Posted on 23 April 2020

bGrid Software Update Provides COVID-19 Safety Insights to Occupier, Operator and Owner of The Office

bGrid is innovating through change, launching our 3-layer bGrid COVID Office Safety Solutions (bCOSS) to monitor building occupancy and air quality, so your company can adhere to government policies of physical distancing, to help combat the spread of corona in the workplace. The wide spread pandemic of COVID compelled a global lockdown of populations, causing a halt to major commercial activities and shifted employees’ routines to work from home, but returning to the office space is inevitable and businesses must prepare accordingly.

What is your business doing in preparation for employees return to your workplace? A question at the forefront for most change management teams, in light of some countries gradual return to normalizing workplace operations. Creating this plan with government policies in mind can be a daunting prospect for any employer, though bGrid has developed a 3-layer COVID Office Safety solution together with Microsoft to help your company adhere to physical distancing. This solution helps ensure that people in the office have the ability to adhere to physical distancing and that the air quality is providing safety when adhering to physical distancing. This avoids overcrowding in the office thus helping occupants adhere to physical distancing regulations. Potential COVID particles can stay airborne in a room for periods of time, undermining the safety created by physical distancing. bGrid has developed the bCOSS solution to monitor air quality and building utilization.

Monitoring office utilization

The objective here is to measure the ability to adhere to physical distancing. As bGrid multi-sensors gather movement intensity data we can build a picture of space utilization. This indicates how many people there are in a certain area of the office and allows the occupier to review if the office layout and utilization provides enough space for employees to move freely and adhere to physical distancing policy.

Monitoring air quality

By gathering CO2 level data from the bGrid multi sensor air quality can be determined. Elevated CO2 levels indicate insufficient ventilation (or inhaling of air breathed out by office users) – something to minimize in the ‘new office normal’. The air quality is thus an indicator for the safety of the air and the ability of COVID contaminated particles to be transferred. Local visual feedback is provided with color LEDs in each bGrid node, indicating the safety of the area – as one of the 3-layers of the solution. This informs the occupant in real-time as to whether the area is safe to use or keep using.

Our unique 3-layered solution

Provides insight to office workers, facility managers and employers through:

1. bCOSS local feedback: through ceiling based LED colors. Each bGrid node has colored LEDs that light up to clearly indicate the safety status (green/orange/red) of meeting rooms and work places. This informs staff and guests alike of safe workplace areas and meeting rooms, and when it is important to leave these areas due to over-utilization or deteriorating air quality.

2. bCOSS web interface for kiosk screen, laptop and smart phone: this provides a live overview of your building floorplan providing staff and guests insight on which floors and areas of the office are safe and recommended to find a workplace or meeting room. Or if the current building utilization and air quality imply that it is better to work from home.

3. bCOSS report (Power BI): we provide daily reports with valuable bGrid data and actionable insights. This allows facility managers and employers to gain insight into how their office performs in terms of monitoring air quality levels and building utilization to help in the ability to adhere to physical distancing.

With physical distancing in effect for the foreseeable future, bGrid believes with this 3-layer solution you can efficiently approach this return to the workplace with the least interruption to your team’s productivity. Most importantly, it supports the safe use of the office, and provides actionable insights on how to improve this safety. Here is how an average employee would experience bGrid’s solution.

What does an average user’s daily journey look like?

An average employee interacting within a meeting room:

  1. At home you see that it is safe to go to the office with the bCOSS web interface
  2. Arriving at the office, you read on the kiosk screen that it is ok to go to the third floor where your meeting is, as there are not too many people in it.
  3. People enter the meeting room, all bGrid nodes are green, indicating good and safe air quality in the meeting room.
  4. After 45 minutes the bCOSS feedback switches the bGrid nodes to orange, indicating that the air quality is deteriorating, so you start rounding up the meeting.
  5. When bCOSS turns the bGrid nodes red you all leave within 2 minutes, and conclude that next time best not to wait for a red LED warning again.
  6. At the same time, the facility manager on site receives a bCOSS message that the conditions in your meeting are no longer safe, but that the occupants have left the meeting room within 5 minutes.
  7. When the next group arrives for their meeting they see the bGrid nodes are still red, indicating it is not yet safe to use the room, and they search for another meeting room.
  8. In the daily bCOSS report the utilization of meeting rooms were recorded, with the red or orange minutes highlighted, allowing the facility manager and employer to decide if additional protocols or internal communications are required.

bCOSS provides similar experience for workplace areas.

bGrid challenges itself to develop meaningful solutions, constantly innovating for our wide range of customers’ needs. Our team has developed bCOSS, this 3-layerd solution, in such a way that there is no need for physically changing the bGrid infrastructure; it is possible to roll out bCOSS for all existing bGrid installations. Securing your preparations for an office with physical distancing in place with this 3-layerd bGrid solution that not only helps put in place policies but also reassures employees and clients working in your building. Contact us directly to discuss the implementation of the bGrid bCOSS solution.

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