Transforming Experiences with Brilliant Buildings

Smart buildings are great and all, but Brilliant Buildings™ are much better. Satprit Duggal, VP Office Vertical at Enlighted, explains how this evolution is transforming experiences in the workplace.


If you were asked to improve upon the telephone 25 years ago, what would you suggest? Better sound quality? A more comfortable handset - or maybe even hands-free? The features we once longed for are nearly irrelevant for the modern smartphone - because it’s so much more than a phone.

Today we traverse an analogous path with our smart buildings, or more specifically, smart offices. At their advent, smart buildings focused on the building and the infrastructure that makes it function. But what’s of far greater value is what happens inside that infrastructure. Just as the phone evolved into a companion device, our approach to the smart office should evolve beyond optimizing for efficiency.

Smart to Brilliant

What makes a building “smart” is the ability to provide visibility into how spaces are used and location information regarding the building’s inhabitants and technology. How are smart buildings moving towards brilliance?

The traditional focus of smart buildings is expanding. It’s that expansion that’s accelerating the building towards brilliance. Traditionally, smart buildings focused on the building equipment - such as lighting, security, HVAC, etc. A building that’s brilliant focuses not only on the building’s equipment, but on its occupants, too. Brilliant Buildings™ provide visibility into how individuals operate within the physical space.

A building that’s brilliant focuses not only on the building’s equipment, but on its occupants, too. Brilliant Buildings™ provide visibility into how individuals operate within the physical space.- Satprit Duggal, VP Office Vertical at Enlighted

Another traditional focus of a smart building is, unsurprisingly, the building. As the name indicates, a smart building provides visibility into the inhabitants and technology held inside a single building. Which works well for companies with one single location, but isn’t ideal for companies with campuses that sprawl over miles or locations that span the globe. Brilliant Buildings™ restore power to such companies by collecting data to manage portfolios of physical spaces.

Ultimately, the true power of a smart building is its ability to increase efficiency and decrease costs. Lights are turned off when a space isn’t occupied, HVAC is adjusted based on conditions and inhabitants, and so on and so forth. The true power of a Brilliant Building™ is its ability to facilitate adaptive environments capable of cultivating transformative experiences. Efficient energy use is one thing, but making people more efficient is something else entirely.

Transforming the Experience

Now that we understand the true power of Brilliant Buildings™, we can begin to explore how that power manifests. From helping new employees and visitors find their way, to tracking devices and assets across multiple floors and locations, Brilliant Buildings™ are transforming experiences for the companies housed inside.

Bluetooth-Based Way-finding

Beacons in the form of small Bluetooth devices communicate with smartphones to help the user find their way in an unfamiliar physical setting. A visitor or employee simply activates an app on their phone and the beacons help the app understand where they’re located - and how to get where they’re going.

Bluetooth-based way-finding puts the power of step-by-step directions in the palm of visitors and new employees hands—making getting lost a thing of the past.

Activity-Based Working

Activity-based working is increasingly being implemented at companies across all industries. With activity-based working, employees aren’t assigned a desk. Instead, employees have the agency to choose how, where, and when they work - making them more effective at their jobs.

Brilliant offices allow for organization, tracking, and reporting on activity-based working trends and tendencies. To get the most out of activity-based working, the necessary data must be collected. How your company works, how office space is being used, if spaces are over- or under-utilized, the number of remote workers, and other metrics are surfaced more easily in a brilliant office.

Understanding Space Utilization

Understanding how spaces are utilized is made possible in the brilliant office. Instead of only having visibility into how utilities are used within a space, brilliant offices provide the capability to understand how people use the space itself.

Staff Workflows

Remember the true power of Brilliant Buildings™ is their ability to provide visibility into inhabitant behavior. Collecting data on how work happens across employees is an invaluable insight for companies looking to optimize workflows within departments and between employees.

Asset Locating and Tracking

Just as employee and visitor behavior and movements are revealed in a Brilliant Buildings™, locating and tracking assets is an important capability. Particularly at companies within industries like Healthcare, where high-cost equipment needs to be shared within a physical space.

Delivering Value

Brilliant Buildings™ deliver value in a multitude of ways. They decrease a variety of costs, increase productivity and collaboration, enhance security and provide peace-of-mind on several levels.

Decreases Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Cost

Understanding space utilization ideally leads companies to decisions that maximize the use of physical space. Doing so allows companies to get more out of the physical spaces they already occupy. Instead of expanding necessarily, the data is now available to make smart choices in how spaces are used.

A network of LED lights and sensors connect to form an analytics platform built on an IoT architecture, enabling visualizations of a spaces’ energy consumption.

Decreases Energy, Maintenance, and Janitorial Cost

We alluded to this facet of both smart and Brilliant Buildings™ previously, but it’s worth repeating and sussing out a bit. Energy costs are decreased thanks to smarter utilization of lights and HVAC. In terms of maintenance costs, issues are identified and addressed quicker - so problems aren’t left to grow unencumbered without anyone knowing. Similarly with janitorial costs, high-traffic areas are identified and maintained accordingly. At the same time, areas of little use can be cleaned with less regularity.

Increases Employee Productivity

Transforming experiences within activity-based working and space utilization paves the way for super-charged employee productivity. Employees are empowered to work the way they want and where they want. This agency allows employees to focus on what they do best, and subsequently create the most value possible.

Brilliant Buildings™ foster memorable, efficient, and, most of all, effective experiences for visitors.

Enhances Visitor Experience

The most obvious way Brilliant Buildings™ deliver value in the visitor experience is via Bluetooth way-finding. Providing a solution to navigate mazes of conference rooms and workstations eliminates a huge burden of stress off of the shoulders of every new visitor — whether that’s a vendor, prospect, or client.

Increases Process Throughput

Brilliant Buildings™ allow for optimization of staff workflows, space utilization, and asset tracking that cumulatively increase process throughput efficiencies. The results of these transformative experiences are shorter throughput timelines and enhanced value creation along the entire process itself.

Secure Operations

The underlying connectivity in a Brilliant Building™ provides unparalleled control and visibility to IT and Security teams. Weaknesses in networks and even physical spaces are identified quickly, so they may then be addressed or monitored more closely.

Future-Proofing the Building

Brilliant Buildings™ are ready to face whatever the future brings regarding technology and the way we work. Once the connectivity is in place, it can be adapted to new features and capabilities.

It’s time to evolve the collective view of smart buildings - just like we did with the telephone. Today, Brilliant Buildings™ offer capabilities we couldn’t have imagined even a decade ago. In part two of this series on WX Weekly, we’ll explore key lessons my team has gleaned over 7 years of bringing brilliance to fruition.

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