A global technology company, wanted to create a dynamic and forward-thinking office space that would help to attract top talent. WSP was selected to provide MEP engineering, lighting design, and acoustics for its 750,000 sq. ft. headquarters in the United States. In addition, we provided workplace innovation consulting services to define the vision and goals of a smart workplace, validate smart goals against existing workplace design standards, and provide technical design solutions, as well as vendor evaluation, to achieve selected smart initiatives.
Innovative Technology Solutions for Improved Automation
In the capacity of the workplace consultant, we focused on evaluating whether the workplace design was achieving the business goals the client wanted to realize. Their focus was on using the space more efficiently, while ensuring that the offices were a great place to work for their employees. We helped them formulate and prioritize goals ranging from employee health and wellbeing, to space utilization and user control. Our advice influenced the building system design towards a greater focus on occupant satisfaction rather than simply meeting engineering requirements for a functional workplace.
One of the features our solution included was a multi-sensor mesh installed throughout the offices that leveraged the lighting control system as a foundation for gathering information on how the building was used, including a feed on occupancy, light and temperature levels. Our main goal was to make sure that the system provided data that not only served the building’s purposes, but could inform the client’s decisions around improving employees’ experience, optimizing space usage and evaluating some of the building’s architectural solutions.
An important part of our role was to evaluate different vendors to help the owner navigate the complexity and volume of technology solutions available on the market. We ensured the chosen solutions fitted the client’s actual needs, and also provided the required functionalities. Our expertise as buildings engineers was leveraged to ensure that the selected system delivered the greatest value possible to the owner and achieved the business goals we had outlined at the beginning of the process. In addition, we ensured the vendor had capacity to assist the client in getting to the data analytics phase.
“Built a business case for a smart workplace”
Our team developed a business case that the client could present to their most senior executives. Our expertise and experience in the field meant we were able to make a case for selecting a certain type of equipment based on the business value we believed this equipment was going to bring and this approach changed the way the client procured equipment for their building. Instead of choosing the usual solution and maintaining the status quo, the client selected equipment that will give them more usable data on how building is used.
As the project evolved, the client engaged WSP to test and validate the proposed solutions and equipment in our own Innovation Centre in Boulder, Colorado. Our ability to offer a lab environment was beneficial because it would have been much more difficult to test and validate in the client’s production environment where their IT policies prevented the implementation of untested solutions on the company’s network. Our innovation centre allowed us to test various vendors’ solutions interoperability and evaluate performance before making a recommendation.
The application of big data for improving the workplace is evolving and this project is on the cutting edge of how evolving business needs are informing business decisions around the design and operation of workplace.