Smart office scheme in London's Southwark ‘sets benchmark for post-pandemic era’


Newly completed office scheme Southworks in central London, which has been named as ‘the smartest office in the world’, sets the bar for future offices in the UK capital, its developer MiddleCap said.


Designed by SPPARC, the seven-storey, 70,000 sq ft (6,500 m2) scheme brings together technological and natural features to form a ‘post-pandemic, future-proofed office’. It was recently named as the world’s smartest building at the Futureproof Awards and became the first UK building to achieve the Smart Building Certification Platinum certificate, only the second in the world to do so after EDGE Amsterdam.

The new building, which is located on Rushworth Street, Southwark, features a number of technologically innovative measures, which, in combination with leading-edge architecture and design elements, create a responsive and productive environment that enhances users’ safety and wellbeing, MiddleCap said.

Sustainable design and construction have been prioritised throughout Southworks to minimise its embodied and operational energy. Existing building materials were recycled and used in the new structure, whilst the main roof level hosts a bio solar roof, providing a source of renewable energy and adding to the ecological value of the building. The building is set to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Tomáš Jurdák, head of real estate at MiddleCap, said: ‘We’re extremely proud that Southworks, our first scheme in the UK, will set the bar for future offices in London. Thanks to a great combination of quality design, natural elements combined with latest technology, the scheme showcases an exemplary workspace that serves employees, the environment and the city.

He added: ‘This is just the beginning of MiddleCap’s journey in the UK and we’re looking forward to developing a pipeline of exemplary offices in London.’

Smart features
Embedded with an Internet of Things (IoT) technology developed by Dutch proptech company bGrid, Southworks features a central sensor platform functioning as the building’s ‘brain’, with the sensors plugged into the HVAC system and lighting controls. The system also measures other environmental variables such as internal and external air quality, density, occupancy and noise levels.

The use of smart sensors and IoT-based technologies helps to ensure air, water and electricity resources are delivered cleanly and efficiently throughout the building, therefore reducing energy use and maximising environmental performance.

The office building is also equipped with the global tenant engagement platform OfficeApp’s smartphone app, which provides the building’s tenants with access to a variety of services and amenities, including on-demand desk and room booking, F&B ordering, community engagement, issues reporting and communications.