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Industry analyst firm n-tech Research announced the release of a new report titled “Smart Structures in the Construction Industry: A Market and Technology Forecast – 2016 to 2025.” According to the report the market for smart structures in the construction industry will exceed$2.3 billion by 2021. 

About the report:

n-tech believes that the market for smart structures in buildings, bridges and tunnels is about to take off based on improved energy efficiency, reduced construction costs, increasing the lifespan of buildings and even improving building aesthetics. These developments fit well with the current buzz about the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and smart cities and will create opportunities for smart materials suppliers, building materials firms, structural health monitoring system (SHM) companies, energy companies and the construction firms themselves.

This report pinpoints the potential for smart structures in the construction sector and quantifies them in form of ten-year forecasts expressed in volume and value and also segmented by the building geography and type.

The report provides analysis of the markets for smart structures in seismic and wind damage avoidance, SHM systems and smart building skins.  It also quantifies the opportunities for the smart materials and components used in the smart building structures.  These include shape memory alloys and polymers, piezoelectric technology, self-cleaning and self-healing materials, color-shifting surfaces, specialized biomaterials, and a variety of sensors.

Our analysis includes large international firms and interesting new startups.  Some of the companies covered include: Agilent, Alcoa, Arkema, Autonomic Materials, Covestro, Cytec, Dow Chemical, Dynalloy, Ferro, Honeywell, Heliatek, IBM, Johnson Controls, Lord Corporation, Mitsubishi, Oxford Photovoltaics, PPG, SLIPS Technologies, Teijin, and Toray.

From the report:

  • Smart building structures provide new uses for both commercially available smart materials and those just emerging from the lab.  For example, the smart structures “revolution” will see the use of nitinol shape memory alloy (SMA) to replace some traditional steel-and concrete construction, using its ability to self-restore when a building or bridge comes under stress.  In total the smart building structure market will produce around $150 million in smart materials sales in 2021.
  • In the next few years, the focus in this business will be on SHM. Leveraging the capabilities of smart materials and sensors, SHM will take the relatively mature market for seismic protection and turn it into a broader market where money is made protecting building, bridges, etc. against wind and other weather conditions, with finer tuned data collection and automatic repair capabilities than has ever been possible.  By 2021, we expect the building SHM market to reach $555 million
  • Smart building skins using smart structures are mostly found in high-profile projects and experimental buildings. However, by 2021 they will account for $1.4 billion in smart structure shipments.  Building skins will make use of leading edge technologies such as embedded biomaterials that clean the air in the air in the building, while providing sustainable energy at the same time; or color-shifting materials that simultaneously enhance energy efficiency and aesthetics in sync with the weather and time of day.

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