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Google announced today that it intends to buy Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash.

the Nest Learning Thermostat has been a consistent best seller since its launch in 2011, and the recently launched Protect (Smoke + CO Alarm) has had rave reviews, says the Google press release.

Nest will continue to operate under the leadership of Tony Fadell and with its own distinct brand identity. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US. It is expected to close in the next few months.

The Nest Thermostat allows interaction with the thermostat via spinning and clicking of its control wheel, which brings up option menus for switching from heating to cooling, access to device settings, energy history, and scheduling. Users can control Nest using a mobile phone.

Next’s thermostat is currently in its second revision. The Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat optimizes heating and cooling of homes and businesses to conserve electricity.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said: “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family.

Annual expenditures of integrated “smart” building applications, as measured by equipment supplier revenues, will grow globally by 150 percent by 2017, according to a new report released by IHS (NYSE: IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight.

The global market for integrated equipment in buildings is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 20.3 percent—from $12.6 billion in 2012 to $31.6 billion by 2017.

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