Spacewell helps BESIX to make buildings smarter
As a globally active construction company with a strong commitment to innovation, BESIX is investigating the impact technology can have on construction, as well as on the exploitation of smart buildings. This is in line with the trend to offer a total package of innovative services throughout the entire life cycle of buildings.
The ambition of BESIX is to create smart buildings that offer a superior experience to their users while contributing to a sustainable future at the same time. In order to achieve this, BESIX is developing the necessary in-house expertise to bridge the gap between technology and construction. For example, the company has designed and built a next-generation intelligent building in the Dutch city of Dordrecht, and this building can be considered as a European reference in the field. The Besix smart building has innovations that are focused on user experience, community, smart energy management, sustainability, and comfort.
Internet of Things
BESIX uses Spacewell’s smart building solution to monitor the use of space and the indoor climate in Dordrecht. Based on sensor-based data, the company first checks whether the choice for a new way of working has the desired effects. The next step is to make the data available to the building users and to link it to the reservation system. The project is also an important test case for replacing wired sensors (such as those used in a traditional HVAC system with thermostats) with wireless ones for measuring indoor climates.
The BESIX smart building is also pioneering in terms of energy: the building learns how energy is used in terms of environmental factors. As a result, it is possible to predict the usage pattern for the day after and then purchase energy accordingly on the day-ahead market. The company, therefore, abandons traditional long-term contracts and only buys the energy it needs via the spot market. Electric cars and a local battery are also intelligently controlled according to this predicted consumption pattern. These algorithms will become even smarter and more accurate via a link to the occupancy data.
Bart Gentens, Senior Manager for new and improved client solutions, says about the Besix smart building project: “The future is smarter buildings that integrate services such as occupancy measurement, while continuously adapting to evolving needs. The data and insights from Spacewell concerning the use of space and comfort are essential in this – they help us shape our future business models.”
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Who is BESIX?
Active since 1909, the BESIX Group has grown into a multi-service group over the years, commanding a leading position in the markets in which it operates: construction, real estate development and concessions. In 2018, BESIX achieved a turnover of €2.5 billion and employed 15,000 employees around the world.
The group’s mission is to create sustainable solutions for a better world. An example of this – and a milestone in the group’s diversification strategy – is the contract for the construction and subsequent 30-year exploitation and maintenance of one of the world’s largest energy recycling plants in Dubai. At full capacity, this “waste-to-energy” installation will process 5,000 tons of waste per day to generate electricity.
Total service package
In addition to the pure construction activities, BESIX is increasingly playing a role in the design, financing, maintenance, and operation of projects (DBFMO). A good example of this is the project for the alternative hotel chain, A-Stay, which is active in the exploitation of smart and urban housing for short and long-term stays by business people, tourists, and students.
Smart office buildings
BESIX is also evolving in the office market from a traditional builder to a total service provider. The company cooperates with Proximus and Spacewell on smart, digital buildings in which services such as occupancy measurement are integrated. It is currently using its Dutch headquarters in Dordrecht as a test lab for this.