Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, digital services increasingly shape our overall experience. They’re central to our productivity, sense of engagement and enjoyment.
For centuries we’ve planned buildings and developments with water, power and transport in mind – in the twenty-first century, it’s time to add digital to that list of priorities.
In every business sector – from commercial offices to education, retail, cultural or medical estates – digital services represent an increasing element of the service offered. They bring access and control of the physical building to the devices in our pockets, they’re key to competitiveness and a major part of any brand. For this reason, digital services can no longer be seen in isolation from the physical design process, something to be tacked on at the end.
Our approach puts digital at the start of the process, with an exploration of the services your organisation wants to offer, both now and in future, before defining the technical design requirements across your site. Planning for digital in this way helps developers, owners and operators to stay focused on the user experience.
How we help you
Plan your site’s digital ecosystem
Creating a digital masterplan enables you to achieve your service and experience goals at the site-wide scale – it’s an approach valued by our educational and health clients. It enables the alignment of people’s ways of working with the digital services they rely upon, across a range of sites and facilities, in the most effective and joined-up way possible.
Gain new insight into form, scale and function
Digital masterplanning enables you to offer entirely new experiences and allows users to digitally interact with the built environment. The process helps us to ask new questions – about how your people want to work along with what users and visitors expect from a building. The answers to these questions have implications for building design, spatial planning, air quality and health outcomes, and how individual buildings relate to the rest of an estate or site.
Our digital masterplanning consultancy is a new way to explore these core business and operational questions, ensuring you plan and invest wisely for the future. In the post-pandemic era, gaining insights on these issues has never been more important.
Plan for greater (longer) return-on-investment
Today, two questions are quietly reshaping the way investors view new estates and built environment investments: ‘is the design sustainable?’ and ‘will it retain relevance and appeal?’ Digital master planning addresses both issues, bringing a data lens to how your tenants or users will operate the building, while future-proofing its structure for digital services long into the future. Our ‘smart buildings’ approach is a process that unifies every operational element, from user experience to energy and resource use, to produce truly intelligent buildings and estates.
Develop sustainable sites and meet net zero goals
Reducing emissions and conserving energy and resources is only possible once you have detailed understanding of performance at the estate level. Digital masterplanning builds in real-time dashboarding of every aspect of the estate’s environment performance, allowing owners and operators to stay in control and carry out reporting efficiently. Site owners gain the ability to provide access to this performance data, bringing further valuable transparency to progress made on buildings’ net zero performance.
Our digital master planning service helps clients to bring together their built environment and service aspirations with the technical implications of those choices in a rigorous and detailed plan that can inform the architectural and engineering process at every stage. We ensure you remain technology agnostic – our ethos is to build in flexibility for the future, avoiding over-commitments to today’s suppliers and solutions.
By implementing a digital masterplan at the very start, with clear costs/benefits established, you avoid the danger of great ideas for digital services being ‘designed-out’ later in the project lifecycle.
Document your vision
To begin, we produce a compelling vision document, one that will help guide decision making throughout the design, engineering, construction, and operational phases. This documentation will help designers and vendors understand the guiding principles underlying the project such as open standards, data interoperability, and cyber- security.
Define the user experience
We run workshops and map out what both end users and the back-of-house staff need to meet service expectations. It’s a collaborative process, identifying every element of the estate’s day-to-day use.
Define the technology infrastructure required
Next, we define the technology mix required to support the user experiences and services required to deliver them. In this stage we define infrastructure, systems, software, hardware, data strategy, and related elements. These recommendations are aligned to the wider context of a site’s operations, providing consistency across the development. We recognize that any plan must be affordable, sustainable, and profitable.