A new report from IMS Research has found the airwaves in buildings are increasingly being filled with signals from building automation systems.

In 2011, wireless sensors accounted for just over 15 percent of the 21 million building automation sensors shipped in the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region and the Americas markets combined. The number of wireless sensors is forecast to increase to over 25 percent of total building automation sensors in EMEA and the Americas by 2015, according to the report “The EMEA and Americas Markets for Building Automation Controllers, Software and Sensors – 2011 Edition.”

Wireless solutions offer particular advantages in retrofit installations, IMS Research says. Rather than drilling holes and running cables, electricians, integrators and contractors can install wireless sensors, saving on installation costs and time. In new-build installations, wireless building automation sensors are also popular in buildings with high ceilings because wireless sensors can be installed quicker than running cables for wired systems.

“There are obvious installation cost-savings from wireless solutions,” William Rhodes, IMS Research market analyst, said in a prepared statement. “However, despite the cost- savings in installation, the price of wireless devices is generally more expensive than wired equivalents. In terms of the continued growth of wireless building automation systems, the additional price of the devices could inhibit adoption when users do not take into consideration the installation costs. Consequently, IMS Research predicts that wired sensors will maintain the largest share of the market over the next five years.”

The IMS Research report on the EMEA and Americas markets for building automation controllers, software and sensors presents base year and forecast data for wireless sensors and controllers used in building automation systems. The report segments the building automation sensor market by five major sensor capabilities and 17 sensor types.