Commercial office owners and operators can now streamline the management of their global property portfolio, reduce costs and supercharge wellbeing and productivity, thanks to a new partnership between engineering consultancy Buro Happold and Microsoft.

The collaboration combines Buro Happold’s data analytics and insights platform SmartViz with Microsoft Azure (Microsoft’s cloud computing service) to enable property management teams to better understand and increase the flexibility of building use, improve building resilience and enhance asset and human performance, through the unique integration of historic, real-time and predictive modelling data.

SmartViz allows users to get a single source of truth about their properties in realtime – from every room to every floor, and every building in the estates and global portfolio. It greatly extends the number of assets and IoT devices that can be connected, monitored and controlled – on demand to any size of portfolio – to allow management teams to get more from their assets and people, in terms of space efficiency, staff wellbeing and productivity, and climate resilience.

SmartViz | Workplace Analytics is aimed at commercial and real estate property owners and operators. It integrates with a myriad of existing datasets, BIM / GIS platforms, BMS systems and IoT sensors to turn data into insights, insights into decisions, and decisions into actions and outcomes. Powered by Microsoft Azure and Buro Happold’s unique predictive behaviour modelling engine the intuitive platform provides visual insights on how to maximise space utilisation, human interactions and safety in the workplace – a critical feature as many businesses seek to safely return employees to offices as the world continues to operate within varying stages of Covid-19 lockdown.

Shrikant Sharma, analytics group director at Buro Happold, said: “Many property owners and operators struggle to leverage data to achieve space & energy efficiency while delivering a great environment for its people. It is time to empower firms with insights to supercharge their people, places, planet and profits. A lack of evidence and insights is a major issue, which costs the owners and operators time and money to manage their assets and people. We wanted to provide a solution to address this and transform workplaces to improve staff wellbeing and productivity, reduce costs and minimise the environmental impact of buildings – all key concerns in this uncertain climate.

“The partnership with Microsoft combines the power of our data driven engineering insights and simulations with the scalability of Microsoft’s technologies. The unique combination of historic data analytics, real-time monitoring and predictive modelling is what empowers the owners and operators to monitor and optimise their portfolio strategy, design and operations. AI powered analytics and predictive modelling will help them to test a range of ‘what if’ scenarios on how to consolidate spaces, save energy costs, improve productivity, and maximise returns from the assets and people. This technology has the potential to make a huge difference to the way we manage our commercial properties.”

Commenting on the partnership with Buro Happold, David Williams, smart places and real estate industry lead at Microsoft said: “For Microsoft it’s all about helping to create smart, sustainable, and healthy workplaces. When we think about smart places and real estate, we are not constrained by focusing on the building or the facilities management of that building, instead we focus on the people who visit, work or live, rent or own that building. We are delighted therefore to work so closely with Buro Happold, as we share their vision of empowering clients with data and insights to make better decisions about their properties and people, in particular, health and wellbeing. Our close partnership with Buro Happold enables us to share our Azure IOT and Azure Digital Twins technology roadmaps with them, so that their solutions and services are at the forefront of technical innovation, which combined with their extensive industry expertise, knowledge and experience really makes their SmartViz platform unique.”