The Slough Trading Estate and SEGRO Park Bracknell have been selected together as one of 20 locations across Europe to feature in an innovative programme of smart building pilots to explore the practicalities and benefits of a range of technologies which the company believes can improve the operational and environmental performance of its buildings.
The smart technology is being installed in a representative range of buildings – small and large; light industrial and big box; vacant and occupied – in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. The pilot programme involves close collaboration with SEGRO’s customers – around 12 are expected to be involved in the full programme, with some engaged across multiple developments.
The first insights are expected mid-year, once sufficient data has been analysed and customer reviews completed, with detailed findings available at the end of 2020.
James Power, director of digital and technology, SEGRO, said: “Smart building technology has the potential to deliver significant benefits for our customers. If sensors can tell them what is going on within and around the building, they can take quick and effective decisions to respond – leading to lower costs, lower energy use, increased efficiency, and a better working environment for employees in the building.
“Industrial buildings present several unique challenges for smart technology, which is why it’s still in its infancy in the industrial sector. However, we are convinced that these challenges are worth overcoming, and this pilot programme is designed to help us fully understand both the challenges and the benefits. Our customers have responded very positively so far, and we look forward to working closely with them on this programme.
“We are also building up our data and analytics capabilities to support decision making and operations across the group. Interpreting the data produced by smart buildings is one of our focus areas.”
The smart building pilot programme is one of the first initiatives delivered through SEGRO’s new Strategy, Investment and Innovation function which was announced in early February 2020. Among other responsibilities, the new function will undertake horizon scanning as well as the development, prioritisation and implementation of the company’s long-term digital and technology-related strategies.
2020 marks SEGRO’s 100th anniversary. As the company reflects on its past achievements, the smart building pilot programme represents how the company continues to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing business and societal environments to deliver a successful and sustainable long-term business.
Slough Trading Estate is a major data centre hub due to its proximity to London, excellent power supply, fibre-optic cables and high security. Customers at the Slough Trading Estate have been experiencing a smarter and more tech-focused environment at the estate, with smart solar-powered benches installed this year.