Posted on 27 May 2020

bGrid follows in the footsteps of Cornelis Drebbel!

Over 400 years ago, the Dutchman Cornelis Drebbel invented the thermostat, which is just one example in a series of countless Dutch inventions. Just think of the submarine (also created by Drebbel), the cassette tape, the CD, WiFi, and Bluetooth are all Dutch innovations. We see that the Netherlands now also has a pioneering role when it comes to smart buildings. bGrid developed a smart multi-sensor for the realization of smart buildings, that of which the Municipality of Alkmaar amongst many others decided to invest in. The very municipality where Cornelis Drebbel was born.

Call for innovation

Such as at any commercial business, there are developments at municipalities that increase the desire to innovate. For example, in the combining of various municipal divisions together into one central building; to create more cooperation, cross-pollination and innovation. The renovation of a building brings with it an opportunity to revise the ways of working. For example, to introduce flexible workplaces, to redesign IT structures with mobile devices, or to introduce more agile ways of working.

Facilitate informal contact

With these new ways of working you can get the most from your team. Have them perform their duties in workspaces that are customized for them, evaluate your team by their output and not by the number of hours they spend in the office. Help better facilitate informal contact, inside and outside the organization, as this is where the most innovative and promising ideas come from.

Human intervention is less and less necessary

A Smart Building facilitates this trend. This is a building where inspiration, ideas and innovation are stimulated, systems communicate with each other, become self-steering and where human intervention is less and less necessary. The available technology adapts to the employee or visitor and the activities that take place in the building. The building generates data, teaches and stimulates the users. A Smart Building understands the needs of the users and ensures that employees can work together efficiently and healthily and be as productive as possible. All of this is achievable with an ever-lower energy consumption.

Magnetism and a broad view

The municipality of Alkmaar has set itself the goal to be the most innovative Dutch municipality by 2021. With 100,000 plus workers the municipality has introduced a new way of collaboration. With cloud computing and mobile devices, people can work remotely and flexibly. They no longer evaluate performance based on the number of hours an employee spends in the office, they are instead now task, team and project oriented. Working together between the different units provides new insights and a broad view of productivity. Architectural firm Proof of the Sum used the power of magnetism to design the new renovation. Magnetic pivot points such as the coffee bar, the lockers, the learning center and meeting facilities attract people to interact. These places, where almost everyone comes every day, are spread vertically across the building. As a result, every employee uses the entire building, which increases the chance of meeting and synergy and increases people’s movement.

Collect data

The municipality of Alkmaar collects data using bGrid sensors to gain insight into whether the entire building is being used effectively and how it is specifically being used. This will help to continuously improve the work environment in terms of sustainability, health and efficiency. The data from bGrid is linked to the Building Management System (BMS) and the data analytics of the municipality, and with the bGrid facility application the facility and real estate manager can view live information, for instance how the CO2 values are being used or where it is getting too hot in the building.

I think Cornelis Drebbel would have appreciated working in a Smart Building and he would have liked to analyze the data that comes from such a building. Would you also like to work in a Smart Building? Then read the interview with Patrick Langendijk of the municipality of Alkmaar or our whitepaper “The future of municipal buildings: smart, sustainable and healthy”. Or call us and our team of bGrid experts will tell you all about it.


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