When global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon, established its new Melbourne base camp at 850 Collins Street, Victoria Harbour, Docklands, it did so with its staff’s needs driving the design. Conceived and designed by Aurecon’s engineers, the 8-storey Aurecon Centre houses all 700 Melbourne-based staff in the top five interconnected floors to offer innovative, market-leading standards of air quality, energy efficiency and sustainability.
This mastery of innovative design hosts a high-quality working environment - one that aims to be “a pleasure for both staff and clients to work in”. Through its wide range of meeting areas and communal spaces, it’s evident that collaboration and co-creation are the types of engagement the organisation aims to foster. Each floor echoes the business and brand objectives of ‘bringing ideas to life’ by skillfully combining striking architectural features, living plants, and energy-efficient design. Altogether, the Centre offers an open and inviting workspace in which the company’s people and clients may thrive.
That said, Aurecon is continually looking for ways to add weight to this vision and streamline our processes within the Aurecon Centre. The Aurecon Smart Centre has recently become one such solution. And now, through this initiative, Aurecon is continuing to pioneer ground-breaking, new services.
Essentially the Smart Centre is a digital platform that connects a range of sensors that are located throughout the Aurecon Centre building. These sensors can be found in places like the main walkways, stairwells, bike racks, office areas, lunch break-out rooms, recreational areas, and meeting rooms. They are linked to an online platform that allows the user to identify and interpret a range of useful data to recommend how the building should be modified.
Through its data insights, the Smart Centre is providing greater understanding of key concepts associated with buildings of the future:
How a company understands and uses physical space is important. The Smart Centre allows us to monitor a variety of simultaneous dynamics: how many people are working from home, how the teams are interacting, when they are interacting, how many people are using meeting rooms, etc.
Especially as working environments become more flexible, ideas around optimal use of space and facilities need to be redefined and communicated. Ultimately, the Aurecon Smart Centre platform helps the Aurecon team to ensure the Centre and all employees are best positioned to meet their vision of collaboration and staff engagement.
Studies show that businesses that invest in their staff’s comfort and overall wellness have higher levels of productivity and overall company satisfaction. The Smart Centre allows the Aurecon team to review these correlations, by looking at scenarios such as: comparing stair vs. lift use; measuring bike facility usage; monitoring indoor air quality; using wearables to promote health initiatives; understanding drinking water consumption; and optimising daylight, temperature and humidity levels. Together, these factors can determine the success of a building’s design for the people who work in it and occupy its space.
Productivity metrics allow us to understand the way people connect and find the resources they need. By monitoring staff preferences and patterns of movements throughout the office, we can analyse the use of designated areas like social spaces and break-out rooms. This data compiles an overall picture of the type of environment that best fosters productivity and collaboration between co-workers.
The Smart Centre platform also allows Aurecon to gauge and track its level of sustainability by looking at patterns in electricity and water usage, fuel consumption, and paper printed. The Smart Centre can track data such as the number of meeting rooms in use and electricity wasted by computers left on over the weekend. Heat mapping of light fittings can test energy and equipment use, and influence of ambient temperatures from outside elements. Temperatures are tested through the Smart Centre to find the optimal range for mood and comfort. The platform offers intelligent, real-time data that demands honest assessment in our ongoing efforts to align the company to a future ready sustainable agenda.
Through data insights, Aurecon is able to make continuous improvements and optimisations to support cost saving and productivity gains, while fostering staff happiness and engagement. The Smart Centre is the digital layer to the Aurecon Centre building that helps turn data into actionable improvements for the organisation.
Already the Smart Centre is rolling out for commercial use. The Working Capitol – a mélange of co-working spaces, creative start-ups and tech-savvy businesses in Singapore’s thriving central neighbourhood – has flagged the digital platform for a trial commercial run in the next year.