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Cordless advises UBS on people finding and wayfinding for new London HQ

Sector: Financial Services
Location: 5 Broadgate, London
Size: 700,000 sq ft
Project Value: Undisclosed
IT & AV Budget: Undisclosed

The Project:

Technology visioning and strategy consultancy on building wayfinding, digital signage and navigation solutions to improve the user experience at the new London HQ.

Technologies & Innovations:

Interactive touch screen technology to allow wayfinding and people finding.

The Client:

UBS is a global firm providing financial services to private, corporate and institutional clients. It is present in all major financial centres and has offices in over 50 countries. In the United Kingdom, UBS offers wealth management, investment banking and asset management services.

UBS London HQ wayfinding

The Challenge:

UBS took the step in 2010 of signing an agreement for the development of a new building, 5 Broadgate – creating a bespoke, London HQ of 700,000 sq.ft. that would form the centre of a new 'core and flex' real estate strategy, allowing UBS to better adapt to changing environments.

Since 2008, the London portfolio has been reduced by 45% to just 3 buildings (880,000 sq.ft.) – with the strategy culminating in the delivery of 5 Broadgate  which was occupied from August 2016, bringing all divisions under a single roof for the first time.

At 700,000 square foot of office space across 12 floors, 5 Broadgate is London’s biggest ground-scraper, with amenities for employees which include a 330-person restaurant open seven days a week, a 24-hour gym, retail spaces, concierge service, extensive cycle storage and showers, medical centre, dentist and occupational health facilities.

A collaborative, agile working environment has been underpinned by a brand new technology roll-out, with most employees benefitting from a 'thin client' machine (remote processing), voice-over IP and the ability to make video calls from their desks or alternative work settings.

UBS technology visioning and strategy

Given the scale of 5 Broadgate and the number of staff working in the building, UBS wanted to deploy a wayfinding system on all floors that would allow staff to identify the current work setting being used by fellow colleagues and to navigate their way across floors with ease.

UBS also wanted a system can that could be leveraged to monitor space usage by business, cost centre and floor and that could produce detailed reporting and metrics – allowing to UBS to constantly optimise the efficiency of its space, and determine the effectiveness of its work settings.

The Solution:

Cordless worked closely with Rob Bullough, Head of Real Estate & Workspace (UK, Europe N/E, MEA), and his team.

UBS used Cordless to help review and define the available technology options for 5 Broadgate with regards to:

  • Integrating a wayfinding solution with the existing digital signage system
  • Wayfinding Displays including interactive displays and SIP handsets for contacting UBS staff
  • Visitor experience systems including Sign In / Badge Printing Systems
  • Building Navigation through User devices
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based people finding systems

It was important to complement the interior wayfinding system / landmarks with the digital one. Cordless conducted thorough analysis of the technical and operational wayfinding and people finding requirements of the business. Based on these findings, Cordless then produced a Design and Budget for the options.

Designs and concepts for each area of the new facility were included along with detailed functional descriptions of how the proposed systems would operate from a user perspective. Each option described the proposed equipment to be used, with the system functionality and user interface and how the proposed equipment would interface with the building architectural finishes and the M&E & IT infrastructures.

UBS building wayfinding, digital signage and navigation solutions

The Developed Design and Budget also covered the key Architectural and fit-out integration issues including layouts, configuration options, issues and control specifics.

Cordless prepared an IT Specification that detailed all areas of interface between the proposed Wayfinding systems and the Client’s IT systems, including:

  • Server Hardware 
  • LAN / WAN requirements 
  • Device connectivity 
  • Circuits / telephony requirements 
  • Structured cabling requirements 
  • Computer room cabinet space

Cordless then specifically supported UBS to procure display components for the floors and lift lobbies. On the floors, kiosk and wall mounted 40” interactive screens enable wayfinding. In the lift lobbies, 10” mounted displays with USB handset enable SIP calls to the staff.

The Results:

Cordless put together valuable information for UBS which allowed the business to review its wayfinding and people finding options for the new HQ and then procure and implement an indoor positioning system with interactive display screens on floor entry. Alongside this, TP Bennett completed analysis on traffic flows and people movement around the building, and made recommendations on floor naming conventions, signage location, style and branding. Cordless worked closely with AECOM and TP Bennett to ensure optimal display system design and location.

Using the new interactive screen technology, users in the new HQ can now quickly and easily locate people and desks, whilst the business can benefit from real-time data on resource utilisation within the building.

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