Smarter Workplaces Prioritise Efficiency
Smarter working is revolutionising the way the civil service operates. The rationalisation of the government estate, which has been reduced by more than 25% since 2010, makes the smarter use of workspaces a necessity. But it’s also a huge opportunity. By implementing the type of smart building solutions available from ENGIE, government can embrace more flexible working practices, capitalise on digital technology and both retain and attract the highest calibre workforce, including graduates and professionals, who may not previously have considered the civil service as an employer.
Establishing hub offices across the estate enables people to choose where and how to work, using the facilities, time and resources available. For smart workspaces to function effectively, they need smart technology to gather, monitor and analyse data so that everything from space utilisation to energy consumption and asset maintenance can be managed efficiently.
ENGIE has developed versatile smart building systems that enable civil service departments to fulfil many of the priorities set out in the government’s estate strategy. These solutions can be designed to achieve specific government objectives, from reducing energy use and running costs to optimising operational efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
The lifeblood of any smart building system is data. More specifically, connected data. All buildings contain assets, technology and sensors that generate data. To create smart buildings, ENGIE connects all of this data on a single platform where it can be analysed objectively. This analysis enables the system to model patterns of usage and behaviour, identify opportunities for improvement, provide valuable information to building users and intelligently control working conditions.
So, for example, by sharing data on desk utilisation, smart systems can help to optimise building use, enabling people to book desks or meeting rooms remotely from any device. By connecting smart technology to building assets, such as heating and cooling systems, room temperatures can be controlled according to occupant numbers and other factors, such as the weather. By monitoring air quality in real time, smart systems can adjust air-exchange rates to ensure rooms remain fresh and prevent a build-up of CO2 which can impact productivity.
By managing building assets to suit occupancy levels and work requirements, smart building systems control energy use more efficiently, in response to demand, rather than to a set of pre-determined levels. Similarly, by monitoring the status and performance of key building assets, from boilers to cooling fans, smart systems ensure that maintenance is also demand-led; scheduled according to actual need rather than a standard maintenance timetable. The same data can be used to predict faults before they happen, helping to extend asset lifecycles and prevent breakdowns.
ENGIE is well positioned to help the civil service implement ‘smart’ building systems that work for the government estate. Through stand-alone or integrated solutions that harness the latest technologies and innovations, ENGIE can to help optimise the efficiency of government buildings and operational processes so that its workplaces are more connected and responsive.
The result is workplaces that operate at optimum efficiency, with comfort and environmental controls managed intelligently in line with demand. Smart workspaces managed by ENGIE minimise waste and enhance occupant health, wellbeing and productivity. Across large government estates, they can deliver significant energy, cost and emissions savings, while freeing resources to focus on core government priorities.
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This article first appeared in Civil Service World's March Issue.