sound insulation and ventilation; digitalisation concepts and cloud-based solutions or IoT applications in buildings; requirements for energy and cost efficiency as well as maintenance concepts; interfaces to building regulations, standards and operator obligations for the elevator as a working tool.

Digital building services engineering: Connectivity is what counts

For planners, clients and operators of state-of-the-art building services engineering, Frankfurt am Main with its leading international technology trade fairs and its specialist conferences is the place-to-be: Light + Building, ISH, Intersec Forum and E2 Forum Frankfurt are the events on the basis of which the building services engineering related manufacturers, experts and decision-makers from industry, politics and application have created a platform for presentation, sector policy, knowledge transfer and exchange. “The Frankfurt technology events are of extraordinary importance for these target groups. We have thus created a network that we intend to expand even further”, emphasises Wolfgang Marzin, Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “The VDMA's latest decision to co-operate with E2 Forum Frankfurt from next September onwards is a vote in favour of Frankfurt as a trade fair venue and a confirmation that we are perceived by the market as the leading venue for building technology. As a competent partner for innovative events, we not only follow the market, we move it. By creating perfect venues around the world where the latest megatrends, exhibitors, customers and markets can meet millions of times”.

More information:

#ISH21   #LB22   #CLZ20 # e2forum  #IntersecFFM   



  • Access & security
  • Building planning & real estate management
  • Air conditioning & ventilation
  • Digitising & connecting
  • Building services engineering & building automation
  • Vertical & horizontal transport
  • Heating & thermal climate