9-11 May 2023
ICC Sydney

Olderfleet – unlocking a new era of smart buildings’

One of Melbourne’s most iconic heritage buildings redevelopments launched on Collins Street recently, with significant investment in innovation to explore new, cutting-edge technologies, Annie Reid reports.

In a collaboration by Mirvac, Lovell Chen and Grimshaw Architects along with interior designers, Carr Design Group, the ‘Olderfleet’ buildings have been restored and redeveloped into boutique office and retail spaces, anchored by Deloitte and other leading organisations including Norton Rose Fulbright, Lander & Rogers and Urbis.

Built between 1887 and 1889, the Olderfleet buildings at 477 Collins Street are exemplars of Victorian architecture in the Marvellous Melbourne era.

Today, they set a new precedent for adaptive heritage and workplace integration in Australia.

So, what’s new?

According to development director at Mirvac, Frank Lonetti, the approach started in close consultation with Olderfleet’s tenants, such as Deloitte.

It was crucial to not only co-create a solution using best-in-class technology but also one tailored for the workers and visitors specifically who use the building. Moving forward, the building must be futureproofed too, catering for shifting trends in working and employee technology requirements.

“Mirvac futureproofs its assets by developing foundational technology and infrastructure to accommodate advancing technology needs and capacity. For example, Mirvac provides essential backbone infrastructure in all its developments. This backbone infrastructure can support future technology to ‘plug and play’ into the building such as indoor environment sensors to measure air quality or touchless building entry using a mobile app,” he says.

For those who work within the building, M’app (the Mirvac App) is a cutting-edge technology solution designed to make life easier. M’app offers daily convenience services, including in-app food and coffee orders, a direct link to the concierge, space bookings, order corporate catering, and an Olderfleet-specific news feed. It allows for touch-free access control for building entry and end-of-trip amenity too, which will become valuable in the post COVID-19 workplace.

“Mirvac focused on delivering technology that would meet our customer’s needs and objectives by providing a scalable, secure technology platform that enables customers to innovate,” Lonetti says.

As for post COVID-19, he says the future of work will see a large increase in flexible working with people splitting their time between home and the office. And that means an opportunity to use the huge amount of data produced by the workplace to enhance greater performance and productivity. From desk occupancy, lighting, heating and cooling to meeting rooms, the use of the workplace as a whole can provide a plethora of data, to help support a dynamic workplace strategy.

“Future success will therefore depend on greater sharing and transparency of data between the landlord and the tenant to form an accurate picture of the workplace,” he says.

As for the building, Olderfleet is operated by a Smart Building Technology Platform, with an Integrated Control Network (ICN). The ICN provides very smart infrastructure to enable the building’s system to be interconnected through one network allowing control, monitoring, and data collection.

Services that will be connected and displayed through a dashboard include HVAC, lighting utility metering, security systems, waste treatment, end-of-trip locker availability, public WIFI, and more. The ICN will also allow the adoption of new technologies as they become available, and as client’s technology needs change. Other technologies such as facial recognition and cloud-based building analytics are continually being tested.

Another example is Mirvac’s front-end portal and open APIs, for customers to easily connect directly to the building systems.

“For example, we have integrated Deloitte’s visitor manager system with the base building to enhance the visitor experience. Deloitte now has the ability to control meeting room lights and temperature via meeting room panels,” Lonetti says.


Supporting facility managers

To successfully run a smart building like Olderfleet, facility managers must have enhanced skills in data analysis and technology network management.

“As technology is constantly changing, facility managers will need to adopt continuous learning to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest technology. For example, the ICN at Olderfleet will provide facility managers with unprecedented access to building services data to improve the management of the building as well as to implement and monitor new strategies to improve operating efficiencies,” he says.

Mirvac will also provide a specific building portal for tenant’s facility managers to gain access to performance data on their tenancy. The portal will allow them to monitor current and historical environmental conditions, control lighting conditions on floors, track space occupancy on floors via the movement sensors integrated into the lighting system, place after-hour calls for HVAC systems, monitor after-hours usage, and monitor end-of-trip lockers.

With its stunning, 25m high glass atrium in the lobby entrance, it’s little surprise that Olderfleet is the first building in Australia to achieve a Platinum Core and Shell Pre-Certification from the International WELL Building Institute.

This certification recognises excellence in delivering healthy buildings and improving tenant wellbeing in a sustainable work environment. And raises the bar for innovation in Melbourne’s commercial towers.

Written by Annie Reid

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