Smart software for improved productivity

Vodafone has deployed a new sensor-enabled lighting infrastructure at its London headquarters, the result of a strong collaboration between Buro Happold, Current by GE and Vodafone to improve office space utilisation, and the employee experience.

The innovative new system employs a network of sensors within an overhead smart lighting system provided by Current, all of which are connected directly to the cloud using Vodafone IoT (Internet of Things) technology, allowing real-time data to be available for analysis.

A key part of the solution is its ability to translate the raw data collected, into actionable insights that can help increase productivity. This is where Buro Happold’s expertise enabled the system to deliver real value to facilities managers and employees alike.

Our collaboration with Current by GE and Vodafone is enabling deep insights into how people use and interact with buildings.
Shrikant Sharma, head of smart space at Buro Happold

How did we do it? Our Smart Space team (experts in human behaviour analytics, people movement, and data visualisation) developed real-time visualisation software that was able to monitor when and how rooms are occupied, as well as gather information on how the building is managed. The information provided by our dashboards make common tasks easier, like finding available conference rooms, breakout spaces, video conferencing pods, and even a spare desk, making the headquarters far more efficient, improving productivity and reducing costs.

Our data analytics platform SmartViz connects to GE’s smart lighting system, Vodafone’s IoT technology, and GE’s PREDIX cloud platform to access live and historical data from sensors capturing people movements, environmental conditions (temperature, noise, CO2 etc.), and space utilisation.

The real-time data collected from the sensors include anonymised locations data, and environmental data (temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, lighting levels and noise levels), to produce a ‘day in life’ model of the spaces. The information allowed us to develop insights into how desk usage, meeting space use, interaction between people, and how they are impacted by the layouts and environmental conditions.

The data and insights from the sensors can feed into our predictive modelling software SmartMove which uses day-in-life modelling and optioneering to improve space utilization, environmental efficiency and staff productivity

“Our collaboration with Current by GE and Vodafone is enabling deep insights into how people use and interact with buildings. This puts people right at the heart of decision making, saving costs and improving health, wellbeing and productivity,” said Shrikant Sharma, group director and head of Smart Space at Buro Happold.

The project has been so successful it has been recognised in the ‘Excellence in Property Productivity’ category at the EG Tech Awards. These Awards celebrate digital transformations at the forefront of real estate technology and our project is recognised for its innovative approach, highlighting possibilities for both energy efficiency, and digital productivity in next-generation office buildings.

Companies like Vodafone and Burohappold are at the forefront of exploring how our physical environments can help us be more effective at work.
Julian Chatwin, Current by GE

“We are at an exciting moment in the development of digital office technology,” said Julian Chatwin, European Director of Enterprise Software for Current by GE “Digital productivity will be a game changer as more companies look to create the workplace of the future. Companies like Vodafone and Buro Happold are at the forefront of exploring how our physical environments can help us be more effective at work.”

“This award is fantastic recognition of the way Vodafone is building on its world leading IoT position in new and exciting ways that has the potential to transform workplaces, ways of working, employee well-being and productivity.  For the property industry professionals on the panel to be able to look beyond their own sector to us as digital disruptors rightly acknowledges our rapidly changing world, the opportunities interconnectivity and new technology present us with and truly validates the work we’ve been doing with Buro Happold and Current by GE,” said Vodafone’s Group Property Strategy Manager Richard Muraszko.

The project has sparked a desire for even more digital innovations in Vodafone’s flagship London headquarters including: monitoring of noise levels enabling individuals to find a space most suited to their needs, measurement of CO2 and humidity, and automatic changes to climatic controls. All of which are made possible by the open platform offered by Current by GE.

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