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Smart building solutions: smart and connected office spaces

It is increasingly recognised that staff health and well-being go hand in hand with pleasant working comfort (environment?). But energy and cost efficiency are also important priorities in today's office environments. "At Equans, we can optimise all these aspects through high-performance total solutions, from office design over smart building solutions to relighting," says Dieter Rauwoens, Department Manager ‘Smart Building Solutions’ at Equans.

Smart office design

Whoever thinks quality office design, says 'Space Management' by Equans. This department is composed of interior architects, project managers and designers who resolutely focus on 'new ways of working'.

"Since the corona crisis, our way of working has changed a lot. Since teleworking  is now commonplace, the office of the future is more a place where people come together to meet around certain topics. Hence, meeting rooms and meeting places are becoming more important than individual desks. Moreover, it is much more pleasant for employees to be in the office if there is sufficient homeliness and comfort," Dieter explains. 

"All this has a decisive impact on space management, the choice of furniture, decoration and so on. Thanks to our own project managers, we can take care of complete architectural (re)design, as we are currently demonstrating in a project for the Flemish Community. The ability to carry out full-scale projects, to act as a 'single point of contact' for the customer as well as providing plan management, sets us apart from many of our competitors in the office design sector." 

Smart Building Solutions : measuring is knowing

Another aspect through which Equans makes a difference in office environments are its many smart building solutions. For this purpose, the company has a team of a dozen programmers developing smart applications. "Think of measuring building occupancy, monitoring air quality via CO2 detection, monitoring and optimising energy consumption based on the IPMVP method, access control and reservation of meeting rooms via personalised QR codes ...", Dieter lists.

"We can centralise all these parameters in dashboards for building managers, who can check whether their building is functioning properly under the motto 'measuring is knowing'. Intelligent predictive maintenance and legionella prevention are also among the possibilities. Finally, we are strongly committed to smart lighting, based on daylight and presence detection, among other things. A good example is the staircases of the European Parliament, where the lighting level of the LED luminaires is reduced to 10% when nobody takes the stairs. In terms of energy efficiency, this is obviously a world of difference compared to classic fluorescent lighting that burns 24 hours a day.” 

Relighting : more light, less energy consumption

The latter brings us to a third Equans specialty: relighting. A burning topical issue, as Europe permanently halts the production of fluorescent lamps in September 2023.  From then on, all existing installations will be converted to more energy-efficient LED lighting. 

"Exactly the area of expertise of our subsidiary Ledealight, a nine-member company with more than a decade of experience," says Dieter . "They offer a total solution: they go on site to analyse the situation, do a lighting study and deliver the suitable solution, where there are several options. To start , customers can opt for 'relamping', where an existing fluorescent lamp is replaced by a LED variant. A second option is 'relighting', where the entire luminaire is replaced, including a lighting study to optimise light distribution. The third option is 'remastering', where we integrate a LED strip into the existing lighting fixture. The last is something we really add value with, as there is less material loss and components to be replaced . The result often looks the same as the existing situation, while energy consumption drops by tens of percent. Moreover, we can add additional functionalities, such as colour variation. We have already applied this, for example, in the Waasland Shopping Centre in Sint-Niklaas, where an appropriate atmosphere can be created depending on the incidence of light and the time of year."

"It’s the ability to carry out all-round projects that sets us apart from many of our competitors in the office equipment sector"


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