MiddleCap, the real estate focused European investment company, has partnered with bGrid at its Southworks building, a 70,000 sq ft office scheme on Rushworth Street in London.
bGrid is a Dutch proptech company that develops state-of-the-art smart building solutions for the commercial real estate sector.
Southworks is bGrid’s first UK project, and MiddleCap’s debut development in the UK.
The bGrid solution connects a series of sensors to the Internet of Things, and will act as a single digital backbone to Southworks. With the platform functioning as the building’s “brain“, the sensors will be plugged into the HVAC system and lighting controls, and will also measure other environmental variables such as density, occupancy and noise levels.
Through the building’s dedicated app, occupiers will be able to directly control heating and lighting to their own preferences and book meeting rooms, creating the optimum working environment.
The app will also allow for more efficient communication between building managers and occupiers, with messages and notifications being able to be shared in both directions.
In a post-Covid world, bGrid will help to manage longer-term social distancing by monitoring the flow of people throughout the building. It will also help drive efficiency in building operations on both a day-to-day basis, and as the building evolves year-on-year. The platform is also future-proofed, being flexible enough to incorporate changes to the internal layout or technological upgrades.
The company is already present in key international markets including Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and the US. Its technology is now used in over 30 buildings, including several exemplar schemes such as Edge Olympic – the successor from OVG of The Edge Amsterdam – often considered the world’s smartest building.
Tomáš Jurdák, Head of Real Estate at MiddleCap, said:
“A healthy workplace has never been more important. Our partnership with bGrid will use the most advanced AI smart building technology to support companies and their employees as they embrace a safe return to the office. The office of the future is a smart one. MiddleCap is incredibly proud to be leading the way in bringing the latest smart tech innovation to London.”
MiddleCap purchased Southworks in 2018. Designed by SPPARC Architects and set across seven floors, the architecture is inspired by a warehouse aesthetic achieved through several high-quality design and specification details, including a double height entrance formed from handcrafted Italian glazed bricks. Internally, steel framed windows and exposed services will complete the contemporary and raw finish. A robust, loose-fit fit-out will offer flexibility to future tenants, while a series of roof terraces will provide additional amenity space to all occupiers.
Karl van Ginderdeuren, CCO at bGrid, said:
“We are thrilled to enter the UK market with MiddleCap on its first development in London. Southworks is an exemplary commercial building and will pave the way for a new era of AI enabled smart office buildings that support occupier wellbeing.”