Lighting the way to a sustainable future

A Derby IT and building technology firm has helped one of the most exciting office developments in the South-East meets its sustainability targets by transforming existing lighting to make it high-tech and low energy.

Scenariio, based in Siddals Road, has just completed its third smart lighting system projects at the Here + Now development, a major refurbishment of two office buildings at Thames Valley Park in Reading.

The buildings – known as Here and Now - were acquired from original owners Microsoft by BauMont Real Estate Capital, which has teamed up with London-based management company V7 to create a highly sustainable campus focused on environmental, social and governance investing and wellness.

This includes making the buildings, which offer 145,000 sq ft of workspace, net zero carbon - earning them the BREEAM Outstanding rating for their environmental performance - while establishing a design-led space with a range of amenities including two cafes, a large indoor and an outdoor gym and an outdoor working area.

As part of the buildings’ general refit, Scenariio, working on behalf of office fit-out and design company Overbury, recommissioned the existing intelligent lighting system and upgraded the system’s software, replacing emergency lighting and repositioning the existing light fittings.

It also continues to provide ongoing maintenance and support with mechanical and electrical contractor, MEP Labs.

When the first tenant, software firm Coeo, moved into one of the floors of the Now building, Scenariio returned to install remote gateways to allow the integration of feature lighting and intelligent lighting incorporating daylight dimming, with everything monitored through a state-of-the-art dashboard.

Then when the second tenant, corporate service provider Vistra, moved in last month, Scenariio went back again to carry out minor works and install more gateways, enabling staff to control feature lighting in different parts of the office via the dashboard.

The whole scheme comprised around 1,000 lights, each one powered via low voltage ethernet wiring and each with a sensor attached, and 23 smart engines, with the total area covered by the installation measuring 45,000 sq ft.

With staff demanding flexible working and energy prices affecting companies’ profits, intelligent low energy lighting systems are increasingly in demand by landlords and facilities managers, while the BREEAM rating incentivises property owners to install the kind of high-tech equipment that Scenariio offers.

George Pritchard, technical director at Scenariio, said: “The Here + Now development is one of the most high-profile projects in the Thames Valley and we are very pleased to have got involved.

“V7 has huge plans for the development and at the heart of its campaign is promoting sustainability, combined with a focus on optimising employee health and wellbeing in order to attract and retain talent.

“We minimised waste by not ripping out and replacing the original lighting and the system was quick and easy to recommission, so everything was operational ahead of schedule.

“We’ve helped create a smart building which achieves both of V7’s objectives, but the lighting is just the start. Although everything is running on some of the original hardware, there are no power limitations, so we can add indoor air quality sensors and Bluetooth beacons with just small additions of kit."

Established in 2013, Scenariio has previously carried out work on behalf of Gymshark, Severn Trent Water and Tarmac, as well as, closer to home, Derby College and the Chocolate Factory, home to the popular Bustler Market street food event.