Occupancy Data

Occupancy data and why it’s more important now than ever before

Thet Oo
WRITTEN BY THET OO
Thet Oo is the Global Product Manager for Helvar’s Imagine solution, responsible for implementing Helvar’s strategy of intelligence, outstanding efficiency and wellbeing into deliverable solutions for the benefit of Helvar’s customers. He has over 15 years of experience in the Lighting Industry and holds an Engineering Degree from the University of Birmingham.

Occupancy data and why it’s more important now than ever before

What an unexpected year 2020 has been for all of us. Whether it is socially, professionally or emotionally, almost all, if not every individual around the world has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. We at Helvar hope you have managed to stay safe, well and secure through these extraordinary times. As we begin to return to a new state of ‘normality’, it is clear that our buildings and spaces need to adapt.

As the places we visit, either for work, learning, health or leisure, get transformed to comply with social distancing and government guidelines, many new and different decisions will need to be made. Spaces will continuously need to adapt with the changing guidance bringing new challenges for building owners and occupiers on how to best maximise the efficiency of their space without compromising on safety and impacting heavily on people’s wellbeing. These important decisions could be made using best judgement with perhaps a degree of trial and error but what if they could be made using data instead? And, what if the systems in these spaces could adapt to the changes by themselves and provide valuable insights to ensure the right choices are made?

By using data from lighting occupancy sensors, spaces can be mapped out showing busy or quiet periods and highlighting high traffic and bottlenecks areas. The data can be visualised on a floorplan of a building with the ability go back hours, days or longer to help assess how effective measures have been. This feature is particularly useful in managing social distancing as layouts can be altered, for example, if it is known that a certain area has a high cluster of people, then the layout can be changed to prevent clustering. Access to occupancy data also brings further benefits. By choosing to close off certain areas, significant savings on energy, maintenance and cleaning costs could be achieved. The data could also help to decide exactly how much space should be closed off helping to achieve the right balance of optimisation, safety and wellbeing.

Helvar Insights

One trend being seen across many businesses and public spaces is the expansion of walkaways and working areas alongside the reduction of hot desk areas. Some lighting installations do not allow for easy alterations and flexibility when the space layout changes, thus resulting in lighting left permanently or longer than necessarily required. Intelligent lighting solutions can automatically learn the changes in layout and adapt itself for optimal efficiency and comfort without requiring someone to reprogram the system. And, with intelligent insight reports on whether sensor timeouts have been set too long or too short, occupiers can be informed of potential energy savings or improvements to occupant comfort.

We at Helvar specialise in intelligent lighting solutions to make buildings more efficient and enhance the wellbeing of the people that occupy them. We call this Brighter Spaces, and in these extraordinary times, we feel it is important now more than ever to turn everyday places into brighter spaces.