At Vancouver Centre II, a custom App delivers innovative and transferable technology.

September, 2019

Once complete, the Vancouver Centre II (VCII) will be operated and managed as one 850,000 square foot office/ retail entity together with the existing VCI (circa 1970). Mike Prsa, Principal and Vice President of Mulvey & Banani International Inc. (MBII) discusses a game changing custom App that will bridge across existing and new towers.

 

The integration of VCII into the existing VCI complex, physically and technologically, was the catalyst for the  creation of the Vancouver Centre App, co-designed by developer GWLRA and MBII’s Building Intelligence Design team. The App will serve both the existing (Scotia Tower) and new tenants, and empower the operations and management team to streamline services for faster an more efficient delivery. A host of Building Intelligence initiatives spanning the complex will achieve the App goals, including: building access, energy efficiency, work order tracking, amenity management systems,lighting and comfort. Outstanding, yes, but this level intelligent building functionality is not new or unique to VCII.

Deep into the design development phase of the App, the design team had an “aha moment”, and  recognized the opportunity to expand and enhance the APP from a sustainability and wellness perspective, with a goal to create a more interactive level of engagement between Tenants and Landlord. The business plan for the expanded App was pitched to HOOPP’s Seventh Annual LEAP (2019), winning a grant in the sustainable innovation category to develop the App.

 

The ultimate goal of the enhanced App is to develop engagement and accountability around energy, water and waste reduction behaviours, promote wellness and comfort, and create community dialogue.

With LEAP funding in place, the team is forging ahead with design of additional functionalities that will be a huge differentiator for Vancouver Centre. Highlights of the additional functionalities include:

  • Metrics for Energy, Waste and Water: currently accessed by a computer terminal only, the expanded App would allow tenants to track (and therefore budget for) utility usage, delivering data in user friendly and relevant metrics (CO2 reduction, energy spend, water use, waste reports, etc.) so that personalized use targets can be set and continuous feedback monitored)
  • Tenant Services: a portal for tenant communications, feedback, surveys, friendly competitions and awards
  • The Amenity Tracker: allows users to view current activity at the gym, deck or dog area and plan when best to visit
  • Modal Shift: reduces car dependency/ carbon footprint, providing access to resources (transit schedules, car charging, carpooling, carshare, bike rental, bike repair, access to executive bike lockers, and end of trip facilities, etc.)
  • Idea Exchange: share ideas for sustainability, or share a personal accomplishment on social media

 

The base infrastructure and integration design of the App can be applied to any new build.

The technology can be applied to all property types, however the specifics in feature sets are driven by the property sector. When VCII opens in Q3-2021, the success of the App will be measurable across four key areas: (1) GHG & energy savings, (2) waste audits, (3) community dialogue, engagement/ feedback, and (4) amenity/service usage. This market leading, sustainability focussed App addresses the climate crisis, drives the portfolio return, and builds community all at the same time.