Office upgrade

15 : 06 : 2016 Carlo Ratti Associati : Whole-system Thinking : The Future Workplace

Turin – Architect Carlo Ratti has designed a hyper-efficient office that uses sensors to create personal environmental bubbles around its occupants.

  • The building uses a series of sensors to map the location of occupants, and adjust heating and lighting accordingly
  • In time the system will learn about employees’ routines and use this data to improve the building’s efficiency
Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin
Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin
Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin
Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin Office 3.0 by Carlo Ratti, Turin

Designed for the Agnelli Foundation, Office 3.0 uses sensors integrated into the building to track the location of employees. The network then uses this information, alongside environmental data such as occupancy levels, temperature and CO2 concentration, to manipulate lighting, heating and cooling systems to create environmental bubbles around each individual.

This means that lights will automatically be turned off in rooms that are not occupied, while heating elements hidden in the ceiling will be activated whenever someone is standing below them. In time the building will learn occupants’ usage patterns to become more efficient.

‘Today, a lot of energy is wasted heating or cooling empty buildings,’ Carlo Ratti said in a statement. ‘By synchronising energy usage and human occupancy in buildings, we can create a more sustainable and responsive architecture – theoretically slashing energy consumption by up to 40%.’

The Big Picture

Architects such as Carlo Ratti are combining architecture with big data to create environments that are more pleasant and more efficient. For more on the future of the office, read our Workplace Summit Report.

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