Workspaces must think smarter like Manchester’s Smartest Building

    Blog, Manchester City Centre

    Andrew Cooke, strategic director at Bruntwood Works explores how smart tech is evolving and how workspaces must think smarter like Manchester's Smartest Workspace, 111 Piccadilly - launching in December!  

    The demands of the workplace are similar to how we value our smart devices and smart technology.

    There’s an understandable call for better convenience, sustainability, productivity and efficiency.

    Our workspaces have to adapt and advance, especially as we recover from a pandemic.

    Imagine a place of work that ticks all those boxes and more… 


    Bruntwood Works has always been proud to put flexibility and sustainability at its heart. A shining example of our commitment is our second Pioneer building, the newly-refurbished and ‘smart’ 111 Piccadilly, in Manchester city centre.

    To set the scene let me talk about some of the incredible features which are definitely conversation starters and designed to create huge benefits for customers, businesses, employees and the city as a whole:

    > Our 200ft sustainable lighting installation, which towers along three sides of the iconic building. It’s a ground-breaking lighting concept, designed by the talented and creative Artin and installed by specialist architectural lighting company StudioTech, incorporating LEDs throughout and will soon be supporting power generation by powering sustainable energy via photovoltaics (renewable solar energy technology).

    > A new cutting-edge circadian lighting system in the ground floor space, designed to create a natural environment regulating a 24-hour cycle of sleep, wake, hunger, alertness, hormone release, and body temperature. 

    > This intelligent building even has sensors to monitor air quality, space utilisation and energy usage. When we open the doors we will be collecting data from the sensors and our tech team will be looking at how we best utilise the findings for our customers, such as how we can display the data across the building including on our customer app which also has interactive features, such as; meeting room bookings, concierge services, events listings and potentially food and beverage ordering. 

    > We even have a digital art installation on the ground floor by local artist, Andrew Small that reacts with people's body movements. Consisting of a particle waterfall, with ‘rocks’ directing and redirecting the flow of the water, these rocks represent people, as they enter and leave the building. 

    > Our multi-functional kiosk displays live updates on wayfinding in the building, meeting room or event booking availability and also live TfGM timetable information - so you don't have to leave the office until you know your train is ready to leave.

    > The meeting rooms are kitted out with amazing technology allowing you to control the room to your perfect way of working. At the touch of a button you can change the blinds, TV, mirror your laptop with wireless technology and also connect people into the room who may be working from home or clients from around the work.


    A revolutionary building jam-packed with smart technology not just for the sake of it.

    All the above are not in place to be a gimmick - they’ve all been thoroughly designed and implemented to create a healthier and thriving community environment.

    We spend a lot of our time working and we must provide environments that provide safety and value. Whether your employees are working from home or physically in the office, their health and wellbeing should always be top of the agenda and they must feel comfortable.

    Part of our £50m Pioneer customer-focused building transformation programme, 111 Piccadilly offers businesses workspaces of all sizes, from a single coworking desk to serviced offices and leased spaces - all based on the six key themes of amenity, art, biophilia, sustainability, wellness and technology. 

    The building will also become the first coworking space in the UK, potentially one of the first in Europe, to achieve Platinum standard WELL certification.

    We firmly believe the building supports mental wellbeing, especially in the current climate where people might be feeling isolated through a loss of social connections. We want 111 Piccadilly with it’s wow factor to encourage conversation and bring people together through art and design.

    When restrictions ease we must have spaces to think, spaces to focus, spaces to create and spaces to collaborate in – which is why offering a variety of different areas, like coworking, breakout spaces and private pods is vital.

    The lounge is now open to the public, along with a digital interactive art wall and biophilic designs to create a healthy, productive workplace and 111 Piccadilly will welcome Ancoats Coffee in the new year to power the community with artisan coffee. 

    Our spaces must adapt to how they are used.

    All of the tech installed will help us learn about how our customers use the space so we can make it even better in the future. The intelligent sensors will help us work out where people sit, how often they use the space and which are the most popular spaces.

    The transformed building also breathes high air quality which increases productivity and improves health and wellbeing. With internal planting and greenery displayed throughout, as well as enhanced natural lighting and extensive use of natural materials, we hope each design will make people happy, improve their daily commute, as well as inspiring and motivating them.

    As a workspace provider Bruntwood Works has been providing flexible opportunities to our customers for decades, meeting their needs and making things easier, whether that’s providing facilities management and many options and services.

    Workspaces must constantly evolve and be smarter - especially as we look beyond 2020.

    Well the future is here this year with 111 Piccadilly. Check out more here to see why the building is a smart choice.

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