After a competitive tender process, Great Portland Estate plc instructed Smart Spaces to build a tenant engagement app and Digital Twin for 160 Old Street: a 1970s building refurbished into an innovative, sustainable and modern development.
160 Old Street houses a diverse and dynamic workplace scene which includes major global companies, and characterful retail and leisure experiences to offer improved work-life balance to its occupiers.
Aim of the tenant engagement app:
- Provide tenants with the means to control the building and its environment through a personalised and interactive app
- Create an intra-building community – managed by a concierge who extolled the benefits that working at 160 Old Street brought
- Deliver a dynamically optimised Smart building with a digital twin
Aim of the real-time Digital Twin:
- Collate a variety of data sources into a single pane of glass for a unified source of truth of all the building systems
- Real-time monitoring of the built environment and analytics insights
- Full remote functionality to power maintenance and operations control
- Retrievable efficiency reporting, ESG supporting metrics, energy use insights
- Fault reporting and predictive maintenance
The Smart Spaces engineers deployed the smart operating platform, which seamlessly integrates with the core building management systems at 160 Old Street to make the building a smart workplace. We liaised with several independent suppliers as we constructed the BACnet protocols that connected our app with the HVAC units, individual luminaires, and various access points of the building.
We then built a fully customisable roles and permissions system, enabling certain users and user groups to be afforded permissions for building controls on a granular level.
Each tenant is now granted localised control over temperature, luminaire brightness and access control on its floor(s). Furthermore, real-time energy readings can be viewed via an intuitive app interface, containing tips for reducing energy waste and visual indicators as to what can be powered by the energy expended by each floor.
Part of the daily routine
By partnering with a leading media outlet, Smart Spaces offers all members of the 160 Old Street app free access to top papers and magazines. Realtime Tube, train, airlines and weather updates, including information on the best times to travel, are also available via the app, as are directions to recommended bars, coffee shops, stores and hotels in the vicinity.
Bringing Engagement to the Work Community
The Chat and Direct Message sections bring colleagues together, both in and out of the office, bridging the gap between job roles, departments and different office floors, achieving a new level of human connection and social interaction in the workplace. The scrollable Social Wall encourages peer to peer engagement, boosts morale and creates an active community. It also delivers dedicated content targeted to the occupiers’ interests.
In-building amenities and a dedicated Lifestyle Manager provide occupiers with access to a wealth of services and fulfilling experiences including Wellness, Dining, Social, Corporate Hospitality and more. From the app, occupiers can comfortably join after-work activities. They can reserve a space in any of the open classes and events the building is offering. Meditation, yoga, cocktail classes, parties or even corporate events can be booked and saved in the calendar to keep a view on all the daily appointments.
Seamless Facility Booking and Visitors Management
The entrance and exit turnstiles flank the large reception desk at 160 Old Street, to which approved building tenants can gain entry through a flick of their phone. Organising a meeting has never been so easy too, thanks to an integrated meeting room booking calendar and visitor management system features. Front-of-house staff are always appraised about building occupancy, and tenants can see at a glance the unoccupied spaces and send visitors temporary passes via email straight from the app. Provided their arrival at the building coincides with the scheduled time, a QR reader grants them a streamlined entrance, valid only for the duration of their visit and within the specified access points. There is no need to request assistance from the front-of-house staff, which leaves them free to focus on other key tasks. The automatically generated QR code makes the visitors’ experience frictionless – as they only need to turn up and go through the gates to meet their host, who is notified as soon as they arrive. Occupiers can also pre-order food and pre-pay in-app, thus, enjoying an enhanced meeting experience.
A user-friendly Helpdesk & Support module makes reporting issues a straightforward experience. Tickets are automatically sent to the relevant department, simplifying the process markedly. Users can also take advantage of full voice-control integration via Amazon Alexa, with helpdesk requests serving as just one of the features that can be voice-controlled. Tenants can register for events, check energy meters and book visitors through the 160 Old Street Alexa skill too.
Stamp for your right to drink coffee
The 160 Old Street app contains offers at several of London’s independent coffee shops. Loyalty cards can be created through the back-end system, providing tasty incentives to users of the app.
Interactive Digital Twin to manage the building optimally
The 160 Old Street Digital Twin delivers unique insights and power of action to the property management staff. An interactive 3D replica of the building, the Digital Twin, is connected in real-time to the building systems and smart sensors, offering an unparalleled view over the environment. From energy consumption, control and monitoring over the temperatures and lighting, indoor air quality and occupancy data, the Digital Twin becomes indispensable for the building optimisation and operational efficiency.
- 60% of the building’s tenants joined within the first two months
- Over 500 unique visitors were granted access to the building via the app within that period. One tenant credited the app with an almost 10% reduction in energy consumption by month 2:
“Now that I can see how much leaving on the lights costs, I’ll always force myself to check all points at the end of the day.”
This has now been implemented as an automated workflow.