Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in Singapore
By Michael Rothenborg
All over the world there is a growing demand for technology integration into the built environment. Ramboll’s clients are becoming aware of the ways technology can enhance the energy efficiency of their assets as well as the ways to enhance workplace environment to reduce overheads, increase productivity and improve staff retention.
The new and emerging design discipline is called ‘SMART Buildings’, and it integrates design, mechanical and electrical building systems, sustainability and management consulting.
Ramboll’s office in Singapore has made a number of significant wins in this new field – being appointed as a specialist SMART Buildings Consultant to advise on the integration of new technology with the architecture and traditional building disciplines.
“Singapore is fast becoming ground zero for Buildings Digitalisation. Fuelled by country wide initiatives like Singapore SMART Nation, which encourages the deployment of new and innovative technology in buildings,” says Andrew Brahney, Project Manager in Ramboll’s Singapore office.
One of the solutions being implemented by Ramboll in Singapore is to optimise office environments, so that lighting can be warmer or cooler depending on what time of day it is and the employees’ own personal preferences. This type of environmental technology affects the production of melatonin in staff, which studies have shown will increase productivity.
Another example is in data analytics using CCTV can identify unattended baggage, or potential dangerous situations such as if a person has fallen. The SMART component in the system is that it feeds back to the digital wayfinding system, which adjusts the navigation to avoid the area until the situation is resolved.
“There is, of course, a premium to implement these solutions. But Ramboll carry out a cost-benefit analysis to ensure the payback period is within the client expectations. This analysis also uncovers potential commercial benefits for our clients, as they can get more for their leases when their buildings are innovative and competitive – with a more efficient working environment”, Andrew Brahney points out.
“These wins have shown that Ramboll has the unique skills to position ourselves as leaders in the fast evolving SMART Building space” adds Shonn Mills, Head of Buildings Asia.