Spica worked closely with our customers, Department for Work and Pensions, to extend the GemEx Engine™ Platform (formerly known as Devicepoint®) to deliver a new use case, management of occupancy levels across a building to provide a safe working environment.
DWP Problem Statement
The total number of people allowed inside a building and on each floor is capped for the safety of occupants, in case of an emergency they need to be able to quickly evacuate the space. The occupancy levels need to be monitored and managed in real-time at a floor level, allowing FM teams to react before total capacity levels are breached to ensure a safe working environment that is compliance with fire safety regulations. Manual checking can be time intensive and inaccurate, often resulting in a reactive approach when crowding has already started and employees are already frustrated by the lack of space, rather than proactively preventing an issue before this negative experience occurs. We were approached by several clients to extend the real-time data monitoring, alarms and reporting in our GemEx™ platform in order to support this new use case.
“Our primary use case for engaging with Spica and their footfall occupancy solution was to help us meet capacity limits of the building and floors as set by our Fire Risk Assessment. The solution that Spica offers allows us to view real time occupancy levels across the building. Alert notifications can be configured in the platform so we are notified by sms or email when certain capacity thresholds are beached. Through having the system we are able to view real time and historical occupancy data for analysis in both the platform and offline as well. This is enabling us to make workspace decisions based on hard evidence and trends rather than assumptions and manual people counting. A spin off use case has been to launch a live data feed to the staff on floor level screens. Employees are now able to see which floors are busiest and re locate to quieter areas. From analysis of the data we hope to also advise employees to work from home during peak times. This is helping to support our smarter working initiative and flexible working approach. As we gather greater knowledge of how the building is used, we envisage this could also allow for potential shut down of areas and energy saving initiatives. Spica have been a good collaborative partner for the DWP overcoming some initial installation complications and being open to configuring part of the solution specific to us.”
David Travis, Digital Spaces Strategy & Delivery Manager, Department for Work and Pensions
How Space Occupancy Monitoring Works
Footfall sensors are installed at all entrance and exit points to the building and individual floors, this data is received, processed and analysed in real-time in the GemEx™ platform. Capacity limits and alarms are set to trigger when these are breached, these settings can be adjusted as required. FM staff subscribe to notifications over email or SMS. Live views can be displayed on TV screens around the building for the benefit of employees and accessed by FM staff on their mobile devices. All captured data, including full alarm audit history is stored in the platform, there are options for viewing this in charts or exporting it for offline analysis.
- Never breach compliance levels, set escalating warning alerts when approaching max capacity.
- Demonstrate adherence to regulations with charts, reporting and alarm audit history all available in the GemEx™ platform.
- Improve employee satisfaction and reduce frustration by reducing crowding and directly providing information to help them make decisions
- Analyse long term trend data to understand how your building is really being used, support changes in working practises and make long term space planning decisions.
- Save FM teams time by eliminating manual checks, they need to respond only when warning alerts are raised.