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16 Aug 2021 | Case Studies

Twinview & GPE: The Hickman

What is the Hickman?

The Hickman is a building owned and managed by Great Portland Estates (GPE). This Grade A office building with retail space boasts over 10,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space, an on-site café, agile workspaces and over 78,000 sq. ft. of working space.

GPE acquired the Hickman in 2019 and began refurbishment almost immediately.

Historically, the building was home to Buck & Hickman; a saw and toolmakers.

Buck & Hickman significantly redeveloped the micro-area, up to the famous Whitechapel Bell Foundry (best known for crafting the Big Ben and the Liberty Bell) down to the corner of Whitechapel Road.

The legacy of the site lives on and the former tool workshop is transformed for a new generation of thinkers, number crunchers and creatives. Found within Reception are some of the tools manufactured previously, along with a small exhibition telling the story of the building’s history.

1/3 Twinview Director, Ben Malone
2/3 Reception area
3/3 Lounge area

What did GPE want to achieve with the Hickman?

The Hickman is GPE’s smartest building yet, being the first building globally to achieve the prestigious SmartScore ‘Platinum’ rating. Twinview uses sensors that are incorporated through the workplace and data feeds back to GPE’s award-winning smart workplace app, sesame™. This provides continuous, anonymous feedback on occupancy levels, temperature, light levels, air quality, noise and energy use. Through data analysis, GPE are able to implement further changes in their wider portfolio, bringing the entire organisation closer to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Specifically, GPE wanted to set a new benchmark in occupier experience while minimising operational costs and optimising energy use. GPE aims to align closely with their occupier brands to match, if not improve, on their expectations around lowering carbon emissions.

1/2 Twinview Director, Adam Ward
2/2 View of London skyline from rooftop

How important is integrated technology within commercial buildings?

Through the application of integrated technology (such as Twinview) within buildings, we can begin to identify patterns in how people use the workspace. This process will inevitably allow GPE to rationalise and optimise space, resulting in happy employees and efficient use while reducing costs and carbon emissions.

What is Twinview?

Twinview is a browser-based digital solution for moving the property sector closer to Net Zero.

By connecting existing building systems data together where you can view all your property data on a single dashboard, Twinview begins to optimise building energy performance, reduce costs and carbon, and even improves user experience and business outcomes. Working alongside Great Portland Estates, we have produced an intelligent digital twin.

A "digital golden thread" runs through the heart of Twinview – providing a history of all maintenance decisions or changes to the building. Additionally, The Hickman's owners and managers, Great Portland Estates, can view a variety of data sources on a single dashboard for a unified source of truth and responsibility from all the integrated building systems, including but not limited to occupancy, temperature, air quality, light and energy consumption.

1/2 QR Code on asset
2/2 'Location-aware' Bluetooth beacon

“The process of integrating The Hickman with Twinview technology was straightforward. Naturally, GPE was provided with all the architectural drawings and files upon completion of the project. We took those files which generally need expensive and powerful machines to use and loaded them into our Twinview infrastructure allowing them to be used from any web browser.

We linked all the building’s assets, granting GPE to access, manage and monitor any asset that is linked to IoT remotely.

Recently, we fitted over 1,000 QR codes and Bluetooth beacons to each of the building's assets so that when entering a room, you can quickly identify which assets are near that space” said Ben Malone, Implementation Director of Twinview.


James Pellatt, Director of Workplace and Innovation at Great Portland Estates shared:

“For us, the exciting thing about the [Twinview] digital twin is to really understand how a building is used and how to predict energy – not just in this building (The Hickman) but for others in the pipeline. The more we learn, the more we measure is the more we can improve and we’re always looking to improve. Since integrating with Twinview, we have seen some initial benefits. By just allowing engineers to understand the building before they arrive, they are able to look around (using Twinview) and understand what is there, and that’s really important – it’s underestimated. We have some really strong ambitions of achieving Net Zero in some of the other buildings in our pipeline and what we learn at the Hickman will help us there. The relationship we have with Twinview is extremely important to us – it is how we like to collaborate and how we like to innovate. By listening to people who challenge us, but also respond to challenges is really key to us in onboarding and integrating technology. It is a strategy we use throughout the portfolio.”

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