After a competitive tender process, Smart Spaces was instructed to build a tenant engagement app for 160 Old Street – owned by Great Portland Estates.
Tenant engagement was to be attained through two different routes:
- Providing tenants with the means to control the building and its environment through the app
- Creating an intra-building community – managed by a concierge that extoled the benefits that working at 160 Old Street brought
Creating a dynamically optimised Smart building with digital twin
Our engineers integrated with the core building management systems at 160 Old Street. 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 control points at 160 Old Street.
We then built a fully customisable roles and permissions system, enabling certain users/user groups to be afforded permissions for building controls on a granular level. Each tenant is 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 could 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 the world’s leading papers and magazines.
Empire, GC, Elle and Cosmopolitan can be perused at leisure, as can today’s edition of the Times, The Observer and The Daily Mail – to name but three. Realtime tube, train and weather updates are also available via the app, as are directions to recommended bars, coffee shops, shops and hotels in the Old Street vicinity.
The large manned reception desk at 160 Old Street is flanked by entrance and exit turnstiles, to which approved building tenants can gain entry through a flick of their phone. Pre-booked visitors are sent a QR code via email.
Provided their arrival at the building coincides with the scheduled arrival time, a QR reader grants them temporary access, valid only for the duration of their visit and for the specified access points.
All this information can be added by tenants; they can use the app to invite visitors to meetings at their offices. The app automatically Generates a valid QR code and sends it to the selected visitors – who need only turn up and go through the gates to meet their host (notified via an app notification).
Helpdesk requests can be submitted through the app; they are automatically sent to the relevant department, simplifying the process markedly.
Users can also take advantage of full integration with the 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.
- 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 light 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.
Stamp for your right to drink coffee
160 Old Street 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.
One such partner is Outtakes café – based in 200 Gray’s Inn Road. App users get their tenth coffee free. And the process is easy – retail staff can use a QR scanner – enabled in their version of the app – to verify each purchase.
The tenth stamp brings with it a choice of free beverage.