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Smart building showcase: New JLL APAC headquarters delivers high employee satisfaction by Schneider Electric

Annick Villeneuve

Building owners and operators have been facing an exceptional number of economic and operational challenges, maybe even the greatest of their careers. While this has put many organizations under stress, it has also been an opportunity to reassess the characteristics of buildings that can affect occupant well-being and productivity, as well as operational performance.

The most visionary of businesses are taking a holistic approach, fully embracing the many benefits of smart building technology to move forward more quickly and successfully. As noted by Darren Battle, JLL Asia-Pacific Head of Corporate Real Estate and Workplace, “For businesses to recover fully, a smarter approach to infrastructure management is required.”

Global property services leader JLL took their own advice when setting the requirements for their new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore. The building is the company’s first smart office pilot, acting as a model for the ‘Future of Workplace’. Battle explains, “At JLL we try to embrace the human side of business. At our APAC headquarters, we put people-centricity at the heart of its design. We believe that delivering the best human experience in the office space is absolutely key to our operational excellence.”

The challenge for JLL was to consolidate four offices from across Singapore into a state-of-the-art space with the best possible human experience. It needed to be a relevant, engaging work environment for a new generation of the workforce. Balanced against being people-centric, the building also needed to be hyper-efficient and sustainable. Such a place would require an intelligent infrastructure.

A smart choice of smart building technology and services

Core to enabling the ambitious goals of the project was the right choice of smart building technology. JLL found this in our EcoStruxure Building platform. The key to designing and delivering the solution was the support of Automated Lifestyle, a Schneider Electric Light and Room Control EcoXpert Partner. Esther Wong, Director at Automated Lifestyle says, “A smart office starts with a smart system designed to help measure and manage energy usage and wellness conditions. We worked with Schneider Electric at every step of the way to bring JLL a complete smart office solution.”

The complete and integrated building solution includes over 150 IoT-enabled sensors to monitor space utilization, people movement, and air quality. Throughout the electrical distribution system, energy monitoring includes the use of wireless PowerTag energy meters. All room environmental and lighting conditions are managed using the KNX Lighting Control System and SE 8000 Room Controllers that provide control over lighting, blinds, and kinetic sculptures. Audio-visual systems are also integrated for convenient control.

At the heart of the solution are advanced monitoring, control, and analytic applications and services. Building management tasks are automated by EcoStruxure Building Operation application and networked automation servers. The application includes an Energy Expert module that helps the facility team track energy use, meet conservation objectives, and detect, diagnose and respond quickly to any power-related issues. Finally, EcoStruxure Building Advisor connects JLL to a team of experts that proactively monitor and maintain building performance, while helping optimize maintenance and maximize asset value.

Where technology and human experience come together

The result of a strong vision driving the right design choices has resulted in a Grade A office that sets a new benchmark for the workplace environment. The new flagship smart office leverages big data and AI to greatly lower operating costs, improve productivity, and achieve staff satisfaction.

Thermal comfort and well-being are being carefully managed, while employees enjoy greater engagement and a seamless user experience. For example, with building automation, users never have to touch a switch. And best-in-class, customized spaces cater to different working styles and needs. Battle reports, “A study on our employee satisfaction shows positive human experience scores on factors such as health and safety provisions, air quality, light quality, and temperature.”

With a single building energy management and environmental monitoring platform, JLL is now empowered to make better decisions and take advantage of condition-based maintenance. “The modular, future-proof designs in Schneider Electric’s implementations also ensures hyper-efficiency contributing to an overall 30% reduction in energy use and operational costs.”

The new APAC headquarters has helped bring to life the JLL approach to workplace experience, providing its staff with a place to collaborate, learn, thrive and grow. It’s delivering the best occupant experience and operational excellence, while showcasing technology that will enable them to better serve their clients’ needs. Darren Battle articulates it this way, “No matter the challenges ahead, we believe that technology can give us the foresight to achieve greater ambitions.”

To learn more about the advantages that smart buildings offer to occupiers and developers of commercial real estate in a post-COVID world, download our report ‘Smart Buildings and the Future of Work’ and visit our EcoStruxure Building page.

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