Wireless technology is entering the mainstream of the commercial-building-controls market: According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide shipments of wireless controls for building-automation systems will exceed 36 million units by 2020.

Following years of niche, proprietary solutions and slow standards development, open standards such as ZigBee and the EnOcean Alliance are replacing proprietary, vendor-specific wireless RF technology, ensuring device interoperability and ease of installation and operation.

Shipments of ZigBee and EnOcean products will account for nearly half of all wireless building control node shipments by 2020, the study concludes.

"While various forms of wireless controls have been used for at least a decade, the ZigBee and EnOcean standards are catalyzing mainstream market adoption," Bob Gohn, senior research director with Navigant Research, said. "Though wireless will not displace traditional wired controls, it will be an essential tool in every supplier's solutions toolbox, especially for retrofit projects."

The report, "Wireless Control Systems for Smart Buildings," examines the state of the global wireless commercial building controls market and provides forecasts through 2020. Including market analysis and forecasts for HVAC, lighting, fire and safety, and security and access controls, the report covers the development of both propriety and standards-based wireless technologies and details the market drivers and barriers for each. For more information and a free download of the Executive Summary of the report, visit www.navigantresearch.com.