Sharing facilities and increasing occupancy rates - Datacity


Sharing facilities and increasing occupancy rates

Home > Challenges > Sharing facilities and increasing occupancy rates


How to realistically share space and facilities in buildings?

In Paris, space is scarce and square metres are very expensive. That said, buildings and other facilities are often underused: average occupancy rates in office buildings, for example, hover around 60%. Company restaurants, for instance, are empty during most of the day whereas meeting rooms are often in short supply, and company car parks are mostly unused at night and at weekends.


The companies using these buildings need to serve seemingly conflicting purposes, i.e. provide staff with comfortable working conditions and suitable amenities while communities are asking for more ‘porosity’ between offices and the neighbourhoods around them – and do all of the above on a budget.


Buildings are one of the main cost items for companies and communities. And there is a lot of untapped potential to cut costs by reorganising space and possibly even sharing a number of facilities among various groups of users, businesses and buildings.


As things stand today, however, there are two main hurdles:

  • Building managers lack tools based on the actual use of their space and facilities
  • Practical concerns relating to building and occupant safety and security curtail opportunities to share space and facilities


  • The problem

  • Use cases and experiment field

  • Business opportunities for the stakeholders

  • Data sets

How to realistically share space and facilities in buildings?

Several solutions are already available, for example including room booking systems. But these solutions often require heavy investment and only provide a partial picture of the way a building is used.


The goal for this experiment is to test a solution providing a 360° view of the way a building is used. Depending on the field, this experiment may focus on:

  1. Harvesting data showing the ways the building is used
  2. Analysing data reflecting space use and management
  3. Opening and sharing facilities


Harvesting data


Like a growing number of other buildings, partner organisations’ head offices have building management systems (BMSs) supplying a considerable amount of data about the building (for example indoor temperature, lights switched on and off, etc.). The question is how to use these existing data sets to distil information about an area’s occupancy rates and the type of activities the building hosts.

The goal for this use case is to use existing infrastructure to assess the knowledge that can be gleaned without substantial additional investment.

Other data, beyond that from a BMS, may be gathered to provide a clearer picture of the ways employees effectively use their working spaces.


Analyzing data


Bouygues Energies & Services (BYES) has equipped its head office with a tracking system that plots out building occupants’ circuits, as part of a separate experiment it is currently conducting. Likewise, Cisco and Nexity are taking initiatives to monitor users and provide new services for them, especially by leveraging the IoT.


The question is how to turn this raw data into recommendations, in particular to:


  • Map out the way a building is currently used, through space and time
  • Rearrange space
  • Facilitate interaction among users
  • Improve real-time space management


Opening and sharing


Visitor reception protocols today are generally very strict and therefore hamper opportunities to open and share facilities.


The goal for this experiment is to integrate solutions aimed at improving porosity between private and public areas without compromising building security. This for example may involve digitising reception, displaying contextual information or even including calendaring, messaging, access management or wayfinding solutions.


The success metrics for this experiment will include:


  • Waiting times at reception and incoming visitor flows
  • New revenue streams (car-park sharing, etc.)
  • Solution acceptance by the security team
  • Visitor autonomy

The ultimate objective for this challenge is to build a win-win relationship with the selected startup. The project partners’ specific goals follow:


  • BYES: enhance the value proposition in the Group’s facility management deals (general services) by including consulting services
  • Nexity: provide property managers and their space planning teams with new tools to objectivise the decisions they make with users, by basing them on data reflecting effective usage. These insights may also help them to anticipate customer requirements when they design new office buildings
  • Cisco: stimulate the ecosystem around the Digital Ceiling approach in the Cisco Spark collaborative suite, showcase the CMX geolocation API, contact shared customers, partner to develop new products, work together on R&D, investments, etc.
  • La Poste: source real-time data on post-office footfall for its ongoing service-redeployment project


  • SFR: develop new services for building managers and occupants based on knowledge of “person counting”, in particular leveraging its digital expertise (geo-statistics, IoT, etc.)



  • BYES head office:


Can supply the selected startup with the following, from the tracking experiment it is currently conducting in its head office:

  • Geographic data (x, y and z coordinates)
  • Tags (mobile)
  • Markers (immobile)
  • Time-related information (period of time in a given area, etc.) for each building occupant and visitor



  • Nexity head office


    • BMS data



  • Cisco head office


    • Access-control APIs
    • Visitor-counting data
    • Proprietary video recognition and person-counting algorithms
    • API Exchange for room bookings (room name, number of seats and availability of videoconferencing equipment)

_Online resources:



  • SFR head office


    • Data from a similar BMS, supplying more than 30,000 data spanning the building’s 134,000 sqm area on an hourly basis:
      • Water and electricity meters
      • Presence sensors (lighting)
      • Temperature (ventilation system)
    • IT use (Wi-Fi connections)
    • SFR also has an in-house mobile antenna network providing optimal coverage and bandwidth for its employees.


– Maison des Associations, Paris 12

Room booking schedule in 2016 (hourly) including the number of people using the rooms (capacity 7 to 70)